Minister Ng announces that Evol is helping deliver much-needed access to capital to women entrepreneurs in Quebec
December 1, 2022 – Montréal, Quebec
The Government of Canada is advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced that Evol is providing loans of up to $50,000 to women entrepreneurs and business owners through the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund. The Minister was joined by Emmanuella Lambropoulos, Member of Parliament for Saint-Laurent, and Sevrine Labelle, Chief Executive Officer of Evol.
Minister Ng highlighted that, since its launch, the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund has been supporting women entrepreneurs across the country by distributing $55 million in loans to those starting up and growing their businesses, with a majority of the recipients being under-represented women. With Evol set to distribute $7 million in loans, the Government of Canada is ensuring that even more women can access capital to start or grow their businesses.
Evol will be an important partner in delivering the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund in collaboration with its regional loan fund partners. They will work with women entrepreneurs at every stage of the application process and deliver top-quality wrap-around business support, including helping applicants with the development of viable business plans and providing advisory services, training and loan aftercare.
Currently, Evol’s loan fund partners are MicroEntreprendre and Entreprendre ici. Applicants can get in touch with Evol and its loan fund partners to start preparing their business plan for the application process.
For more information on Evol’s Loan Fund Program, visit Evol's financing page.
The Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund—a key part of the $6 billion Women Entrepreneurship Strategy—is allocating funding to not-for-profit organizations with existing loan programs to provide additional affordable financing to women entrepreneurs, in particular to start-ups, under-represented groups or sole proprietorships that experience more difficulty in accessing financing.
Selected administrators of the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund now delivering the program include Women's Enterprise Organizations of Canada, the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (NCFDC), Coralus (formerly SheEO), and the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA).
Today’s milestone builds on the historic investments the government has made to support women since 2015 to help them grow and succeed.
“The Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund was launched to support women-led businesses that may not have been able to reach their full potential, in order to tap into the important skills and talents they bring to the table. By delivering much-needed access to the financing that women entrepreneurs need to reach their business goals, we’re supporting economic growth and fostering the excellence that Canada’s businesses have come to be known for globally. Our government knows that the return on this investment means more than just more equal footing for women entrepreneurs because when women succeed, we all succeed.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
“It’s great to see that a local organization will be helping women in the Quebec region reach their business goals. The knock-on effect of empowering women with better access to financing will have a measurable economic impact that benefits us all and will greatly contribute to Canada’s competitiveness and prosperity.”
– Emmanuella Lambropoulos, Member of Parliament for Saint-Laurent
“Evol has more than 25 years of experience in financing and specialized support for women-owned businesses. By establishing value-generating businesses, women are actively participating in creating a better world. Thanks to the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, Evol and its partners, MicroEntreprendre and Entreprendre ici, will be able to support women even more in realizing their ambitions.”
– Sevrine Labelle, Chief Executive Officer, Evol
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), a more than $6 billion investment, includes:
- the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, which is enabling existing women-focused loan programs to provide additional affordable microloans to women entrepreneurs;
- the Inclusive Women Venture Capital Initiative, which seeks to strengthen access to funding and build a more inclusive venture capital environment for Canadian women;
- the WES Ecosystem Fund, which is helping remove barriers to the support networks and deliver the resources that women entrepreneurs need to start up, scale up and access new markets; and
- the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, which has brought together 10 regional hubs, over 300 organizations and thousands of women entrepreneurs to create a more inclusive and supportive environment to grow women’s entrepreneurship in Canada.
The government is also investing in removing systemic barriers faced by diverse entrepreneurs through programs like the Black Entrepreneurship Program.
To ensure women have equal access to the benefits and opportunities arising from international investment, Canada is taking an inclusive approach to trade by integrating gender-related provisions in all its free trade agreements. The government has also co-signed the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement—a stand-alone initiative open to other economies to join.
Evol operates in Quebec’s 17 regions, and its financing, combined with personalized business support services, enables women entrepreneurs in Quebec to build sustainable and prosperous businesses in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Office of the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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