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

Vehicle incident causes Hwy 6 closure and power outages in Slocan Valley

A Thursday afternoon incident has closed the main highway in the Slocan Valley

Emergency dental clinic to open in Nelson during COVID-19 shutdowns

Only people with serious pain, infection, or trauma will be admitted

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

Blewett Elementary expansion denied provincial funding

The pre-approved $5-million plan would have added 112 seats to the packed school

Nelson product commits to Cranbrook Bucks

Noah Quinn will make the jump to Jr. A next year with the BCHL’s newest franchise

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

Most Read