WeBC, a British Columbia (BC) organization that supports women business owners in the province, has appointed a new CEO.
The BC not-for-profit formerly known as the Women’s Enterprise Centre has selected Shauna Harper, a longtime entrepreneur and active member of BC’s small business community, as its next leader.
“I know first-hand how WeBC’s sustained support can help women grow their businesses and become strong leaders for their communities.”
Harper is set to assume the role on April 4, and plans to relocate to Okanagan later this year. She replaces Jill Earthy, who stepped down as WeBC CEO in December to lead InBC Investment Corp, the crown corporation spearheading the province’s new $500 million CAD strategic investment fund.
Harper has been a full-time entrepreneur for the past 22 years. She currently serves as CEO of Prince George-based marketing, research, and communications firm Live Work Communications and is a programs manager at Vancouver charity YELL Canada North. Prior to that, she co-founded grassroots innovation group Startup PG.
“I am passionate about making a difference for the small business community, so I’m delighted to join such an impactful organization with a provincial reach,” said Harper. “I first connected with WeBC as a volunteer mentor in 2007, so I know first-hand how WeBC’s sustained support can help women grow their businesses and become strong leaders for their communities.”
The new role is far from Harper’s first with WeBC, as she previously served as a group facilitator for two WeBC initiatives—the BC Economic Forum and regional Catalyst for Growth dialogues—facilitated mentoring groups for women entrepreneurs in Northern BC as part of WeBC’s mentoring program, and served on the organization’s board.
Harper’s past experience also includes serving as an advisor to the BC Premier’s Women’s Economic Council from 2014 to 2017 and serving as an advisor on the Government of Canada’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy in 2019.
WeBC Board Chair Renata King described Harper as “a collaborative leader who is passionate about community engagement and she brings a regional and rural perspective to her work.”
Harper said WeBC accomplished “strong growth” under Earthy’s leadership. Melanie Rupp, WeBC’s senior director of loans and advisory services, assumed the role of interim WeBC CEO following Earthy’s December departure.
Feature image courtesy WeBC