Minister Bibeau announces investments through Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

News release

Government of Canada investing up to $4.8 million to support women entrepreneurs in Quebec

August 22, 2019 – Saint-Pie, Quebec

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced an investment of up to $4.8 million in women entrepreneurs and organizations supporting women entrepreneurs in Quebec. This funding is administered through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions.

Through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund, 21 women-owned or -led businesses will each receive an investment of up to $100,000 to help them grow their business and reach new export markets. This is a total investment of up to $2,080,000 in women entrepreneurs in Quebec. View a list of the recipients.

In addition, Minister Bibeau announced the following WES Ecosystem Fund (Regional Stream) recipients:

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 Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the full and equal participation of women in our economy and society. This is why we created the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses in Canada in the next six years. Today’s investments will help women-owned and -led businesses across Quebec innovate, grow and export to new markets.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

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 WES Ecosystem Fund was allocated $85 million to help non-profit, third-party organizations deliver support for women entrepreneurs and address gaps in the ecosystem.

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

Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
613-404-1168
justine.lesage@canada.ca

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

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