Women entrepreneurs are critical to Canada’s economic success and a strong, inclusive COVID-19 recovery. As Canada commemorates the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure that the gains made by women entrepreneurs are preserved.
On behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade, the Honourable Jim Carr announced today that the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund recipients in the Prairies will receive more than $3.18 million in top-up funding. This investment, made possible by Western Economic Diversification Canada, comes on top of the $12.3 million in WES funding that these organizations received previously.
The top-up funding will help women entrepreneurs in the Prairies navigate the pandemic while also allowing them to expand their businesses. Coaching, mentorship, and networking opportunities will all benefit from the funding. As Canada recovers, it will also help women-owned businesses start up, scale up, and enter new markets.
Please see the backgrounder for more information on all ten WES top-up investments.
The Honourable Jim Carr made remarks at a virtual event hosted by the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba as part of this announcement. He discussed the government’s commitment to assisting women entrepreneurs, and why this is more important than ever as we work to recover from the pandemic.
“Women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses are facing unique challenges. In response to these challenges, our Government is providing critical investments so women-led businesses can continue contributing to Canada’s economic future. Women entrepreneurs want to continue building their businesses, and we will be there to help them build back better.” – The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade “Western Canadian women entrepreneurs make incredible contributions to our economy and communities every single day. Funding announced today will help women entrepreneurs across the Prairies by providing mentoring, training and coaching to help navigate the ongoing challenges associated with COVID-19 and grow their business. With support from the Government of Canada, women-led businesses will emerge stronger than ever.” – The Honourable Jim Carr, Special Advisor for the Prairies “We are so glad to have the ability to extend our Regional Relief and Recovery Fund lending to a greater number of women entrepreneurs struggling to recover and remake their businesses during this difficult time. The determination and fortitude of these women is inspiring and the fact that we can provide these additional resources to support their efforts is greatly appreciated.” – Sandra Altner, CEO, Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba.
Fast facts The Government of Canada reaffirmed its commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs in the COVID-19 crisis in the Speech from the Throne, the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, and the Fall Economic Statement 2020, through a variety of measures, including accelerating the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
The Government of Canada’s commitment to increasing access to financing, talent, networks, and expertise that women-owned businesses require to start up, scale up, and access new markets is reinforced by a nearly $5 billion investment in the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is being implemented by regional development agencies across Canada. Western Economic Diversification Canada invested nearly $38 million in the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy to support 120 businesses and organizations in the West.
An additional $15 million in national funding was made available for recipients of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund to provide timely support and advice to women entrepreneurs facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in May the 20th, 2020.
News and picture Source: canada.ca