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How the Canadian Government Supports Inuit Businesswomen During COVID

Women entrepreneurs are crucial to Canada’s economic success. Supporting their success is key to ensuring a strong, inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As Canada marks the one-year anniversary of this crisis, it’s more important that the gains women made aren’t lost.

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced $143 thousand in top-up funding for Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, a recipient of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund. This program supports women entrepreneurs to navigate this crisis and continue to grow their businesses. This investment, delivered by CanNor, represents a top-up to the $2 million in WES funding previously provided to this organization.

Supporting the Inuit businesswomen of Canada

The top-up funding aims to support women entrepreneurs across Inuit Nunangat. It also aims to help businesses start up, scale up and access new markets as the economy recovers from COVID-19.

With this additional funding, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada will create a series of professional videos that guide and support Inuit businesswomen. The videos address economic barriers, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. These videos will provide information on topics such as Facebook marketing, business plan development, online banking and payment processing. The videos will be available in English and Inuktut.

Thoughts from leaders

“This investment demonstrates the government’s commitment to supporting Inuit businesswomen during this difficult time,” said The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs. “We provide funding to organizations such as Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada who ensure that women-led businesses across Inuit Nunangat have the resources they need to recover from this pandemic. We aim to continue supporting organizations like Pauktuutit. Thay way, they can play their vital role in creating networks and linkages. They drive initiatives that respond to the evolving needs of these regions.”

“Women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses are facing unique challenges. In response, our government provides critical investments so women-led businesses can continue contributing to Canada’s economic future,” said The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. “Women entrepreneurs want to continue building their businesses. We will be there to help them build back better.”

Rebecca Kudloo, president of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, said: “Pauktuutit appreciates the federal government’s ongoing support for companies owned and led by talented Inuit businesswomen. This additional funding will ensure these strong women have additional support and information. It will help their small businesses recover from the significant economic impact of COVID-19.”

Quick facts

  • In Canada’s Speech from the ThroneCOVID-19 Economic Response Plan and the Fall Economic Statement 2020, the Government of Canada reiterated its commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs in getting through the COVID-19 crisis, through various measures including accelerating the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
  • An overall investment of nearly $5 billion in the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy reinforces the Government of Canada’s commitment to increasing access to financing, talent, networks and expertise that women-owned businesses need to start up, scale up and access new markets.
  • The regional development agencies are delivering on the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy across Canada. CanNor invested close to $2 million to support Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
  • In May 2020, an additional $15 million in national funding was made available for Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund.
  • The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency has made significant investments to support women throughout the pandemic. These investments include providing funding to over 200 women-owned businesses. Through the Agency’s Northern Business Relief Fund and Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, they invested over 8 million.