Business Sisters-Consoeurs en Affaires Receives $100,000 in Financing from Desjardins Ontario Credit Union

Business Sisters-Consoeurs en Affaires has received $100,000 from the Desjardins Ontario Credit Union Community Development Fund to launch a new center for rural women entrepreneurs in Alexandria, which will offer entrepreneurial training, mentoring and events in both languages officials in the five counties of Eastern Ontario.

“We are thrilled to work with the Desjardins team to make this innovative project a reality for our region,” said Doreen Ashton Wagner, Founder and CEO of Business Sisters-Consoeurs en Affaires. “Women and women-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Desjardins’ contribution to its Community Development Fund helps us significantly reduce, if not eliminate, the barriers that prevent women from starting and growing a business. This will create much needed business activity in our villages and small towns in the region.

“The creation of this crossroads for women brings together aspects of entrepreneurship and the development of our local and regional economy. Investing in this project therefore came naturally to Desjardins and we are delighted to be part of this adventure,” said Karine Foster, Regional Vice-President of Desjardins, Eastern Ontario.

The center will be based in Alexandria. Events will be held in Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott and Russell. The funding will support activities over the next five years.

Founded in 2018, Business Sisters-Consoeurs en Affaires is a bilingual social enterprise dedicated to building happy and resilient rural communities by connecting women business owners, so they can learn and grow. It connects over 400 women business owners across Eastern Ontario with live and online events, as well as a growing list of learning and mentoring activities. For more information, please see