Minister Ng announces Women Entrepreneurship Strategy investments

News release

Government of Canada investing up to $507,800 to support women entrepreneurs in southwestern Ontario

August 8, 2019 – Burlington, Ontario

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, joined Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North–Burlington, to announce an investment of up to $507,800 in women entrepreneurs and an organization supporting women entrepreneurs in southwestern Ontario. This funding is administered through FedDev Ontario.

The following women-owned or -led businesses will receive Women Entrepreneurship Fund support to help them grow their business, reach new export markets and create jobs in Canada:

  • Bait Cloud Fishing Corporation, located in Oakville, will receive up to $100,000 to purchase equipment to expand production and to develop new marketing campaigns. This investment will help increase sales and create eight jobs in southern Ontario.
  •  Gala Bakery Inc., located in Hamilton, will receive up to $100,000 to purchase equipment to increase production and expand services into the United States. This investment will help create five jobs in southern Ontario and maintain 17 full-time jobs.

In addition, the following recipient of WES Ecosystem Fund support was announced:

  • HalTech Regional Innovation Centre, located in Burlington, will receive up to $307,800 to create an accelerator to help women entrepreneurs scale up and reach global markets. It will provide mentorship, skills training and programming to help women develop and grow their businesses.

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.


“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 Burlington and southwestern Ontario make outstanding contributions to our economy and communities every day. Today’s investment by our government will create and support jobs in southern Ontario 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 Ontario and good for Canada.”
– Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North–Burlington

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 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


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

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Stay connected

Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Follow @CanadaBusiness on social media for business-related news: Twitter, Facebook

Page details

Date modified: