FedDev Ontario Announces Support for Francophone Women Entrepreneurs 

News release

$350,000 to establish micro-fund to help women entrepreneurs in Francophone communities develop and grow their businesses

August 30, 2019 — Ottawa, Ontario               

The contributions of official language minority communities (OLMCs) are vital to sustainable growth, economic opportunity and prosperity in Canada. The participation of women in these communities—and across Canada—is crucial to those achievements.

Today, Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Vanier, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, announced a FedDev Ontario contribution of up to $350,000 for La Fondation franco-ontarienne (FFO) to establish a new micro-loan pool for Francophone women entrepreneurs.

This micro-loan pool, targeted specifically at newcomers to Canada, youth, and social enterprises, will provide loans of up to $15,000 to at least 50 Francophone women entrepreneurs as they develop and grow their businesses. With FedDev Ontario funding, FFO will establish, capitalize and promote this new micro-fund and leverage partnerships with local French-language businesses to offer training, mentorship and support to Francophone women entrepreneurs accessing the fund. As a result of this project, FFO expects to create up to 90 jobs in the region.

FedDev Ontario’s funding for FFO is through the Economic Development Initiative (EDI), a national program delivered by the regional development agencies across Canada, which builds on the strengths of each region to facilitate sustainable economic growth in OLMCs. 


“As a key contributor to the vitality and prosperity of Francophone communities in Ontario, La Fondation franco-ontarienne will now be able to help more women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, promoting continued economic growth here in Ottawa and across southern Ontario and creating good quality jobs in our region.”
– Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Vanier

“Our government is committed to fostering the growth of innovative, homegrown businesses and helping our Franco-Ontarian communities thrive. Not only will this new fund provide Francophone women entrepreneurs with much-needed capital to turn their ideas into reality, but it will also strengthen partnerships with organizations that can provide the mentorship, training and coaching needed to succeed.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

“La Fondation franco-ontarienne, its board of directors, its many partners and its clientele have much to celebrate. The socio-economic development of the Francophone community in Ontario can take on many forms, and micro-loans are among the most effective. Thanks to this injection of funds, Francophone women will be able to launch and grow companies that mean a great deal to them. Whether small- or medium-sized, each company has a direct influence on its community through the jobs it creates. We thank FedDev Ontario for this financial support, and we are looking forward to receiving applications!”
– Marc Chénier, Director General, La Fondation franco-ontarienne

Quick facts

  • Ontario has a Francophone population of more than 600,000 people, representing the largest Francophone community in Canada outside of Quebec. 

  • Founded in 1986, La Fondation franco-ontarienne is a not-for-profit organization that supports the economic development of Franco-Ontarian communities.

  • The FedDev Ontario funding announced today will leverage $325,000 in support from FFO for the micro-loan pool.

  • This year marks 10 years of FedDev Ontario delivering funding and business services to support innovation and growth in southern Ontario. 

Associated links


Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505
Website: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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