Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

The full and equal participation of women in the economy is not just the right thing to do, it's good for the bottom line.  

That's why 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.

Only 16% of Canadian businesses are owned or led by women and yet studies show that by advancing women's economic participation in the economy Canada could add up to $150 billion in GDP.

WES is a whole-of-government approach to helping women grow their businesses through access to financing, talent, networks and expertise.

Video: Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, invites you to find out more about the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.

Women Entrepreneurship Fund

Learn more about the Women Entrepreneurship Fund and the hundreds of women-led businesses across Canada receiving up to $100,000 in federal funding to help them grow and reach new markets.


WES Ecosystem Fund

Are you a woman entrepreneur looking for networks of support, mentorship or help in growing your business? Check out the WES funded ecosystem organizations that exist to help you achieve your business goals across Canada.


The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub

Are you looking for data on women's entrepreneurship? Check out the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, your one-stop source for knowledge, data and best practices for women entrepreneurs.


Canada Business App

The Canada Business App complements the Government of Canada's efforts to make it easier for small businesses.


Latest news for women entrepreneurs

June 5, 2019

Minister Ng attended the Women Deliver Conference and announced investments in women entrepreneurs

June 5, 2019

Minister Ng announces investments in women entrepreneurs in Vancouver

May 29, 2019

PS Poissant announces investment in women-owned company in Saint-Damien-de-Buckland

May 21, 2019

Minister Garneau announces investment in women-led companies in Montréal

May 13, 2019

Minister Joly announces investment in women-led companies in Victoria

News archives

May 4, 2019

Minister Ng announced investments in export promotion and women entrepreneurs in Alberta

May 4, 2019

Minister Ng announces investment in women-led companies in Edmonton

May 3, 2019

Minister Ng announces investment in women-led companies in Calgary

May 2, 2019

EDC unveils $50M program for more Canadian women entrepreneurs to take on the world

April 25, 2019

Minister Ng met with entrepreneurs and small business owners and announced investments in export promotion and women entrepreneurs in Vancouver and Burnaby

April 15, 2019

Minister Ng announces investment in women entrepreneurs

March 8, 2019

Minister Ng announces first successful applicants of the Women Entrepreneurship Fund

March 8, 2019

Minister Ng met with female entrepreneurs in Yukon and British Columbia

March 5, 2019

Expert panel to provide advice on increasing women entrepreneurs in Canada

January 24, 2019

Minister Carr announces first woman president and CEO of Export Development Canada

December 19, 2018

Minister Ng and Minister Monsef meet with local women entrepreneurs


Other Women Entrepreneurship Strategy programs

Business Women in International Trade

Want to grow and explore new markets? Majority women-owned firms and women entrepreneurs can explore potential trade opportunities in international markets through Global Affairs Canada's Trade Commissioners Service's Business Women in International Trade program.

Farm Credit Canada

Are you a women entrepreneur in the agriculture and agri-food sector? Farm Credit Canada unveiled a Women Entrepreneur Program – an investment of $500 million over the next three years – to provide financing, events and resources specifically for women entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses.

Business Development Bank of Canada

Need access to financing? Are you part of a women-led business in tech? The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), has committed to increase its lending to majority women-owned businesses to $1.4 billion. In addition, the BDC Capital Women in Technology Venture Fund  - a $200 million Fund, one of the largest funds of its kind world wide – is investing in women-led technology companies and building a robust ecosystem to support women in tech today and in the future.

In 2018-2019, BDC's WE Talk Business Boot Camps also provided women entrepreneurs and businesses owners across Canada with practical advice on leadership, growth strategies, financial literacy, sales and marketing, and human resources.

Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative

Curious about how the venture capital ecosystem is being made more inclusive? The $400-million Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) aims to improve financing opportunities for women and under-represented groups. A portion of the funds made available under this initiative are dedicated to enhancing diversity and increasing women's participation in the venture capital ecosystem.

Export Development Canada

Need help exporting? Export Development Canada (EDC) committed $250 million over three years to provide financing and insurance solutions for women-owned and women-led businesses that are exporting or looking to begin exporting. To complement this commitment, EDC has announced a $50 million Women in Trade Investments Program to offer equity capital specifically designed to help Canadian women entrepreneurs.

Department for Women and Gender Equality

The Department for Women and Gender Equality has provided $4 million in funding through its Women's Program since 2016-2017 for projects working to strengthen economic opportunities for entrepreneurial women. Budget 2019 announced $160 million over 5 years for the Women's Program.

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