News Release: August 22, 2019
Government of Canada investing up to $19 million to support women entrepreneurs in Ontario
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, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, joined Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport, to announce an investment of up to $19 million in women entrepreneurs and organizations supporting women entrepreneurs in Ontario. This funding is administered through FedDev Ontario and FedNor.
Through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund (WEF), 74 women-owned or -led businesses will each receive an investment of up to $100,000 to help them grow their business and reach new export markets. The total investment in these entrepreneurs is up to $6,858,759. See list of recipients of WEF support.
In addition, Minister Ng announced an investment of up to $11,951,076 through the WES Ecosystem Fund (Regional Stream) in the following nine organizations or institutions for projects supporting women entrepreneurs:
Canadian Film Centre, located in Toronto, will receive up to $3,395,000 to deliver an accelerator program for 200 women-led companies in southern Ontario’s digital media ecosystem over four years.
Elizabeth Fry Society (Elizabeth Fry Toronto), located in Toronto, will receive up to $1,002,004 to initiate the second annual cohort of My Start-Up: Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, which helps marginalized women who may have struggled with mental health issues or had legal conflicts to launch their own viable businesses. The funding will also go toward the delivery of monthly education and support workshops for marginalized women who run small businesses.
Ontario East Economic Development Commission, located in Kingston, will receive up to $823,000 to launch, promote, deliver and evaluate the Women’s Virtual Entrepreneurship Incubator Pilot Project, which will focus specifically on Indigenous women, women in rural regions and recent immigrants who are starting a business.
PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise, located in Thunder Bay, will receive up to $1,433,031 to implement the Enterprising Indigenous Women project, which will build an ecosystem with partners to support Indigenous women in remote and rural communities in starting up and scaling up their businesses.
Tecumseh Community Development Corporation, located in Sarnia, will receive up to $337,000 to deliver the Pathway to Personal Success program, which will use a holistic approach to foster stronger economic growth and assist, equip and enable women entrepreneurs from diverse groups.
The Hamilton Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA Hamilton), located in Hamilton, will receive up to $1,015,641 to support women of diverse backgrounds from across southern Ontario with business training and coaching to successfully start up and grow their small business.
Wilfrid Laurier University, located in Waterloo, will receive up to $1,385,000 to use its incubator/accelerator space to offer support to women entrepreneurs at the early start-up stage and those looking to accelerate and scale their businesses, focusing on the non-tech sectors and women creating social enterprises.
Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation, located in Windsor, will receive up to $692,000 to provide coordinated support to women entrepreneurs in the Windsor-Essex region to start and grow businesses in emerging technology sectors such as agri-food, automation, automotive and mobility.
York University, located in Toronto, will receive up to $1,868,400 to develop and deliver the Fempower program, which will support women entrepreneurs by providing business education and resources, female-centred advice and real solutions for overcoming barriers; by making introductions; and by opening doors to opportunities.
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.
MP Kim Rudd announces WES Funding in Cobourg