We are thrilled to announce the Milli Gould Entrepreneurial Centre – YWCA Hamilton’s education, training and start-up hub for women-led businesses!
This vital program supports new and existing women-led businesses with one-on-one coaching, business plan training, financial literacy, mentoring and digital support services. Thanks to a transformational gift from the Allen and Milli Gould Foundation, it will bear the name of one of Hamilton’s most respected and admired woman entrepreneurs.
Milli Gould was a style icon, a savvy businesswoman, and a dedicated philanthropist who built a retail empire in Hamilton and Toronto during more than 55 years in the fashion industry. She launched her business in the late 1960s – a time when women entrepreneurs were still a rarity – becoming a household name in Hamilton and Toronto when it came to all things style and fashion.
Milli was also a long-time supporter and friend of YWCA Hamilton. A Woman of Distinction award winner in 2008, Milli had previously supported her namesake program with a transformational $50,000 gift through the Allen and Milli Gould Foundation. It was common to see her at the program graduation ceremonies, where she listened, answered questions, and inspired.
“I believe women need to help each other,” she said at the time.
After Milli’s death in 2019 at the age of 86, YWCA Hamilton lost a friend and a long-time advocate. We are so honoured that Milli’s family has chosen to recognize her legacy in this deeply meaningful way, and that future generations of women entrepreneurs in Hamilton will continue to be inspired by her.
“My mother was an inspiration to many women on many levels,” said Ben Gould, Milli’s son. “Her business was her passion, and as a woman, she faced many gender-driven hurdles and obstacles. It was always her goal to provide a helping hand to women who aspire to emulate her success — many of whom continue to face similar daunting challenges. Her legacy of empowering women will continue with this partnership with the YWCA.”
“The ability to start your own business is a crucial step towards economic freedom for so many women,” said Sarah Ernest, Director of Philanthropy and Communications at YWCA Hamilton. “We are so proud to receive such a generous gift that will allow more women to realize both their dreams and their full economic potential.”
If you would like to learn more about the Milli Gould Women’s Entrepreneurial Centre, or if you are interested in small business training, mentorship, or boosting your digital skills, please get in touch with us! Click on the button below to learn more about these exciting programs.