Government of Canada supports recovery and growth of women-led businesses across the Prairies 

Backgrounder

More than $3.18 million in federal funding to support women entrepreneurs across the Prairies to adapt and grow

March 16, 2021 – Winnipeg, Manitoba

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

  • In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada allocated $85 million nationally to the Women Entrepreneurship (WES) Ecosystem Fund to strengthen capacity within the entrepreneurship ecosystem and close gaps in service for women entrepreneurs.
  • Through the WES Ecosystem Fund, over 50 projects were funded nationally. These projects are led by not-for-profit organizations and take into account diverse and under-represented women. Recipients received funds through a non-repayable contribution agreement.
  • Funding was available through two streams, a national and regional stream. The national stream funded projects that were national or multi-regional in scope, whereas the regional stream was allocated to fund projects delivered in one region.
  • Since 2019, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has invested over $20.8 million to support 18 projects through the regional stream and over $2.2 million to support one project through the national stream of the program. This represents a total investment of approximately $23.0 million for 19 projects through the WES Ecosystem Fund.
  • In May 2020, an additional $15 million in national funding was made available for WES Ecosystem Fund recipients across the country to provide timely support and advice to women entrepreneurs facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • WD is delivering over $3.18 million of this top-up funding to 10 WES Ecosystem Fund recipients in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  

PROJECT DETAILS

  • Through the WES Ecosystem Fund top-up, the following 10 recipients from across the Prairie provinces will receive funding:

National Stream: 

  • Women's Enterprise Organizations of Canada (submitted by the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba): $500,000 to host a virtual symposium, conduct a national survey on the impacts of COVID-19 to women-led businesses and implement new training or tools based on survey findings. Funding is in addition to $2,254,000 previously announced to establish a national headquarters for Women's Enterprise Organizations of Canada to deliver focused, business-growth services to Canadian women entrepreneurs. Total funding: $2,754,000. 

Regional Stream

Alberta

  • Alberta Women Entrepreneurs Association (AWE): $550,000 to provide specialized business advisory services, mentoring, training and other resources to assist women-owned or led businesses recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is in addition to $1,140,000 to help AWE launch a new digital business training program for women entrepreneurs. Total funding: $1,690,000.
  • Community Futures Central Alberta: $107,980 to migrate training to virtual platforms and to support childcare services once in-person training can safely be facilitated. Funding is in addition to $183,300 to create an Indigenous entrepreneurship program to be delivered in rural and remote areas of central Alberta. Total funding: $291,280.
  • Community Futures Lloydminster and Region Development Corp.: $335,000 to provide specialized business advisory services, mentoring, training and other resources to assist women-owned or led businesses in the Lloydminster area recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is in addition to $1,096,000 to create an incubator space to promote entrepreneurship to underrepresented women in remote northeast Alberta and northwest Saskatchewan. Total funding: $1,431,000. 
  • Momentum Community Economic Development Society: $300,000 to enhance an online curriculum and add additional remote coaching resources that can be accessed safely, without the need for in-person interactions. Funding is in addition to $1,373,379 to deliver the Woman in Business by Design program which provides business development training to women in the Calgary region. Total funding: $1,673,379.

Saskatchewan

  • Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc.: $245,000 to help women-owned agriculture businesses lower processing costs and respond to changing regulations in the food industry due to COVID-19. Funding is in addition to $1,000,000 to support women entrepreneurs in the food processing sector with business development services such as mentorship, coaching and training. Total funding: $1,245,000.
  • Saskatoon Open Door Society Inc.: $250,435 to deliver virtual training and to help immigrant women better access and use online platforms to market and sell their products. Funding is in addition to $999,219 to support the creation of a business incubator and start-up business training for newcomer and recent immigrant women entrepreneurs. Total funding: $1,249,654.
  • Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc.: $350,000 to provide business advisory services, training and mentorship to women-led businesses to help them implement new safety requirements and recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is in addition to $1,560,000 to develop and deliver The Exchange, a program designed to help existing women-owned businesses in Saskatchewan scale-up. Total funding: $1,910,000. 

Manitoba

  • Community Futures Parkland Inc.: $199,000 to help women-owned businesses in rural and northern Manitoba move their business online. Support will include mentorship, training and an incubation program to help women-owned businesses adapt marketing, sales and distribution channels to better enable online sales. Funding is in addition to $1,215,500 to establish rural business hubs that provide resources and training to close service gaps for women entrepreneurs based in rural and northern areas of Manitoba. Total funding: $1,414,500.
  • Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba: $352,567 to provide specialized business advisory services, mentorship, training and resources to women entrepreneurs in rural Manitoba. Funding is in addition to $1,513,900 to improve the competitiveness of women entrepreneurs impacted by geographical location, culture and sector representation. Total funding: $1,866,467.

Related Products

News release: Government of Canada supports recovery and growth of women-led businesses across the Prairies amid COVID-19 pandemic

Contacts

Youmy Han
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
343-551-0246
youmy.han@international.gc.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

Media Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada
wd.media-medias.deo@canada.ca

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