July 25, 2019 – Regina, Saskatchewan
The Government of Canada is advancing women’s economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.
Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced an investment of $4,648,377 in women entrepreneurs and organizations supporting women entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan.
The following women-owned or -led businesses will receive up to $100,000 through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund to help them grow their business and reach new export markets:
- Prairie Berries Inc., located in Keeler, which will expand its Saskatoon berry processing facility to pursue export markets;
- Hillberg & Berk Accessories Inc., located in Regina, which will assess and expedite sales of jewellery to the U.S. market;
- Canadian Organic Spice & Herb Co. Inc. (Splendor Garden), located in Watson, which will purchase new equipment to expand exports of organic spices and herbs;
- Clevor Technologies Inc. (Brillist), located in Saskatoon, which will promote sales of project optimization software in Canada and the U.S.;
- Destination Leadership Inc., located in Regina, which will expand its coaching business to new foreign markets with the launch of an eLearning program;
- Grandpa’s Garden Ltd., located in Caron, which will increase craft wine sales in Canada and beyond by developing a new product line;
- Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds Ltd., located in Parkside, which will export sprouting seeds to the U.S. natural foods retail market;
- Prairie Sun Pub and Brewery Inc., located in Saskatoon, which will increase the production and sales of craft beer with a new canning line;
- Road Coffee Co., located in Saskatoon, which will expand its value-added specialty fair trade coffee business;
- S & E Trusted Online Directories Inc., located in Saskatoon, which will increase IT services for market growth in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta; and
- Three Farmers Foods Inc., located in Saskatoon, which will establish an international supply chain system.
In addition, the following recipients of WES Ecosystem Fund (Regional Stream) support were announced:
- Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc., located in Saskatoon, will receive $1,000,000 to provide business support to women entrepreneurs in the food processing sector.
- Saskatoon Open Door Society Inc., located in Saskatoon, will receive $999,219 to create a business incubator for recent immigrant women entrepreneurs.
- Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc., located in Regina and Saskatoon, will receive $1,560,000 to launch a new program to scale up growth-oriented women-led businesses.
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy complements the Government of Canada’s efforts to advance gender equality. These efforts include addressing pay equity, providing more affordable child care and putting an end to gender-based violence.
“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.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
“The women entrepreneurs and business leaders of Saskatchewan make incredible contributions to our economy and communities every day. I’m proud to be part of a government that takes women’s economic empowerment seriously. From tackling pay equity to modernizing parental leave, this government is taking action on gender equality, and that’s good for Canada and good for Saskatchewan because when women succeed, we all succeed.”
– The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) will help women start and grow their businesses by improving access to financing, talent, networks and expertise through an investment of nearly $2 billion.
The strategy will help our government achieve its goal of doubling the number of majority women-owned businesses by 2025.
In Budget 2018, the WES Ecosystem Fund was allocated $85 million to help non-profit, third-party organizations deliver support for women entrepreneurs and address gaps in the ecosystem.
In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada allocated $20 million to the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. Following the call for applications held in fall 2018, over 3,000 applications were received and over 200 projects were funded. The Government is pleased to be able to support approximately 100 more projects by investing an additional $10 million in the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. With this additional investment, the Government is providing a total of $30 million to women-owned and -led businesses across Canada to grow their businesses and reach new markets.
WES complements our government’s broader initiatives to advance gender equality. These initiatives include measures on pay equity, more flexible parental leave and more affordable child care.
Advancing gender equality has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP to the Canadian economy by 2026.
Just 16% of SMEs in Canada are majority women-owned.
Only 11.2% of majority women-owned SMEs export, compared to 12.2% of majority male-owned SMEs.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Canada 2015/16 Report on Women’s Entrepreneurship indicated that, in 2016, Canada had the highest percentage of women participating in early-stage activity (13.3%) and the fifth highest in terms of female ownership of established businesses among comparable innovation-based economies.
Final funding is subject to negotiation of contribution agreements.