Women in business are being celebrated across the province by the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE).
In Carbonear, two women have been nominated for the prestigious province wide Youth Entrepreneur of the Year award for NLOWE, an annual award presented to a female business owner under 35 years of age, with a company between two and five years old.
Shannon Doyle and Natalie Austin were notified in the past week they have both been nominated.
Doyle is a mother of two young boys and the owner of Heart and Sole. Ltd., a brand name clothing and footwear company in the Trinity Conception Square mall.
The 29-year-old, who is originally from Ochre Pit Cove, has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (co-op) from Memorial University, and has previously worked as a senior departmental auditor for the former provincial department of human resources, labour and employment.
She decided to open the store while on maternity leave because she didn’t want to commute to St. John’s for work every day. Instead, she realized there was a need for a company like Heart and Sole in the local area.
Her business, which turns two on July 2, has been rapidly growing over its short lifespan.
When Doyle opened Heart and Sole, she was located in a small location with very little room. She was using a change room as a stockroom.
“We were literally opening the change room door, grabbing a pair of shoes and closing the door as fast as we could,” Doyle told The Compass in her store June 3.
After three months Doyle had to move locations. She explained the business outgrew the space, and she relocated across the hall to a larger, corner location.
Standing in the stockroom of her store, she admitted that she still doesn’t have much space, but it’s working for her and her staff.
Doyle is unaware of who nominated her for the award.
She has also been notified she was nominated for the “Start up” award.
“(The start up award) recognizes an entrepreneur who has owned and operated a profitable business for a minimum of two years to a maximum of five,” the award’s criteria on the NLOWE website says.
Heart and Sole won the Trinity Conception Square merchant’s association Store of the Year award for 2013.
Natalie Austin has also been nominated for the youth entrepreneur award.
The Compass spoke briefly with Austin, who confirmed the nomination.
She has confirmed a meeting with a Compass reporter. Details on her business enterprise and her reaction to the nomination will be available tomorrow on cbncompass.ca.
The Compass attempted to get the names of all those in the Trinity-Conception-Placentia region who have been nominated from NLOWE, but the information was denied for confidentiality reasons.
Winners will be announced on or before Oct. 3, 2014.