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Kelowna Women in Business (KWIB) – Celebrating our 25th anniversary this year!

Kelowna Women in Business (KWIB) was established in 1993 as a not-for-profit organization, created in order to give a voice to the female entrepreneurs and professionals of Kelowna. Run entirely by a team of dedicated volunteer Directors, we host monthly sessions and enjoyable social events featuring a variety of female speakers touching on business-savvy information and topics affecting women in business today. Our aim is to create a community of women supporting women, while providing as many informational sessions and networking opportunities as possible to all Kelowna based women, and a platform to help promote one another’s businesses. Members and the general public are welcome!

Our monthly gatherings alternate between evening dinners and noontime luncheons or early breakfasts. We meet once a month from September to June – and break for the gorgeous Okanagan summertime! December is our festive Christmas mingler, and June is our largest and most exciting charity fundraising event of the year. Our total charity donations are in excess of $50,000 in the past eight years alone.

We understand the importance of creating impact and giving back to the community; KWIB adopts a local charity affiliation to partner with and support each year – portions of all Membership fees, event tickets, and special fundraising events go directly to our charity of choice, and help to fund our Young Women Under 30 in Education and Female Entrepreneur Start-Up bursary programs!

Shanelle Connell

Psychology student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan by day and Miss Universe Canada finalist on the weekends- Shanelle Connell isn't just your average 21 year old. With classic Canadian wit and charm, Shanelle is following her dreams of building a platform to empower women and men that need a voice when they feel unheard through public speaking and mental health advocation.

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Kelowna Women in Business (KWIB)

We moved to Kelowna from Manitoba in the fall of 2014, not knowing a single person or business contact. After establishing a few roots and joining several networking groups within the city, I attended a KWIB event at the end of 2016 and immediately realized I wanted to get more involved with the organization. The caliber of speakers, topics, and Members was exactly what I had been searching for, and knew there existed a terrific platform for growing my networks and professional affiliations.

KWIB is about collaboration, mentorship, women supporting women, and giving back to the community; the philanthropic legacy the organization has created for supporting women in the community speaks to the dedication and vision of the group, and allows me to be a part of something much greater than myself.

Word of mouth has always been an important part of business development but the power of personal experience, shared with real people, is life changing. Come out to an event and see firsthand how working together can fundamentally change the way we do business.
I have been aware of the organization Kelowna Women In Business for over 15 years, but had not considered joining until recently. In August 2014 I reached out to the executive to inquire about the organization, member turnout, benefits, costs and opportunities. I was immediately engaged by the membership co-ordinator, president, sponsorship co-ordinator and speaker director to answer all of my questions. I decided to join. A last minute cancellation opened up a sponsorship opportunity which I enthusiastically accepted. One of the benefits of event sponsorship is the ability to speak to the event attendees for 10 minutes. After the meeting I had a number of women in the group come up and introduce themselves, discuss the items presented, ask questions and compliment me on the presentation of our company. Someone within KWIB mentioned our company and presentation to a Professor at Okanagan College. We were contacted and ask to speak to 45 first year marketing students. What a wonderful experience that was. In a very short period of time, Kelowna Women In Business has helped me to get out and meet a number of amazing women within our community, has exposed me to great speakers, and has opened opportunities for me to make meaningful connections with supportive women both from a business standpoint but also from a personal level. Thanks KWIB. Looking forward to many years of "belonging".


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