Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion Mary Ng announcing the federal government’s new Women Entrepreneurship Fund in Delta on Friday, Oct. 19. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Women entrepreneurs in Canada will now have access to $20-million in federal cash, thanks to a new fund announced by the government late last week.

The Women Entrepreneurship Fund, part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy announced with the 2018 budget, is intended to help female business owners of small- and medium-sized businesses grow their companies and increase access to international markets.

“Women still face unique and significant barriers when it comes to starting their own business,” Mary Ng, minister of small business and export promotion, said at the announcement in Delta on Friday, Oct. 19.

“Women are called upon to do more domestic work, they’re more likely to be shut out of investment opportunities and they struggle to find the mentors … for the support and advice that they need,” she continued.

The $20-million Women Entrepreneurship Fund is one way to help solve those inequalities, she said.

The fund will be available on an application basis for the next two years. Each applicant will be able to request up to $100,000 in non-repayable contribution funding.

Applications by diverse women (including Indigenous women, women with disabilities, recent immigrants, visible minorities and women in rural or remote regions), businesses that deal with Canada’s key economic strategy sectors (advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, health/bio-sciences and resources of the future), or businesses looking to pursue international markets will be given priority.

RELATED: MP Carla Qualtrough highlights ‘gender equality’ federal budget in Surrey

These programs are a big step forward for business owners looking to scale up their businesses, Delta MP and Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Carla Qualtrough, said.

“There’s such strong female leadership across sectors in Delta,” Qualtrough said. “This fund will directly help — especially the fund announced today — will directly help businesses scale up.”

“Maybe it’s a $1-million company to a $25-million company. It will backstop access to capital, access to diversification, access to export markets. Whatever your business needs to get you to the next level,” she continued. “And I think that’s really exciting for Delta.”

The Women Entrepreneurship Fund follows an $85-million federal announcement in September for an “ecosystem fund,” another portion of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy that is intended to close gaps in service for female entrepreneurs.

Both of these programs are part of Canada’s plan to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025. Currently, less than 16 per cent of Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises are majority women-owned or operated.

“Women make up 51 per cent of our population. So let’s face it,” Ng said. “We’re smart. More of us have higher education degrees. We’re adaptive. We’re resilient. And we’re recognized collaborators.”

“So while I would like to feign shock — why is this happening? — I know why,” she continued. “And I’ll bet those 88 cents on the dollar that you know why too.”

Applications for the Women Entrepreneurship Fund and the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund can be made through the federal government’s website at canada.ca/women-entrepreneurship.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

Kilted window-washers helping seniors with groceries

Campbell River Men In Kilts employees volunteer to go shopping for seniors and others

March domestic violence figures show no impact from social isolation, Campbell River RCMP say

Campbell River RCMP see no evidence social isolation is causing an increase… Continue reading

After 37 years, Campbell River Arts Council annual members’ show goes online

38th Annual Members Show shifted from physical gallery to website

Campbell River community COVID-19 agencies, services and resources list

The list outlines status of social agencies in the community

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Most Read