New business

Maryam Monsef, former MP for Peterborough-Kawartha, is launching a new business

Former Peterborough-Kawartha MP and cabinet minister Maryam Monsef has launched her new consultancy firm, Onward.

A website went live on Friday offering Monsef’s services as a speaker, workshop and retreat facilitator, and individual consultant specializing in helping “professional women feeling stuck at a difficult time in their lives.” to grow and progress.

“It’s a consultancy for women leaders and their allies who may be struggling or looking to maximize their impact,” the website explains.

Although Monsef hinted on social media in early July that she was planning to launch a new venture and then later invited supporters to a preview presentation about it at Market Hall, Friday was the public unveiling and launch. of Onward.

Monsef served as the Liberal MP for Peterborough-Kawartha for six years from 2015 and held various ministerial portfolios (the last being Minister for Gender Equality).

She stood for election in September but was defeated by Conservative MP Michelle Ferreri.

Onward’s website points out that Monsef escaped the Taliban in Afghanistan: she, her mother and her sisters arrived in Peterborough as refugees when Monsef was 11.

She then dabbled in community organizing in Peterborough – she co-founded the Red Pashmina campaign to help Afghan women in 2010, for example – and in 2015 she was first elected and immediately appointed to the cabinet.

But on her website, Monsef says 2021 has been a “painful” year for her, having lost the election around the same time Afghanistan once again fell to the Taliban.

“I couldn’t feel the fire in my stomach anymore,” she wrote on the Onward website. “I felt like there was nothing left to give.”

After taking time to grieve and heal, she wrote, she phoned 100 local women to see if she could be of service to them for various causes they were working on.

But she found plenty of burnt-out women — some pulling out of promotions, for example, or retiring early.

After talking it over with an entrepreneur, she wrote, she developed a business idea to “create positive change in the lives of women and those who support us.”

“Onward is a natural extension of who I’ve always been and what I’ve always done,” Monsef says online.

“It’s about helping others, healing wounds and extending kindness. It’s about bringing people together, giving hope and building relationships. Onward is about sharing our collective stories in this journey of life.

Although its rates are not mentioned, people are encouraged to contact Monsef through the site.

An additional service – a podcast – is expected soon.

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