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P.E.I. Business Women’s Association annual symposium pivots to no-cost online event for 2020

Rachel Beck will be the featured guest in the closing café for the P.E.I. Business Women's Association's annual symposium Tuesday, Oct. 6.
Rachel Beck will be the featured guest in the closing café for the P.E.I. Business Women's Association's annual symposium Tuesday, Oct. 6. - Contributed

The P.E.I. Business Women's Association (PEIBWA) is hosting its annual symposium Tuesday, Oct. 6, in a virtual, online format, at no cost to attendees.

"We know this signature annual event is a favourite in the P.E.I. business community," says PEIBWA executive director Margaret Magner. 

Keynote speakers include Zita Cobb, Ashleigh Weeden and Wendy Cukier.

Cobb is founder and CEO of Shorefast, innkeeper of Fogo Island Inn and an eighth-generation Fogo Islander in Newfoundland. She will share the story of Shorefast's projects on Fogo Island, which began with contemporary art and now consists of a holistic set of charitable programs as well as three social businesses (including Fogo Island Inn) that return all profits to the community they were founded to serve.  

Zita Cobb - Contributed
Zita Cobb - Contributed


Weeden is an award-winning rural innovator, a longtime advocate for community engagement, open government and meaningful applied technological innovation. She is currently completing her PhD in rural studies at the University of Guelph. She will share stories from rural and island community economic development initiatives in Canada and Scotland to explore what it means to live and work “on the edge”.

Ashleigh Weeden - Contributed
Ashleigh Weeden - Contributed


Cukier is professor of entrepreneurship and strategy and academic director of the Diversity Institute at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto. She leads the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, funded by the federal government, which promotes inclusive supports for women and other diverse entrepreneurs. Her keynote address will focus on women and entrepreneurship and the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Wendy Cukier - Contributed
Wendy Cukier - Contributed


Additional symposium presenters include Virginia (Ginny) McGowan of McGowan & Co: The Write Edit Group; P.E.I. poet laureate Julie Pellissier-Lush, Dee Enright of Jebbca strategies, Maria Dow of Grant Thornton and Ryan McCarville of McInnes Cooper.

Rachel Beck will wrap up the day as the featured guest in the closing café. The café will combine a facilitated discussion about Beck’s journey as a self-managed entrepreneur.

Because of the support from community partners, there is no cost for attendees to participate in the symposium. However, pre-registration is required at The symposium will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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