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Dubyts Communications News

Women helping women

The Women Business Owners of Manitoba supports local women entrepreneurs

By: Brenda Fehr

As a business owner, Christine Dubyts can appreciate the joys and challenges that come with being an entrepreneur. Dubyts brings those experiences to her role as president of the Women Business Owners of Manitoba (WBOM), a two year-post that she took on in July of 2009.

"I have a passion for this organization," she says. "I think it provides a real value to women entrepreneurs."

Based in Winnipeg, the WBOM is a non-profit independent organization designed to address the unique needs of the woman entrepreneur and to provide members with opportunities for personal and professional growth.

The organization also recognizes the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs in the community with its annual Woman Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

Dubyts says women from a wide variety of fields are part of the WBOM membership. Dubyts, who owns her own communications business, worked in marketing in the printing industry before starting her own business. Her first job out of high school was working in a Legal Aid office.

The WBOM president says she has found that patience and perseverance are important when it comes to being an entrepreneur. She also says it’s important to maintain your perspective and stay true to your moral fibre.

"It’s a reflection of you as a person."

Shannon Fontaine, CEO of the Manitoba Tourism Education Council, who has known Dubyts personally and professionally for several years, says Dubyts is a creative thinker and someone who always does what she says she’ll do.

Dubyts worked with the council on a rebranding campaign Fontaine says she took the time to sit down and talk with every employee as part of the process.

"She’s very professional and ethical and she’s a pleasure to work with."

Born in the small town of Eatonia, Sask., Dubyts grew up in a variety of places, ranging from Birds Hill to Grand Beach, as her father worked for the Department of Natural Resources. She has two sisters and, when asked her age, jokes that she is older than her younger sister and younger than her older sister.

Her studies brought her to Winnipeg where she graduated with honours from the University of Manitoba’s faculty of commerce with a major in marketing. Winnipeg is also where she met her husband. The couple has two children, and one of the reasons Dubyts wanted to start her own business was so that she would have the flexibility to spend more time with her kids. She says one of the best things about operating her business is helping other businesses communicate effectively and seeing them become more successful.

Dubyts says the Women Business Owners of Manitoba is a great resource for women business owners and offers everything from workshops to networking opportunities. Meetings are held monthly. Women entrepreneurs also have a wealth of knowledge to share with each other, she says, noting that experienced entrepreneurs can be a great resource to those just starting out.

Dubyts also notes that women represent a growing economic force in Canada and cites statistics that state there are more than 821,000 women entrepreneurs in Canada, that one third of self-employed Canadians are women and that women entrepreneurs hold ownership in about 45 per cent of Canadian small and medium enterprises.

Local entrepreneur Deb Dawson-Dunn, a professional life coach and speaker who has operated her business, Get It Dunn, for the past five years, is among those Canadian women entrepreneurs. Dawson-Dunn says the WBOM has been a great resource for her.

"The members are very supportive of each other," she says, noting that talking with other women entrepreneurs has continued to provide inspiration to her.

Dawson-Dunn says she has learned a lot from presentations made by guest speakers and has learned a lot from her fellow WBOM members. "If you have a question, they can tell you, ‘Here’s what I did,’ or ‘Here’s who you can talk to.’"

Dawson-Dunn has also worked together with Dubyts on the WBOM board and says she has been impressed and inspired by Dubyts’ creativity and determination.

"She has this idea that success is the only possibility — her focus is always ‘We are going to make this work.’"

There are currently more than 100 members of the Women Business Owners of Manitoba (WBOM) and Dubyts says she hopes to see that membership increase. A variety of membership categories are available, including a non-voting membership for students or retired entrepreneurs.

For more information about the Women Business Owners of Manitoba, including membership information and tips for entrepreneurs, visit or call 775-7981.

Contact Box Dubyts Communications Inc. Member of Woman Business Owners