The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, travelled to Toronto on March 20 to visit local businesses, meet with the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA), participate in Elevate’s Women In Tech event and announce the release of the State of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Canada 2023: Research Preview, an annual report put out by the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.
Elevate and the CVCA are two of five organizations selected to deliver the Inclusive Women Venture Capital Initiative (IWVCI), a $15 million program under the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy that is strengthening and building a more inclusive VC environment for Canadian women entrepreneurs. Minister Ng announced the five organizations receiving funding through the IWVCI at an event celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8.
At the Elevate event, Minister Ng highlighted support for women in technology through programs like BDC Capital’s Women in Technology Venture Fund. This program invests in companies from seed to scale, in emerging venture funds with female partners and in new models to encourage women to become investors, expanding the network of investors for female founders and women leaders to seek out as they build new ventures.
The State of Women’s Entrepreneurship report brings together research on women entrepreneurship in Canada to inform government and ecosystem partners’ policy and practice. New research this year highlights women entrepreneurs’ influence in driving environmental sustainability and social innovation, as well as economic development. For example:
- women-owned businesses focus more on innovation, as well as on improving organizational processes;
- one half of early-stage women entrepreneurs in Canada increased their use of digital technologies to adapt to the COVID-19 reality; and
- women-owned businesses prioritize inclusivity by providing more opportunities for under-represented groups.
Since its launch in 2018, the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy has helped 10,000 women entrepreneurs start their businesses and 12,000 women grow their businesses.