Minister Ng announced investments in women entrepreneurs in British Columbia

News release

The Honourable Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, shared how the federal government is supporting the growth, innovation and export capacity of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses

August 27, 2019 – Surrey, British Columbia

On August 26, Minister Ng visited the HealthTech Innovation Hub in Surrey to celebrate Surrey’s innovation and start-up community and to share how the Government of Canada is helping businesses start up, scale up and access new markets. Minister Ng highlighted the Government of Canada’s recent investment in a $20-million project proposal to scale up companies in health and biosciences through the development of the CAN Health Network.

While in Surrey, Minister Ng announced Government of Canada investments of up to $1,845,000 to support women entrepreneurs in British Columbia. This funding is administered through Western Economic Diversification Canada.

The following women-owned or -led businesses will each receive up to $100,000 through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund to help them grow their business and reach new export markets:

The Women Entrepreneurship Fund is part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), a $2-billion federal investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025. It is one of the ways that the Government of Canada is advancing women’s economic empowerment.

In addition, Minister Ng announced that Community Futures Fraser Fort George will receive $745,000 through the WES Ecosystem Fund (Regional Stream) to create and implement a business resource centre for women entrepreneurs in northern British Columbia. This will allow the organization to connect with 280 women, grow 30 businesses, and support 80 women in participating in sectors where they are traditionally under-represented.

Minister Ng ended her day by speaking at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver. She announced a federal investment of $500,000, on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, in the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation to support the development of the Chinatown Storytelling Centre.

On August 27, Minister Ng announced an investment of $38 million from the Government of Canada in Futurpreneur to support young entrepreneurs in starting up and growing businesses and increasing their export capacity.

During her trip, Minister Ng also met with members of the Burnaby Board of Trade and local small business owners in Surrey, Vancouver and Burnaby and spoke about what the Government of Canada is doing to support the success of small and medium-sized businesses.


“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. Today’s investments from our government will create and support jobs in British Columbia and will help women-led businesses across this province innovate, grow and export to new markets. These investments are good for our community, good for British Columbia and good for Canada.”
– Gordie Hogg, Member of Parliament for South Surrey–White Rock

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 advance gender equality, including 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.

Associated links


Corinne Havard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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