Government of Canada invests $900,000 to help nine women-led companies in Calgary and surrounding area grow and export
May 3, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta
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 Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, and the Honourable Kent Hehr, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, 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 Ng announced a $900,000 investment in nine Calgary-area, women-led companies through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. The successful recipients will each receive an investment of up to $100,000, which 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 Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the full and equal participation of women in our economy and society. This is why we created the first-ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses in Canada in the next six years. Today’s investments will help women-led businesses in the Calgary area innovate, grow and export to new markets.”
– The Honourable Kent Hehr, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre
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.
Fewer than 16% of SMEs in Canada are majority women-owned.
Only 8.4% of majority women-owned SMEs export, compared to 12.8% 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.