Minister Chagger announces investment to support women entrepreneurs in Waterloo
Government of Canada investing over $1.3 million as part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy
August 22, 2019 – Waterloo, Ontario
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 Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Waterloo, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier) as a WES Ecosystem Fund (Regional Stream) recipient. Laurier will be receiving up to $1,385,000 to offer support to women entrepreneurs at the early start-up stage and those looking to accelerate their businesses through their incubation/acceleration space. A particular focus will be given to non-tech sectors and entrepreneurs creating social enterprises. This funding is administered through FedDev Ontario.
This echoes an announcement, made by Minister Ng earlier today in Toronto, in support of Wilfrid Laurier University, along with eighty-two other women entrepreneurs and women-led organizations.
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy complements the Government of Canada’s efforts to advance gender equality. These efforts include addressing pay equity, providing more affordable child care and putting an end to gender-based violence.
“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
“I am proud to be part of a government that supports women-owned and -led businesses across Waterloo Region to export to new markets. We created the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which will double the number of women-owned businesses in Canada over the next six years, enabling more businesses to innovate and grow. The full and equal participation of women in our economy and society is a priority for our government.”
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Waterloo
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.
In Budget 2018, the WES Ecosystem Fund was allocated $85 million to help non-profit, third-party organizations deliver support for women entrepreneurs and address gaps in the ecosystem.
In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada allocated $20 million to the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. Following the call for applications held in fall 2018, over 3,000 applications were received and over 200 projects were funded. The Government is pleased to be able to support approximately 100 more projects by investing an additional $10 million in the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. With this additional investment, the Government is providing a total of $30 million to women-owned and ‑led businesses across Canada to grow their businesses and reach new markets.
WES complements our government’s broader initiatives to advance gender equality. These initiatives include measures on pay equity, more flexible parental leave and more affordable child care.
Advancing gender equality has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP to the Canadian economy by 2026.
Just 16% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada are majority women-owned.
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.
- Women Entrepreneurship Strategy
- Canada Business App
- Innovation and Skills Plan
- Canadian Trade Commissioner Service
- Accelerated Growth Service
- Industrial Research Assistance Program
- Innovative Solutions Canada
- Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative
- Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
- Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
- Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
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