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

Friday fatality at Fernie Alpine Resort

Elk Valley RCMP are currently investigating the death of male skier at… Continue reading

Two weekend rescues for Fernie SAR

Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) was activated twice this past weekend to… Continue reading

To Australia from Fernie, helping those back home

With her home country going up in flames over 13,000 kilometres away,… Continue reading

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Edibles now offered in Fernie cannabis shops

As of October 17, 2019, almost a year after the official legalization… Continue reading

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Cariboo Memorial Hospital on the mend after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Most Read