PARO comes to Haliburton County
By Vanessa Balintec
Non-profit organization PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise is looking for Haliburton County women who are interested in jump-starting their own businesses to join their peer lending circles.
On May 30, PARO held an information session in collaboration with the Haliburton County Development Corporation at their office.
PARO helps connect women by making peer-lending circles, groups of four to seven women, who can provide network opportunities, support, and mentorship. Women will also have access to grants and loans, training, and business plan development by PARO business growth advisors.
PARO has had a hand in creating 238 businesses, serving 119 communities, and 108 peer lending circles throughout Ontario. According to the organization, they have helped entrepreneurs access close to $6 million in grant dollars.
“It takes time, you know,” said Linda Cryderman, PARO business growth advisor. “North Bay blew up, but it took five years. It’s hard to get everyone together and meet up at the same time. But it’s fun just to get out, and see others, you know?”
Pat Bradley, inn sitter at MindYourInn, knows many women who may be interested and thinks this is a great idea for the area. “We can end up doing maybe a Minden one, then a Haliburton one, but then they can both be welcome at each other’s things,” said Bradley.
PARO is looking to host another information session once more interest and referrals have been received.