The Honourable Chrystia Freeland announces over $1 million in Government of Canada support for Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec

News release

The Longueuil organization will be able to strengthen Quebec’s ecosystem for women entrepreneurs.

Longueuil, Quebec, July 20, 2021 Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

Quebec counts several dynamic businesses and organizations with innovative ideas helping to create a strong local economic fabric. As we launch into a vigorous recovery, some of them still need support to move past the pandemic and help ensure their communities remain robust. The Government of Canada has committed to assisting them as they pursue their activities and to fostering their growth and success.

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, accompanied by Sherry Romanado, Member of Parliament for Longueuil–Charles-LeMoyne, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED, announced $1,050,000 in financial support for the Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec. The non-profit organization, which has close to 2000 members, fosters growth among women-owned businesses, raises their profile and aims to enhance the vitality of women’s entrepreneurship. This non-repayable contribution will enable the organization to boost the performance of women‑owned businesses across all Quebec regions, by helping them access potential clients and diversify their markets. It will also lead to the creation and maintenance of jobs in Canada.

The Government of Canada recognizes and supports innovative businesses and organizations that are a source of pride in their communities. In particular, it is working closely with different groups across the population so they can benefit from equal opportunities and participate fully in the country’s economic prosperity. The Government of Canada is committed to fostering resilient, sustainable, inclusive growth for all.


“Although the recession caused by the pandemic has impacted all Canadians, women have been disproportionately affected. On the labour market, women were hit earlier and harder, and the jobs they held continue to return more slowly. Long-standing gender equality issues have been magnified during the pandemic, endangering decades of hard-earned progress women have made in the workplace. It has been a ‘she-cession.’ Our recovery plan includes investments that will position women at the centre of a renewed economy: a Canada-wide system of early learning and childcare, financial support for women entrepreneurs and stronger diversity in corporate governance. Today’s announcement will create more opportunities for Quebec’s businesswomen, enabling them to participate fully in our efforts to build a stronger, more resilient economy.”

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“We are living in a time where we must rethink how we support economic development to make it more inclusive and sustainable. Women entrepreneurs represent a source of inspiration in finding new pathways to prosperity for all. Boosting women’s entrepreneurship is a part of our economic recovery plan and is a priority for our government. By creating good jobs and participating in regional economic diversification, women entrepreneurs are spreading their know‑how across the country and beyond our borders.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED

“Small businesses, many of which are led by women entrepreneurs, are a core component of Quebec’s economic development. By supporting the Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec, we are ensuring these entrepreneurs have access to the targeted assistance they need to seize the opportunities that will arise as the economy recovers.”

Sherry Romanado, Member of Parliament for LongueuilCharles-LeMoyne

“The RFAQ’s raison d’être is to accelerate the growth of women entrepreneurs and businesswomen so they can be inspirational successes able to shine right around the world, and this project brings us closer to this goal while also enabling women entrepreneurs to contribute to the Quebec and Canadian economy.”

Ruth Vachon, President and CEO, Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec

Quick facts

  • Funds have been granted under CED’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program. This program targets entrepreneurs leveraging innovation to grow their businesses and enhance their competitiveness, as well as regional economic stakeholders helping to create an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation and growth for all, across all regions.

  • A successful economic recovery will depend, among other things, on the vaccination of as many Canadians as possible. To learn more: Vaccines for COVID-19.

  • The funding announced today is conditional on the signing of a contribution agreement between CED and the RFAQ.

  • CED is a key federal partner in Quebec’s regional economic development. With its 12 regional business offices, CED accompanies businesses, supporting organizations and all regions across Quebec into tomorrow’s economy.

Associated links


Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

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