Minister Ng announces investments to support women entrepreneurs in British Columbia

News release

Government of Canada investing over $1.8 million through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

August 26, 2019 – Surrey, British Columbia

The Government of Canada is advancing women’s economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), 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, announced investments of up to $1,845,000 in 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:

  • AJI Gourmet Products, located in Surrey, to produce sample products, develop promotional materials, conduct marketing activities and develop advertisements
  • Bar S Ventures, located in Merritt, to improve safety and processing capabilities and expand existing business lines
  • Big Bold Brand, located in North Vancouver, to digitalize core services to reach larger markets and improve client accessibility
  • BSlbio, located in Vancouver, to increase sales into the U.S. market through marketing, patents, packaging and digital presence
  • C-2000 Construction Ltd., located in Quesnel, to market its construction business and reclaimed wood furniture products to global markets
  • Chloë Angus Design, located in Vancouver, to increase competitiveness and access global markets through various online strategies
  • Debrand Services, located in Delta, to increase U.S. market share
  • Mine & Yours, located in Vancouver, to increase brand presence in both the Canadian and U.S. markets
  • Sweet Georgia Yarns, located in Vancouver, to enhance an online educational platform with new course content
  • Werklab, located in Vancouver, to expand online health and wellness workshops in North America and the United Kingdom
  • Trinity Aviation Services, located in Surrey, to complete the design and certification of new products, upgrade its facilities and increase product exposure

In addition, Minister Ng announced Community Futures Fraser Fort George as a WES Ecosystem Fund (Regional Stream) recipient. It will be receiving $745,000 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.

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

“Our government 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 over the next six years. Today’s investments will help women-owned and -led businesses across British Columbia innovate, grow and export to new markets.”
– The Honorable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

“The women entrepreneurs and business leaders of Surrey and British Columbia make outstanding contributions to our economy and communities every day. Today’s investment by our government will create and support jobs in British Columbia and help more of our women-owned and women-led businesses grow, innovate 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.

  • 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

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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