When Cree8iv Collaboration founder Sharon Marshall came to ABM Indigenous: Vancouver Island this year, she hoped to establish some business relationships to help her move her new program forward. The event exceeded her expectations when she left with sponsorship secured – sponsorship that allowed her to begin helping Indigenous women forge a new career.
Sharon recently founded the Digital Executive Virtual Assistant (DEVA) Online Training Program. Its aim is to support Indigenous Virtual Assistants to work with entrepreneurs and executives globally to systemize their personal and professional lives, giving them opportunities to create economies in remote communities, and ultimately lowering the unemployment rate for Indigenous people.
As a mixed heritage self-employed systems and administrative specialist, Sharon has worked with entrepreneurs and executives and all levels of government for over 30 years, on everything from designing and preparing annual reports for local government and NGOs to planning fundraising gala events to training and facilitating meetings and workshops.
In 2005, Sharon discovered virtual support and realized she had a passion for providing remote administrative, creative and technical support to entrepreneurs and executives globally. Her mission to empower Indigenous women to find their voice fits perfectly within this fresh focus.
The new Digital Executive Virtual Assistant (DEVA) Online Training Program is offered online and includes 16 modules for 16 weeks and a four-week paid practicum. Sharon met her first sponsor David Carson of Land Forest People at ABM. She says “David and his team work closely with many Indigenous organizations in British Columbia and supporting the DEVA pilot was a no-brainer for him. Teaching digital literacy and the digital tools to create efficiencies and even jobs is what will help to bridge the digital and social divide between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous economy.”
The excitement of her success at ABM hasn’t worn off yet. “Because of this sponsorship, we can launch the pilot course, and that, in turn, will create opportunities for Indigenous women to find new success. I can’t even begin to imagine what they and we can accomplish in the future!
I would highly recommend signing on to the ABM network. Their events are high energy and you meet a lot of people. It’s a great way to network. I really enjoyed the experience. It’s such a brilliant idea.”
Sharon shares her experience in this video testimonial, where she also provides more information about DEVA:
If you’d like to meet Sharon, she’ll be at ABM Indigenous: Vancouver Island at the Songhees Innovation Centre, March 16 – 18, 2020.