Photo of the 2018 Business Sisters audience & host Doreen Ashton Wagner

Sat. Oct. 26, 2019 – 8:00am – 5:00pm – Glengarry Sports Palace, Alexandria, ON


This event has ended. Stay tuned for the official announcement for 2020!

Check out the Wrap-Up and the article that appeared in the Glengarry News.

Introducing The Business Sisters Conference:

Are you a woman entrepreneur looking to connect with other Eastern Ontario business owners for QUALITY business education and networking?

Then you’re in the right place!

Join us for The Business Sisters Conference. No matter what industry you’re in; agriculture, retail, foodservice, professional services… You are welcome here! This is a unique event for all types of women entrepreneurs from all over Eastern Ontario.

If you’re passionate about your business, and eager to meet other women who operate a business in a small town or rural area, you’ll LOVE The Business Sisters Conference.

By attending this event you will walk away with:

  • Time & money-savings hacks to help you in your business NOW
  • Practical tips to keep you motivated and healthy while managing family & business obligations
  • New connections with partners and agencies willing to invest time and money in your success
  • Tasty food with lots of gluten-free and vegetarian options, plus a Wine & Cheese Reception
  • BONUS: you get to network with other business sisters and create a community!

This event is for you if:

  • You are an established business owner and you’re looking for business sisters to share and learn about what works and what doesn’t
  • You have started your business, and you need help! In our community, you are a business sister too
  • You are a community leader or government official and you care about female entrepreneurs and their positive influence in economic development
  • You are a corporate business leader and you are eager to work with women entrepreneurs to help them grow their business (ask us about partnership opportunities!)

We’re planning a day FULL of highly interactive and engaging sessions, with lots of time to network and get to know one another.

Conference 2019 all-day pass $149 + tax & EventBrite fee includes all education and networking sessions, breakfast, lunch, breaks and wine & cheese reception.

Here’s the Agenda:

  • 8:oo Registration + Healthy Breakfast
  • 8:30 Building a Thriving Ecosystem for Rural Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners, with Host Doreen Ashton Wagner of
  • 9:00 Learn to Network like a CEO
    • Whether you’ve been in business for 10 years or 10 days, networking isn’t always something that comes easily. Yet it’s proven that your business social network can make a BIG difference. In this session we’ll learn from Diana Lidstone, The Entrepreneur’s G.P.S. how to network with ease, turn business cards into opportunity!
  • 9:30 Break
  • 9:45 Beyond the $$$: Negotiating For Those Who Hate Negotiations!
    • Does negotiating feel like haggling to you? How do you feel when a client wants a discount? Are you at ease making a counter-offer or maintaining your position without feeling like you could be losing the deal? Many of us feel uncomfortable with negotiations, and that’s why we’re bringing in acclaimed mediator and trainer Ruth Sirman to get us up to speed!
    • In this session, we will learn about INTEREST-BASED NEGOTIATION, a strategy where parties collaborate towards a “FAIR-FAIR” outcome (as opposed to win-win, which still can leave people feel like they are losing). You don’t want to miss this!
  • 11:00 Break
  • 11:15 Partner Showcase 1
  • 11:30 Playing with the Big Boys
    • Women entrepreneurs still are a minority. Sometimes we’re the ONLY woman in the room – something tech entrepreneur Shannon Ferguson of FanSaves knows well. This Cornwall resident has been “pitching” her sports marketing app in Ottawa, Toronto and even BERLIN, Germany! She shares her practical tips about calling out bias and getting ahead authentically in a man’s world and beyond!
  • 12:15 Partner Showcase 2
  • 12:30 Buffet Lunch (with vegetarian & gluten-free options!)
  • 13:15 Expert Tables Facilitated Discussions on Practical Subjects. Choose a topic for the first 40 minutes and move to another topic for another round! Lots to choose from:
    • 7 Tips to More Profits with Diana Lidstone
    • Turning your Website into a Client-Getting Machine with Genevieve Rochon
    • Getting the RIGHT Support for your Business – When to Hire, When to Automate with Tracey D’Aviero
    • Protecting your Intellectual Property (Hint: if you have a business, you have IP!) with Heather Boyd
    • How to Be Laser-Focused when the Sh*t Hits the Fan with Ann Max
    • The Essential Toolkit for Resilience in Business with Betty Healey
    • Decisions Made Easy – Tapping Into Your Inner Guidance System with Laurie-ann Sheldrick
    • Building & sustaining your network (PARO Circles – in French & English) with Marie-Josée Lévesque
    • Planning Ahead to Sell or Retire – Succession Planning Tips (in French & English) with Marie-Claude Péloquin of Desjardins and Raina Sharma of BDC
    • Payment Methods – Choosing What’s Right for Your Business (in French & English) with Patrick Brodeur of Desjardins
    • Scaling Up — Options to Grow with Rose D’Amato of BDC & Lesley Thompson of CFDC.
  • 14:45 Break – fuel up for the home stretch!
  • 15:00 Lessons Learned – A Fireside Chat with Trailblazers
  • 16:00 Bringing It Home – Closing Remarks, Draws
  • 16:15 Wine & Cheese Reception

Please be aware that photos and videos may be taken during the event.

*Cette conférence sera présentée majoritairement en anglais. Toutefois, notre maîtresse de cérémonie et un bon nombre de conférencières sont bilingues /francophones. Plusieurs commentaires seront en français et nous offrirons l’opportunité de poser des questions en français. Notre but est définitivement de développer notre caractère Franco-Ontarien!

This event exists because:

  • Women in small towns and rural areas are under-served when it comes to networking and business education opportunities.
  • We need support and to get to know one another. As a group, we are incredibly strong!
  • We need to make noise about what we represent for community and economic development!

This event would not be viable without the support of:

For more information:

Contact Doreen Ashton Wagner at or call 613-362-4474.