Minister Ng launches call for applications for expert panel on women’s entrepreneurship

News release

Government seeking expert advice to double women-owned firms by 2025

October 26, 2018 – Toronto, Ontario

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 in Budget 2018, the federal government launched 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 Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced that the government is seeking individuals to provide expert advice on the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. Minister Ng launched a call for applications for the WES Expert Panel during a discussion at the WEConnect International in Canada National Conference.

The panellists will be selected from across the private sector and civil society in order to provide diverse viewpoints. Members could include entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, financial experts, social entrepreneurs or small business association representatives and will advise the government on a range of issues related to advancing women’s entrepreneurship.

The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy complements Government of Canada efforts to advance gender equality, which include addressing pay equity, introducing more affordable childcare 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 also 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. I’m thrilled that the WES Expert Panel will help foster women entrepreneurship from coast to coast to coast.”   
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

Quick facts

  • 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.

  • WES programs complement our government’s broader initiatives to help women, including measures on pay equity, more flexible parental leave and more affordable childcare.

  • Advancing gender equality has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP to the Canadian economy by 2026.

  • Fewer than 16% of SMEs in Canada are majority women-owned.

  • Only 8.4% of majority women-owned SMEs export, compared to 12.8% 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.

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Mallory Clyne
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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