MP Larry Bagnell announces investments for women entrepreneurs in Yukon through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

News release

August 22, 2019 — Whitehorse, Yukon — Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

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, Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced investments of over $300,000 for women entrepreneurs in Yukon. This funding will be administered through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

The following women-owned or -led businesses will receive funding through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund to help them grow their business and reach new export markets:

  • Hotel Carmacks, located in Carmacks, which will allow the business to expand its product offering by obtaining a license to sell cannabis, renovating their office space, and training management and staff;
  • Kryotek Arctic Innovation Inc., located in Whitehorse, which will develop and expand export opportunities as well as streamline production and distribution of a new drill system;
  • Yukon Soaps, located in Mayo, which will purchase new equipment and prepare a site for a new facility; and
  • SMRT Women, located in Whitehorse, which will build an online academy for northern female entrepreneurs that will provide digital courses, workshops and offer a business accelerator program.

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."

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. This is why we created the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses in Canada in the next six years. Today's investments will help women-owned and -led businesses across Yukon innovate, grow, and export to new markets."

Larry Bagnell
Member of Parliament for Yukon

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


For more information, media may contact:

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

Naomi Sharpe
Manager, Communications

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