Minister Hajdu announces investment in women entrepreneurs

News release

Government of Canada investing up to $1.8 million to help women entrepreneurs in northern Ontario

June 27, 2019 – Pass Lake, Ontario

The Government of Canada is advancing women’s economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, joined local women entrepreneurs and business leaders to celebrate women’s entrepreneurship in Canada and share how the federal government is helping women succeed.

Minister Hajdu, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced an investment of up to $400,000 in five northern Ontario women-owned or -led companies through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. The successful recipients are each receiving an up to $100,000 investment.

With these investments:

  • Sleepy G Farm will implement a year-round organic vegetable storage and distribution facility;
  • Superior Survey Inc. will acquire new equipment and staff to export to the United States;
  • BioNorth Solutions will develop and launch a plant growth promotion product designed for Canada’s colder climate;
  • The Design Studio will create an online store to export to the United States; and
  • Main St. Local Kitchen will expand its gluten-free food and beverage operations.

Additionally, Minister Hajdu announced an investment of up to $1.4 million through the LaCloche Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation. The Corporation, along with community partners, will be launching the Northern Ontario Community Futures Women in Business Enhancement Project.

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.  

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-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

“The women entrepreneurs and business leaders of northern Ontario drive our economy forward and contribute to our communities every day. The economic empowerment of women is a priority. From supporting women in business to improving parental leave, our government has taken action on gender equality to create an economy that works for everyone.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North

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.

  • In Budget 2018, the Women Entrepreneurship Fund was allocated $20 million. Following the call for applications held in fall 2018, over 3,000 applications were received and over 200 projects were funded. The Government of Canada is pleased to be able to support approximately 100 more projects by investing an additional $10 million in the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. With this new 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 programs complement 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 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. 

Associated links

Contacts

Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
veronique.simard@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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

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