Last week, more than 130 leaders from business, community, education, and government gathered at The Met to focus on Manitoba’s economy – and it was a great discussion.
Our four panelists (pictured from left to right) provided updates, expert perspectives and recommendations. Thank you to Alison Kirkland, CEO, Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canad; Fred Meier, CEO, Red River College Polytechnic; Joelle Foster, CEO, North Forge Technology Exchange; and Andrew Enns, Executive VP – Winnipeg, Leger for their frank insights and take-aways:
- Manitoba has one of the lowest rates of women interested in tech and innovation careers of any province, and we need to change that, because it’s actually decreasing.
- We have a wealth of opportunity here in Manitoba, but we need to be better at showcasing it and acting as cheerleaders for what we have to offer.
- Immigration taps need to be turned back on to help address the acute workforce shortage.
- Smaller communities (like Manitoba) need to take advantage of this post-pandemic opportunity to attract folks from larger and more expensive centres.
- We need to transform our learning model – we can’t take a traditional approach to a non-traditional problem – the need for upskilling is urgent.
- Women entrepreneurs are humble, and are much more likely to consider financing their own business ventures with retirement savings, etc. There are funds available, so we need so we need to keep our foot on the gas supporting women entrepreneurs and encouraging them to apply for funding.
- Innovation and technology are what grow an economy, so we need to be investing heavily in this type of growth.
Very special thanks to Honourable Cliff Cullen, Minister of Economic Development, Investment and Trade as well as Honourable Jon Reyes, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills & Immigration for attending.
We also enjoyed an opening message from our chair Michelle Kuly, Principal, Blueprint Inc as well as remarks from: Joan Harris-Warren, Executive Director of First Peoples Development Fund who shared information about FPDIs Apprenticeship Support Project which provides funding to SMEs hiring first-year apprentices; Rick Prejet, chair, Manitoba Pork Council; Colin Ferguson, CEO, Travel Manitoba with his Fastest Two Minutes in Tourism; as well as closing thoughts from our past-chair Paul Provost, President & founder, 6P Marketing.
Thank you to all our event sponsors for your valuable support – presenting sponsor 6P Marketing; event sponsors FPDI and Manitoba Pork; Red River College, our coffee bar sponsor; and our ongoing event supporters, Winnipeg Free Press, Travel Manitoba, and CPHR Manitoba.