Elcho Stewart

Elcho Stewart

Financial Security Advisor / Life Insurance Broker & Founder, Network of Black Business and Professional Women (NB²PW), Montreal, QC. Born: Jamaica.

After nearly 25 years as a Financial Security Advisor, Elcho saw a need for Black female professionals to have an opportunity to meet, support, and learn from each other. In 1995, she began the Network of Black Business and Professional Women in Montreal, Quebec, which grew to close to 300 members from all sectors including entrepreneurs, senior managers, and professionals. The group encourages Afro-centric networking and business building within the Black community, provides mentoring, and aids in promoting members and their area of expertise in the broader community. The NB²PW is now meeting in Ottawa, Ontario and is also a virtual community.

Elcho is a networker extraordinaire involved in a number of organizations. She has just completed her family memoir, I’m Satisfied, and is writing a new book, The Lonely Rooster, about her personal journey.

Other: Elcho publishes a monthly newsletter called, Web-Life Financial. She writes a business column, “Money Talk$”, in the Spectrum, an Ottawa-based community newspaper. She previously wrote a column bearing the same name in Montreal’s Community Contact.

Favourite Book? The Bible by far, but I have some favourite Black authors including George C. Fraser whose Success Runs in Our Race, inspired me to start the Network of Black Business and Professional Women back in 1995.

Favourite quote? “Don’t block the blessings.” Which is also the title of a book by the singer Patti Labelle, because it validated my belief in not holding back or dumbing-down for anyone. Somehow it does not conflict with my mother’s favourite saying, “I’m Satisfied,” which I have used as the title of my debut book. She taught me to love myself, enjoy the here and now, and what I have; even as I strive for more.

Given the chance what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? I need to fulfill my promise to my late grandmother, to use the land that she lost unfairly that I have since purchased, for the betterment of women.

Who inspires you? I am inspired by my parents, Levi and Mural Stewart, as well as my late husband, William Bain. They had integrity, honesty, decency, and loyalty, to a fault, and they gave much more than they took.

What makes you do what you do? My mother believed in having her own source of income which has influenced my becoming an independent business practitioner. Also, when I was a child growing up in Jamaica, I observed the day-to-day dance between the matriarchy and the male machismo. Therefore, I was not surprised to hear that Nelson Mandela is reputed to have said that the future of Africa rests in the hands of its women. I live every day believing that the merging of my two passions: financial security planning and networking makes a real difference in our community – starting with women.

Education: B. Comm., Concordia University, Montreal; Vanier College, Montreal; Mannings (High) School, Westmoreland, Jamaica.

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