"I was lucky enough to be able to take both the Women in Business course and then the Business of Life course with YWCA Muskoka. I went into the former with a bare-bones idea of how I wanted to proceed with an editing/proofreading business, but mostly I wanted to see how other women confronted the challenges and politics of being a female entrepreneur. I learned a lot of valuable skills that I carried over into my personal life, like budgeting, email and social media etiquette, financial literacy and resource awareness. Even if you haven’t taken the first step toward starting a business, this course will give you an idea of where to start and what lies ahead, but it is excellent for those with already established businesses as well.

As for the Business of Life course, I found this to be life-changing. In many ways I was in a much better place than I had been in previous stages of my life, so I didn’t expect to gain as much as I did. I had a beginner’s awareness of many topics, but this course and the facilitator gave me the confidence to cement these lessons. Topics such as asserting boundaries, identifying control dramas, and celebrating anger all gave me access to my voice. I am now better able to recognize and work with my own limitations and strengths, and the things I learned manifest in my everyday life. In addition, the camaraderie, kindness, support, and resilience of the other women in the group continue to astound me. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and to put judgement aside creates an environment of warmth and sisterhood. I would absolutely without reservation recommend this course to any woman.

"As a graduate of The Business of Life as well as The Women in Business course for 2013/14, it set me on the right track and gave me the confidence to say 'yes' to purchasing and confidently running my own Hair Salon. These programs were exactly what I needed and they came to me at the perfect time in my life. 

I would highly recommend this to any woman who needs that extra push to take your life or work to the next level."

"My expectations on beginning this course were to bring to light who I was and what was important to me. I was curious if a possible business endeavour would come out of it but wasn't attached to any outcome in a business sense. I certainly got what I wished for from the course and so much more. WIB created space for me to look at how I spent my time and discern whether or not the things I chose to fill my life with were actually ones I enjoyed doing. The opportunity to delve into my beliefs and values, inquire where they came from, and whether they resonated with me at the present time was invaluable. The life skills workshops provided resources and tools to support and implement change which allowed room to determine what to leave behind as well as what to bring forward.

Beginning this course I had never thought about the connections I would make with so many incredible and diverse women! It is an amazing support group that has formed and I am so grateful. I was also pleasantly reminded that having a dream is a wonderful thing. Somewhere along the lines of children, marriage, home ownership and community involvement I allowed my dream to be swept under the carpet. I now have plans and concrete goals put into place to achieve my dreams. I feel more in tune with myself and my needs which has given me more confidence and self-worth.

This is a fantastic program for women in our communities. I recommend it to any woman who crosses my path who is searching for something and in need of direction and guidance. I am incredibly grateful to the YWCA for offering such a gift."

"I walked away with something new every single time I attended the class. Whether the knowledge came from a topic that was being taught, or a comment that one of the women said, or a personal story that was shared, I always went home with something new to consider. This is why, in December when my family had to move almost two hours east of Huntsville, I drove sometimes six hours a night to come to class. My brain had been stuck in wife and mommy mode for so long that I had become addicted to the new insights. That, coupled with my strong desire to finish what is started is what got me through the last three months of WIB even though I had to travel so far. I have recommitted to my true self. I have the program to thank for this direction and decisive action in the right direction."

"The course very much suited my situation and my needs at this point in my life. It was an encouragement to me to follow through with the changes I am envisioning. During the course I met like-minded women: women at different stages in their lives, with different experiences, coming from diverse social environments. What we all seemed to have in common is the drive to learn - about ourselves and about life as well as business. I strongly recommend the course to any woman at any stage in her life. Attending is time and energy well spent.

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205 Manitoba Street, Unit 4, Bracebridge ON P1L 1S3