The Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM (WESTEM) program was launched in July of 2019 through funding from Western Economic Diversification – Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Program. Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL) was tasked and funded to offer mentoring, training and other entrepreneurial supports for women led businesses and start-ups in southern Alberta. In an effort to reach rural/remote areas, a monthly podcast titled WEcast was launched in July of 2021 and so far, has produced 14 unique episodes featuring innovative women leading the way for entrepreneurial success in STEM in the region.
The WEcast podcast was designed to amplify the voices, and tell the stories of self-identified women entrepreneurs, and those who support them, across the rural regions of southern Alberta. A wide array of topics, interviews and success stories helped to create a fresh episode each month and allowed hosts and producers to highlight and feature the many ups and downs of women entrepreneurs in the region. These stories and firsthand experiences offered female entrepreneurs in southern Alberta a way to feel part of a community and identify with challenges and experiences they may currently be having on their own entrepreneurial journey.
One of the many program deliverables included the inclusion and showcasing of women entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups in southern Alberta. Stories from women entrepreneurs in southern Alberta from within Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+, Immigrant, Persons with Disabilities, Black, and Visible Minority groups were just some of the inspirational stories in the WEcast library.
Highlighting these journeys and those of many more innovative women, is the reason WEcast was named in the top 4 Women in Business Podcasts to listen to in 2021 on the blog site Feedspot. A distinction that measured thousands of the best Canadian Women in Business podcasts and ranked them by traffic, social media followers, domain authority and freshness.
By use of audio, the WESETM team used podcasting as a medium to highlight the passion and successes of their guests. The real-life experiences of the guests combined with the informal approach of WEcast’s host created an atmosphere more akin to friends or colleagues discussing what’s important to them personally and professionally than a formal interview and invited listeners to be a third party to the conversations, gaining inspiration they could apply to their own entrepreneurial journey.
As WEcast is available on all major podcasting services and YouTube, anyone, anywhere can download or stream an episode. The reach of WEcast truly is global and helps elevate the work being done by many women led entrepreneurs and professionals in southern Alberta.