Women entrepreneurs invited to apply for grants

Important to instill confidence, says Shannon Passero

THOROLD — She’s built a successful clothing business that earlier this year earned her a prestigious Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year award, and now Shannon Passero wants to help other women entrepreneurs reach their full potential.

For the second year in a row, the owner of Shannon Passero Design Inc. — who opened up a design studio and retail outlet in the historic former Thorold fire hall — is making two, $12,500 grants available to female business owners who employ a philosophy of sustainability.

Passero’s Women’s Business Grant program seeks applicants from wholly women-owned, Ontario-based businesses that combine the principles of social consciousness, sustainability, and innovation to create new businesses or invigorate existing ones.

In addition to key social principles, an essential for each applicant is a solid business plan and a strategy for long-term growth. The two grant recipients’ receive $12,500 each, with the intention to inspire women to pursue new opportunities and creative solutions, Passero said.

“Now more than ever, it is time to instill confidence in woman entrepreneurs,” she said. “I want to encourage creative business women with a focus on introducing and developing new innovative products.”

Passero said the grants are, in part, about having women entrepreneurs believe in themselves.

 “It is so important to have someone believe in your work, and in this economic climate I hope to empower new opportunities through this financial support,” she said.

Grant deadline for grant applications is  Oct. 15.  Applications can only be submitted electronically, and applicants will have to include information on what inspires them, how the grant would help take the business to the next level, and if recycled or repurposed materials are used in products.

Niagara This Week – St. Catharines – By Paul Forsyth