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From Entrepreneur to Advisor: WEOC Spotlight Series features Dawn McCooey

By Orycia Karpa, WEOC Staff

For 15 years, Dawn McCooey has been giving one-on-one business guidance as an advisor for the Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC). Before Dawn started working at WEC, she owned a business in career and employment consulting for 18 years. With three offices in Victoria, British Columbia, Dawn employed and managed 32 staff members.

“Being an advisor is such a perfect fit for me because of my career and employment counselling experience,” says McCooey. “I really support women in business as a viable career option, so, the opportunity to work with women who have chosen entrepreneurship as their life goal fit so well with my background.”

With almost two decades of entrepreneurial experience, Dawn supports women entrepreneurs with the growth and direction of their businesses and brings an understanding to the table – especially considering all the juggling they do.

“When I was running my business, I had three young children, so, I know what it is like to have a six-week-old in one arm while answering the phone with the other,” says McCooey.

McCooey also completed a Master of Arts degree in Leadership and Training and Royal Roads University during that time.

“Going back to school gave me the solid academic base and helped me understand the importance of continuous learning,” says McCooey.

The most rewarding part of advising female entrepreneurs, says McCooey, is seeing their continual growth and confidence.

“I often remind my clients to congratulate themselves and celebrate their wins, because, women entrepreneurs often keep looking towards the next milestone or benchmark,” she says. “I think it is important to celebrate all along the way.”

Jenny Ambrose, owner/founder of The Makehouse, is one of Dawn’s clients at WEC. Since 2016, Dawn has helped Jenny relocate her business, scale up, and take on a five-year lease.

Jenny Ambrose, The Makehouse

“Dawn’s years of business experience helped me grow my business,” says Ambrose. “She genuinely cares about her clients and always comes up with helpful suggestions.”

As McCooey continues to advise clients at WEC as part of its no-cost advising service her hope is that they continue to learn, listen to advice, and make decisions that help them to realize their business potential.

Dawn’s book recommendation for a fellow advisor: The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jum Huling. Published by Free Press, NY, 2012.