VANCOUVER — The Government of Canada is advancing women’s economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.
Last week, the Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of small business and export promotion, participated in the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver and met with women entrepreneurs in Vancouver and Richmond to share how the Government of Canada is supporting them in starting up, scaling up and accessing new markets.
“Our government believes that women’s economic empowerment is not just the right thing to do; it’s good for the bottom line. That’s why we launched the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a strategy that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by increasing their access to financing, networks and advice. It’s a smart investment with an economic and social return,” Ng said.
She announced an investment of nearly $1.5 million in 15 women-led companies in the Vancouver area through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund (WEF). The recipients are each receiving an investment of up to $100,000, which will help them innovate, grow, and access new markets. Minister Ng also announced an investment of up to $4.6 million through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund to help Groundswell Education Society, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and Women’s Enterprise Centre close existing gaps in the women entrepreneurship ecosystem.
In response to the high volume of WEF applicants, the Canadian government is investing an additional $10 million to bolster the fund, which will bring the total to $30 million and support approximately 100 more projects from among the impressive proposals received during the competitive process that took place in fall 2018. Of that investment, $2.5 million will be dedicated to project proposals submitted by Indigenous women.
Ng closed the week at the Invest Canada Conference, where she announced the recipients of a $50-million investment under the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative that will support Canada’s clean tech industry.