Minister Ng announces federal investment of up to $2.1 million in the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and woman-led businesses in southern Ontario

News release

June 28, 2019 – Toronto, 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 Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, joined the Consul General of Japan, local women entrepreneurs and business leaders to celebrate women’s entrepreneurship in Canada and share how the federal government is helping women entrepreneurs succeed.

Minister Ng announced investments in four southern Ontario women-owned businesses through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. The successful recipients will each receive up to $100,000 to help them innovate, grow, and access new markets.

  • Tendril Design and Animation provides clients with augmented and virtual reality solutions for visual mediums. With funding of up to $100,000, the company will be able to expand its international sales and production teams, create jobs, and grow its business into Brazil, Russia, the Czech Republic, Albania, India and the United Kingdom.
  • Offset Market Exchange offers a procurement platform to small and medium-sized businesses that helps them track, measure and report on socio-economic impacts in the defence and aerospace sectors. With funding of up to $100,000, the company will deploy sales executives and customize the platform to support market expansion abroad.
  • The Funding Portal provides data, advisory and transactional services to companies looking for grants and contributions and other business incentives. With funding of up to $100,000, the company will also increase sales, create jobs, and facilitate expansion into seven countries.
  • Velour Cosmetics sells high-quality, reusable luxury lashes in stores across North America, including Sephora. With funding of up to $100,000, the company will develop and launch a new cosmetics line and facilitate expansion into the United Kingdom, creating jobs and increasing access to international markets.

Minister Ng also announced an investment of up to $1.7 million dollars in the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy’s Ecosystem Fund. This investment will support the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s trade missions and special initiatives supporting women entrepreneurs interested in scaling by expanding into international markets in Asia.

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

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 more than 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

Corinne Havard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
corinne.havard@canada.ca

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

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