March 8, 2016 7:31 pm
Updated: March 8, 2016 7:47 pm

Women empowered by becoming entrepreneurs

WATCH ABOVE: This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is gender equality, and that includes the workforce. So how are women faring in the Lethbridge workforce? Kimberly Tams finds out.

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LETHBRIDGE – Just over a year ago, Sandra Asuchak  went to a spin class in Calgary.

“I took the class and I left their exhilarated and so excited and I said Lethbridge needs something like this,” she said.

The spin class Asuchak took in Calgary got the wheels in motion for what she says set her up for a life-changing career move.

“I took the chance and here we are 18 months later.”

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On International Women’s Day, Asuchak feels empowered. Not only did she open Kinetic Indoor Cycle and Fitness, the first spin cycle gym in Lethbridge, she also received the Chamber of Commerce award for best new business venture.

“I love my work and I cannot even call it a job, ” she said.  “I wake up every morning not regretting what I did. I love the people I see first thing in the morning.”

Asuchak’s  story is becoming more common among Canadian women. According to the Global Women Entrepreneur Score Board in 2015,  18 per cent of Canadian women were involved in entrepreneur activity. In Alberta, that number climbed to 25 per cent.

“Jobs perhaps were not as secure as they once were. People see shifts in the economy and they are asking ‘how can  I protect myself and maybe I should be in business for myself,'” Trevor Lewington, with Economic Development Lethbridge, said.

Nine years ago, Denise Hammon also jumped on the entrepreneurial roller coaster. Hammon’s daughters have now joined her in a sweet business venture called Crazy Cakes.

“You get the benefits of meeting all these lovely people that come into your shop day to day. It’s a pride of ownership and seeing the product and the people that come in for cakes,” Hammon explained.

The provincial government is also pushing for more women to join the business world, saying a 20 per cent revenue growth among women-led businesses would represent $2-billion a year to Alberta’s GDP.

 

© 2016 Shaw Media

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