The Government of Canada is committed to advancing gender equality, women's economic empowerment and supporting women entrepreneurs through the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy announced in Budget 2018.
The full and equal participation of women in the economy is essential to Canada's competitiveness. Current female entrepreneurs face unique barriers as they move along the business cycle. As a result, women own fewer than 16% of businesses and are underrepresented in the economy.
By addressing women's economic empowerment through initiatives such as the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (the Strategy), Canada will have the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP by 2026 and reach its goal of doubling the number of majority women-owned businesses by 2025.
As part of the Strategy, the Government is making funding available directly to women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. The objective is to provide support to women to grow their businesses and facilitate their pursuit of opportunities in markets abroad. The Fund is a $20 million investment providing up to $100,000 in non-repayable contribution funding for 12 months.
The Women Entrepreneurship Fund will fund women-owned and women-led businesses to invest in activities that focus on:
- Supporting pursuit of market opportunities abroad (e.g. international marketing strategy, supply chain integration, promotions, business advisory services, online presence/website development)
- Supporting Scale-up, Expansion and Growth (e.g. product/service development and improvement, inventory management, value stream mapping, upgrades to plant and equipment, process and technology improvements
- Additional activities that support the objectives of the Women Entrepreneurship Fund
The Government of Canada invites eligible businesses to submit their innovative proposals for funding under the Women Entrepreneurship Fund.
The deadline is this November - for more information about the selection criteria and how to apply visit their website.