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Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Request for Proposals for Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund is now closed, we are no longer accepting applications. The application form was available from July 28, 2021 to September 20, 2021.

Loans are currently not available to women entrepreneurs through this fund. The Government of Canada is currently reviewing applications to select delivery organizations. The program will open to women entrepreneurs to apply for loans in the coming months.

Information session

To answer questions about the program or the application process, ISED and the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) held an information session on August 11, 2021. The session recording is available on the WEKH website, as well as the link below.

Information session recording

Related links

The Government of Canada continues to be committed to advancing gender equality and women's economic empowerment and to supporting women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). The new Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund will help ensure that more women entrepreneurs have the tools and financing they need to succeed.

What is the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund

While progress has been made since the launch of the WES in 2018, access to capital, particularly in smaller amounts, remains a significant barrier for many women entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow their businesses. To help address this barrier, the Government of Canada allocated $55 million in Budget 2021 for the creation of a new national microloans fund. This new program will seek to provide smaller amounts of affordable financing to women entrepreneurs, particularly for start-ups, underrepresented groups or sole proprietorships which may experience more difficulty in accessing financing.

How it works

There will be two stages in the launch of this program. At this time, the Government has opened a call for applications and is seeking to select one or more not-for-profit led organization(s) to deliver this program nationally. Once organizations have been selected, women entrepreneurs will be able to apply for loans of up to $50,000 to start or grow their businesses.

Eligibility

As outlined in the application guide, this call for applications is open to not-for-profit organizations which are interested and meet eligibility criteria to deliver this loan program. Consortiums or collaborations among multiple organizations to deliver loans with greater national coverage are encouraged. For-profit organizations are only eligible to apply as part of a consortium where a not-for-profit organization is the lead proponent.

How to apply

Applications to deliver this program must be submitted through the website by accessing the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund's application form. Submission deadline is September 20, 2021 at 11:59 a.m. (Pacific time). Applications must include all of the required information outlined in the application guide to be considered in the next stage of the selection process. Late submissions will not be considered.

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