Minister Jordan announces Women Entrepreneurship Strategy investments in Atlantic Canada
The Centre for Women in Business and the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs get boost
July 9, 2019 – Halifax, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
The full and equal participation of women in the economy is essential to Canada’s competitiveness because when women succeed, everyone succeeds. That’s why the Government of Canada is advancing women’s economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.
Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margarets, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced two non-repayable investments totaling $4,025,892 in WES funding to the Centre for Women in Business (CWB) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE).
The Centre for Women in Business will use an investment of $2,085,600 to develop and deliver an intensive management program called “Greater Heights for Growth.” The program will target women business owners who have built profitable businesses and are generating revenue of $1M or more. Recruitment will focus on high-growth companies in sectors where women are often underrepresented, including ocean-tech, agri-tech, advanced manufacturing and information technology (IT).
An investment of $1,940,292 will enable The Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) to create the Atlantic Canadian Women in Business Growth Partnership in partnership with the Centre for Women in Business, the PEI Business Women’s Association (PEIBWA) and the NB Association of CBDCs (NBACBDCs) Women in Business Initiative. This new initiative will address gaps in the entrepreneurship ecosystem for women-owned businesses.
These two projects will support women business owners in Atlantic Canada by giving them mentorship and management training they need to scale their businesses and grow.
The Government of Canada is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive economy that ensures a better quality of life for all. Support for these projects, and others like them, encourages greater participation by women in the economy, and helps more majority women-owned companies grow into world-class businesses that will fuel Canada’s economic growth and build a stronger middle class. It also demonstrates how the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of greater long-term economic prosperity in the region.
“Our government believes that women’s economic empowerment is not just the right thing to do; it’s good for the bottom line. That’s why we launched the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a strategy that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by increasing their access to financing, networks and advice. It’s a smart investment with an economic and social return.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
“The women entrepreneurs and business leaders of Atlantic Canada make incredible contributions to our economy and community every day. I’m proud to be part of a government that takes women’s economic empowerment seriously. From tackling pay equity to modernizing parental leave, this government is taking action on gender equality, and that’s good for Canada and good for Atlantic Canada because when women succeed, we all succeed.”
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margarets
“A solid business model gives businesses a critical foundation to innovate and grow. The Greater Heights for Growth program will help women business owners build and improve this foundation, propelling their companies to even greater economic and social returns in Nova Scotia and beyond. Without the assistance of the federal government, the development and delivery of this program to high growth clients would not be possible.”
– Tanya Priske, Executive Director, Centre for Women in Business
“The Atlantic Canadian Women in Business Growth Partnership will address the gap of women starting businesses in the trades, technology and STEM related fields and the low number of indigenous women, new immigrants, women with disabilities and women in rural areas through targeted programming, training and mentorship opportunities. The WES funding provides an exciting opportunity for NLOWE, and our partners CWB, PEIBWA and NBACBDCs to share best practices, refine current materials and establish new programming specifically tailored to meet the needs of the women we serve. Together we will assist women entrepreneurs to start, grow and expand their businesses.”
– Jennifer Bessell, CEO, Newfoundland & Labrador Organization for Women Entrepreneurs
There are approximately 53,000 self-employed women in Atlantic Canada.
For over 27 years, the Centre for Women in Business has dedicated its resources to helping women business owners, across all sectors, grow their companies.
Since its inception, the CWB has worked with over 16,000 clients.
Over the last two years, the CWB has delivered programming to more than 250 high-growth firms in Atlantic Canada.
Since 1997, the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization for Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) has assisted women successfully establish and expand businesses in NL and facilitates their participation in community economic development processes.
NLOWE serves over 1,100 women entrepreneurs annually.
Each year NLOWE provides over 4,000 business consultations, over 50 training events, and provides networking opportunities through the annual conference, networking meetings and special events.
In Atlantic Canada, fewer than one in six (15%) small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are majority-owned by women.
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) will help women start and grow their businesses by improving access to financing, talent, networks and expertise through an investment of nearly $2 billion.
The strategy will help our government achieve its goal of doubling the number of majority women-owned businesses by 2025.
As a part of Budget 2018, the Women Entrepreneurship Fund was allocated $20 million. Following a call for applications, held in fall 2018 and which resulted in over 3,000 applications received, over 200 projects were funded. The Government of Canada is pleased to be able to support approximately 100 more projects by investing an additional $10 million in the Women Entrepreneurship Fund, to provide a total of $30 million to women-owned and led businesses across Canada to grow their businesses and reach new markets.
WES programs complement the Government of Canada’s broader initiatives to advance gender equality. These initiatives include measures on pay equity, more flexible parental leave and more affordable childcare.
Advancing gender equality has the potential to gradually add $150 billion to the value of goods and services produced in Canada by 2026.
Just 16% of SMEs in Canada are majority women-owned and only 10% of high-growth companies in Canada are owned by women.
Only 11.2% of majority women-owned SMEs export, compared to 12.2% of majority male-owned SMEs.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Canada 2015/16 Report on Women’s Entrepreneurship indicated that in 2016 Canada had the highest percentage of women participating in early-stage activity (13.3%) and the fifth highest in terms of female ownership of established businesses among comparable innovation-based economies.
Final funding is subject to negotiation of contribution agreements.
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)
Chief Operating Officer
709-754-4761 / 709-691-2740 (cell)
Centre for Women in Business
902-457-6522 / 902-221-0929 (cell)
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