Minister Ng announces first successful applicants of the Women Entrepreneurship Fund

News release

Over 200 women-led companies will receive direct funding to help them grow their business

March 8, 2019 – Ottawa, 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, a $2-billion investment that seeks to help double the number of women-led businesses by 2025.

Today, the Government of Canada announced the first successful recipients of support through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund, a $20-million fund providing direct investment in women entrepreneurs. The successful applicants will receive an investment of up to $100,000 to help them grow their business and reach new export markets.

The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy complements the Government of Canada’s efforts to advance gender equality, which include addressing pay equity, introducing more affordable childcare and putting an end to gender-based violence. 

Quotes

“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-led 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

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-led 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.

Associated links

Contacts

Mallory Clyne
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
mallory.clyne@canada.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

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