LORI A. MAYNE
The Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE – Nancy Beth Guptill didn’t start a business just for money.
She did it to change her life.
“I get to craft and create my own day the way I please,” Guptill said.
The Summerside woman left a job in economic development to run her training and consulting business. While she found her job fulfilling, the change allowed her to spend more time with her 11-year-old daughter and pursue something she’s passionate about – training.
“If we look at why women are launching a business, the third motivator is money,” Guptill said. “Our main motivators are – it’s based on a lifestyle reason and it’s based on something that we’re very passionate about.”
That research comes from Ladies Who Launch, an American-based firm that helps women start and expand their businesses and creative ventures. Guptill is the Atlantic Canada director for Ladies Who Launch.
“To watch other women go through a transformation – that’s my ambition and goal,” Guptill said.
She’s offering a series of Ladies Who Launch workshops in Summerside and Charlottetown beginning this month. They’re called intensive incubators and they help women sharpen their goals so they can make them happen.
“We create an environment that’s a very safe environment for women to share their most sacred, wildest dreams,” she explained.
Guptill described the incubator as the perfect place to work on an entrepreneurial idea but stressed it can benefit almost any woman who wants to change her life.
“Some women come in not knowing what their project is. They just want change in their life and they’re not sure what that is. Or maybe they have three different ideas and they’re not sure which one to focus on. Some women have no interest in becoming an entrepreneur…but they want to start a new social group or they have a big project at work that they need some bigger collaboration on,” she said.
“Some women are looking for a man.”
A maximum of 10 women take part in each intensive incubator, creating a sort of supportive think-tank.
“You have 10 women thinking very big for you,” Guptill said.
“It just opens up your eyes to the endless possibilities.”
Those participants can then join an ongoing incubator, a program that provides local and international opportunities for networking, training and marketing.
Ladies Who Launch offers a “feminine” approach to business – recognizing women have different reasons for becoming entrepreneurs and different approaches, such as more focus on collaboration, for example.
Guptill said the program has helped change her life – and people have noticed.
“I’m much happier because I believe anything is possible.”