Government of Canada invests $286,000 to help three women-owned or -led companies in Victoria and surrounding area grow and export
May 13, 2019 – Victoria, British Columbia
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.
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, joined local women entrepreneurs and business leaders to celebrate women’s entrepreneurship in Canada and share how the federal government is helping women succeed.
Minister Joly, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced a $286,000 investment in three women-owned or -led companies in the Victoria area through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. The successful recipients are receiving an investment of up to $100,000 that will help them innovate, grow, and access new markets.
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy complements the Government of Canada’s efforts to advance gender equality, which include addressing pay equity, providing more affordable childcare 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 Vancouver Island make incredible contributions to our economy and community 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 British Columbia because when women succeed, we all succeed.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
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.
WES programs complement our government’s broader initiatives to help women, including measures on pay equity, more flexible parental leave and more affordable childcare.
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.