Helping women-led businesses grow
One of the key objectives of Canada's first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) is to help women entrepreneurs overcome barriers to growth because when women succeed, everyone succeeds.
All with the goal of doubling the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.
Through a $2-billion investment in programs and initiatives spanning a number of departments and federal partners, such as the Business Development Bank of Canada, Global Affairs Canada (including the Trade Commissioner Service) and Export Development Canada, the Government of Canada is supporting women entrepreneurs by increasing their access to financing, talent, networks and expertise.
Budget 2018 allocated $105 million to regionally tailored, nationally coordinated programs for women entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them.
- The WES Ecosystem Fund is an investment of up to $85 million over five years that will provide not-for-profit organizations with the resources to support women entrepreneurs. These projects could support skills development to put more women entrepreneurs in sectors where they're under-represented or build capacity at incubator and accelerator programs.
The WES Ecosystem Fund application is now closed for submissions. The deadline was November 22, 2018 23:59 PST. Funding decisions are expected to be announced in Spring 2019.
- The Women Entrepreneurship Fund is a two-year, $20-million commitment to invest directly in women-led businesses to help them grow and reach new markets. Funding is available for product and service development, inventory management, technology improvements and other projects supporting scale up, expansion and growth.
As a result of this investment, women entrepreneurs will have access to resources, such as mentoring, networking and skills development, to build their businesses and enter new markets.
Want networking and training?
As part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, the Business Development Bank of Canada is coordinating a series of boot camps for women entrepreneurs, as well as offering online learning opportunities. BDC's WE Talk Business Boot Camps provide women entrepreneurs and businesses owners across Canada with practical advice on leadership, growth strategies, financial literacy, sales and marketing, and human resources.
Interested in exporting?
Majority women-owned firms and women entrepreneurs will also be able to explore potential trade opportunities in international markets through the Trade Commissioners Service's Business Women in International Trade program.
What the government is doing for women entrepreneurs!
- Women Entrepreneurship Fund
- WES Ecosystem Fund
- Business Women in International Trade
- BDC boot camps
- BDC commitment to women entrepreneurs
- Status of Women Canada - Women's Program
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