Opening Doors to New Experiences:
Bita & Angela
The IWMS Mentorship Program offers a short eight-week mentorship experience, bringing together members of the community, and artists and makers who are engaged in entrepreneurial activities. IWMS is proud to partner with the CWB Business Incubator for Women Entrepreneurs program, supported by DIVERSEcity and funded by Canadian Western Bank, to support women to courageously move their creative and entrepreneurial pursuits forward in new directions.
CWB Business Incubator for Women Entrepreneurs, a 20-week program, develops the entrepreneurial skills of women with creative skills and ideas, building peer networks among women entrepreneurs. To further build these peer networks, DIVERSEcity’s CWB Business Incubator for Women Entrepreneurs created a business community called Infinity Womenpreneurs, a website and collective where participants of the program showcase and promote their products. These programs create a network of support for women entrepreneurs to grow and develop their businesses, and to participate in mentorships to expand connections and confidence.
IWMS matched Bita Jamalpour and Angela Fama in the first round of our mentorship program in the summer of 2021. We noted that both women have a deep and invested interest in individual and social narratives and connections around a variety of intriguing topics. Bita has a Ph.D. in Urban Studies and has been a social researcher in Canada and her country of origin, Iran. In 2021 Bita established the Logue, a Canadian community contribution project (CCC) that offers a unique multimedia experience based on immigrants’ stories. Her IWMS mentor, Angela Fama, is an interdisciplinary artist and photographer currently based in Vancouver, BC, and her work examines the inner and outer connections that can be made pushing at the edges of the barriers surrounding ‘sticky’ subjects such as trauma, identity, love, and death.
They began their first conversation over coffee, and over the eight weeks of the mentorship program met both in person and virtually, discussing and exploring Bita’s project and her vision, and her ideas and needs to move her project forward. For Bita, the program was a great opportunity to meet with someone who could help her to have a better perspective of her future path, brainstorming about her ideas when they are not ready to be presented to the real market.” Bita commented that “Spending time with a professional artist was a blessing. I was always looking to learn more from people in the art business, but I didn’t have a chance. My mentor opened that door for me, and I gained a new point of view which was not possible to do by myself.” Angela remarked that this was an opportunity to meet an individual who she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to know and moreover, to experience their line of knowledge. She described their conversations as “regenerative”, and reflected on how they are “two very empowered intersectional feminist voices with two different perspectives” meeting as both mentor and mentee, as well as peers.
The relationships that develop during the short IWMS mentorship can provide each person with a rich experience that provides opportunities to bring individuals together, strengthening our sense of community and connection. We thank Bita Jamalpour and Angela Fama for participating in the IWMS Mentorship Program, and for giving and sharing of themselves in this unique experience.
You can find Bita Jamalpour and Angela Fama in the following social media spaces.