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

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read