Multicultural women get helping
hand from ACE
by Jillian Terry
Business student Lisa Smart visits with some of the participants of the International Food and Craft Fair at the International Bazaar held as part of I Love MUNdays. (Photo by Ian Vatcher)
Students, faculty and staff at Memorial University longing to explore the world, but lacking the necessary time and money, need look no further than the Holiday Inn grand salon on Sunday, Nov. 4. The Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador (MWONL) in conjunction with Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) Memorial, is hosting an International Food and Craft Fair which will include over 30 booths with food, crafts, fashion, and entertainment from all corners of the globe.
Lisa Smart, a third-year student in the bachelor of commerce (co-op) program and vice-president of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Global with ACE Memorial, is helping to co-ordinate the marketing of the event. She says that although the fair has been happening for several years, 2007 marks the first time that the MWONL has received funding from ACOA through the Women in Business Initiative, making the fair bigger and better than ever.
This year, the Multicultural Women’s Organization is also celebrating its 25th anniversary and, because of the scope of the event, has partnered with ACE Memorial for the first time to assist in the planning and logistics required to successfully develop such a large venture. Ms. Smart said that all the hard work is well worth it. “These women have such a passion for their business, whether it’s crafts or food, that to be able to help them get that much further in securing and beginning their own business is very rewarding.”
After the success of a recent information session for women interested in participating in the International Food and Craft Fair, organizers of the event are optimistic about the turnout. “A lot of these women have an idea of what they want to do, and have a really innovative concept, so to have the opportunity for them to ask questions was really great,” said Ms. Smart.
ACE Memorial’s relationship with the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador will continue into the future with Project Passport, a program where international women are invited to participate in seminars teaching them everything they need to know about business in Canada, including resume writing, interviewing, technology, and accounting. Ms. Smart, as manager of Project Passport, said that many women participating in the fair are looking forward to learning some of the important skills taught by the program.
For now, though, the women are busy cooking, creating, and hoping for crowds at the International Food and Craft Fair on Nov. 4. For more information about the fair, including location and hours of operation, visit http://mwonl.org/IFCF.