Minister Ng attends Women in Business conference to discuss Canada’s plans for feminist recovery

News release

March 12, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected women entrepreneurs and business owners in Canada and around the world, exacerbating existing systemic barriers women face. Creating policies that support women will be key to ensuring Canada’s collective economic recovery leaves no one behind.

Yesterday, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, participated in the Women in Business conference, which was organized by the consulates general of Canada and France in New York City and the Economic Club of New York.

Minister Ng joined Élisabeth Moreno, France’s Minister Delegate for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities, in a discussion session moderated by Canadian businessperson Marie-Josée Kravis, Chair of the Economic Club of New York. The discussion highlighted Canada’s feminist response to COVID-19 and the Government of Canada’s continued support for women entrepreneurs, as well as the importance of countries working together to achieve progress on gender equity.

Minister Ng cited Canada’s efforts during the pandemic to provide women exporters with opportunities to explore new markets and grow their business abroad, including through virtual trade missions for women-owned and women-led businesses supported by the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.

Founded in 2018, the Women in Business conference highlights concrete efforts to improve the representation of women in senior leadership roles and support women-led innovation. This year's conference focused on the impact of the pandemic on women and the importance of global cooperation in building societies and economies that are more resilient and inclusive. 


“We’re not letting COVID-19 prevent us from supporting women entrepreneurs and business owners to grow here in Canada and take advantage of new opportunities in global markets. Beyond support for entrepreneurs, we are committed to gender equality and a feminist recovery. Global cooperation will be key to overcoming this crisis, and as we look beyond COVID-19, ensuring the full and equal participation of women will be key to the global recovery.”

- Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade 

Quick facts

  • Launched in 2018, the Women in Business initiative is a partnership between the consulates general of Canada and France in New York City and the Economic Club of New York.

  • The initiative was inspired by the Canadian and French G7 presidencies in 2018 and 2019 respectively, which both placed gender equality at the core of their work. 

  • In May 2020, the Government of Canada invested an additional $15 million in the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund to support women-owned businesses during the pandemic.

  • Additional funding for women announced in February 2020 includes:

    • Export Development Canada (EDC): $2 billion by 2023 in financing and insurance solutions on commercial terms for women-owned businesses exporting or looking to export
    • $100 million through EDC’s Women in Trade Investments Program for equity capital specifically designed to help women entrepreneurs
    • a commitment to serve 1,000 women-owned and women-led business customers by 2023
  • Canada, Chile and New Zealand signed the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement on August 4, 2020.  At the heart of the arrangement are cooperation activities designed to share knowledge and best practices and increase women’s participation in the economy and trade.

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Youmy Han
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and
International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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