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Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM (WESTEM) Program

The Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM (WESTEM) program is here to empower, support and train all women entrepreneurs in Southern Alberta. We specialise in working with professional women in STEM fields, and helping all female entrepreneurs incorporate emerging technologies into their businesses.

This is
our story

With funding from the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, Economic Development Lethbridge and Tecconnect have created a program for Women Entrepreneurs offering training, networking, mentorship and access to current and emerging technologies.

The Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM (WESTEM) program focuses on advancing gender, rural-urban and racial equality in entrepreneurialism. This is achieved by supporting under-represented women in rural and remote regions of Southern Alberta and creating a female-based community of practice and a highly collaborative and streamlined network.

In partnership with current and future women entrepreneurs, business advisors, business leaders, mentors, entrepreneurial organisations, and post-secondary institutions, we offer programming specific to the needs of the participants of the WESTEM program.

If you are a woman working in a STEM field considering starting your own business, a woman considering starting a company, or a current female entrepreneur, we can help you build and grow your dream business!

Helpful Links & Documents


Please visit this list of other valuable resources that can help you start, build and grow your business in Southern Alberta.

Meet our team

Get the Support You Need

Our team is ready and happy to support you on your entrepreneurial journey.

Suzanne Ebelher

Suzanne Ebelher

Project Team Lead, CMC, CPHR, MBA

Suzanne brings over 20 years of experience supporting entrepreneurs across Alberta through start up and acceleration coaching. She has a strong understanding of supports available for Alberta entrepreneurs and loves to dive deep to source strategic solutions for clients. Emerging technology is just one more way to support and advance business, hence her excitement to join the team!

Suzanne works collaboratively with her clients to help facilitate decision making and business improvements by providing the necessary support documentation, policies, processes, tools and plans in order to achieve their desired goals and vision of success.

Before her career in management consulting, Suzanne grew up in Medicine Hat, AB, fueling her passion for supporting entrepreneurs in rural and remote settings. In her spare time. she volunteers with Cochrane Humane Society and CPHR Alberta, she loves to garden, golf and is a newbie beekeeper.

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Jenny Bourne

Jenny Bourne

Project Team Senior Coordinator, BA, B.Ed, MA

Jenny comes to the Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM program with over 25 years of experience working in diverse communities and organisations both across Canada and internationally. Having worked in public schools in Ontario and Nunavik, and in instructional and managerial roles in colleges and universities in South Korea, Kazakhstan and China internationally, and in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta domestically, Jenny has developed a passion for community organisation and serving students/clients that may have difficulties accessing the same opportunities as their peers.

Jenny has cherished her many life-enhancing experiences working and volunteering in various provinces and countries, supporting women and other marginalised groups as they strive to achieve their goals, and is thrilled to continue to do so in beautiful Southern Alberta. In her free time Jenny loves to travel, hike, do yoga, read, garden and frolic with her menagerie of animals.

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Julieta Fuentes Aceytuno

Julieta Fuentes Aceytuno

Library & Rural/Remote Engagement Coordinator

Julieta comes to us with extensive experience in many different government service positions. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and she studied International Relations at the University of El Salvador. Julieta has experience working with rural and remote stakeholders, has created and implemented internal programs and protocols, project management experience, developed labour relations policies, overseen and conducted research projects for international officials, coordinated intergovernmental meetings and conferences and overseen the execution of marketing strategies for events including websites, newsletters and other social media.

Julieta is responsible for delivering programming through the Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM program to women business owners in all rural in remote areas of Southern Alberta in partnership with strategic alliances such as the Chinook Arch Regional Library System. Julieta is a passionate community supporter and is always looking for ways to help people be the best they can be.

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Chantelle Ball

Chantelle Ball

Marketing Coordinator

Chantelle joined the Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM team with several years of experience working as a marketing assistant for a local Lethbridge business. Chantelle has a diploma in Digital Communication and Media specializing in Media Production and Advertising as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Professional Communication. After graduating from college, Chantelle worked as a practicum student at the Lethbridge Alzheimer’s Society which was a life changing experience for her. During her internship, Chantelle saw communications work in a new light. She got to experience the side of communications that brings people together and can be used to make a change in the community. This passion to be involved with organizations that support their communities is what drew Chantelle to the Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM program.

Chantelle believes her creative side is her strongest asset and she loves to nourish her creativity through fashion, travel, photography and dance. When she’s not studying for her latest degree, she can be found in the dog park with her Golden Retriever named Rey.

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Anna Virtanen

Anna Virtanen

Accounting and Administrative Coordinator

Anna brings the Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM Program several years of experience in administrative and customer service-focused positions in both Canada and internationally. Anna is originally from Finland, where she studied and graduated with a Master of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting. Having experience collaborating closely with project managers and upper level executives providing administrative support and managing other office activities, Anna is dedicated to enhancing the team’s productivity and improving its operations.

Anna is very organized and detail oriented. In addition to being a numbers person, she is passionate about corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Anna is thrilled to join the team as she has always wanted to be part of an organization that is making a positive impact on people and businesses. In her free time, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, baking and spending time with her dog Leo. 

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You have a vision.
We can help you get there.

In order for us to streamline programming best suited to your needs, please complete the survey that best describes you:

Are you a female entrepreneur residing in Southern Alberta? If so, we want to hear from you!

Are you a Professional Woman in a STEM field and interested in launching/growing your business? If so, this is the survey for you!

Join the Community!

Join our WESTEM community and get all of the latest news and updates on Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM. You’ll be the first to know about events, programs, and get access to resources that will help your business grow!

We’re Here to Help

In order to get started, please reach out! You can contact us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or by traditional email or phone!

Send us a Message!

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