Statement by Minister Ng on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day


November 19, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, issued the following statement in celebration of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day:

“Each year, we take this time to recognize and celebrate the many accomplishments and contributions of women entrepreneurs—across Canada and the world—who are so essential to creating jobs, driving economic growth and making our communities dynamic and vibrant.

“As Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development at the cabinet table of a feminist government, I consider women entrepreneurs and business owners a top priority for myself and our entire government.

“Our government knows that by ensuring the full and equal participation of women, we could add $150 billion to our economy. Globally, that number is $12 trillion. It isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.

“That is why our government has been prioritizing women’s economic empowerment and is more committed than ever to building on this momentum, especially throughout the pandemic. Guided by the lived experiences of women business owners and entrepreneurs, we are focused on creating the right conditions and support systems to further prove that a diverse inclusive economy is a competitive and successful one.

“We launched Canada’s first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) in 2018, a more than $6 billion investment that aims to eliminate barriers and improve access to tools for success, which so far include:

  • the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, which has so far brought together 10 regional hubs, over 300 organizations and thousands of women entrepreneurs to share their experiences, expertise and resources
  • the $100 million WES Ecosystem Fund, which is helping remove barriers to the networks, resources and capital women entrepreneurs need to start up, scale up and access new international markets

“We are also investing in removing systemic barriers faced by diverse entrepreneurs, through the $400 million Black Entrepreneurship Program and through targeted support for Indigenous entrepreneurs.

“These are a few examples of the intersectional action our government is taking to increase women’s economic inclusion. By applying a gender-based analysis to inform our policies, boosting our Canada child benefit, legislating pay equity and investing $30 billion in making Canada-wide early learning and childcare a reality, we are taking a whole-of-government approach to supporting women.

“These are more than social policies; these are important economic policies that are essential to Canada’s future competitiveness and prosperity on the international stage.

“That’s why our inclusive approach to trade will ensure women have equal access to the benefits and opportunities that flow from international trade and investment. This is demonstrated by Canada’s work to integrate gender-related provisions that reduce barriers to international trade in all of our free trade agreements, including the new NAFTA, and the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement—a standalone initiative open to other economies to join.

“This work allows for innovative and responsive tools to create and advance opportunities for women exporters. These actions are complemented by the work of the Trade Commissioner Service to support export-ready women-owned businesses and lead them on women-focused business delegations worldwide to help them tap into global opportunities.

“As we mark the global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day 2021, I encourage all Canadians to join me in supporting women entrepreneurs and celebrating their ingenuity, hard work and dedication in contributing to Canada’s continued prosperity.”

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