June 18, 2019 – Gatineau, Quebec
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, Richard Hébert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, joined local women entrepreneurs and business leaders to celebrate women’s entrepreneurship in Canada and share how the federal government is helping women succeed.
Parliamentary Secretary Hébert, along with Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government and Member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer, announced a $100,000 investment in Cliona Derma (Les Crèmes Jovencia), a Gatineau-area, woman-led company, through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. This investment will help the company innovate, grow, and access new markets.
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy complements the Government of Canada’s efforts to advance gender equality. These 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 the Gatineau region 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, our government is taking action on gender equality, and that’s good for Canada and good for Gatineau because when women succeed, we all succeed.”
– Richard Hébert, Parliamentary Secretary of the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, and Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Jean
“Women entrepreneurs are the business leaders of Gatineau. They make incredible contributions to our economy and community ever 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. When women succeed, we all succeed.”
-Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government and Member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer
“The funds provided will enable Cliona Derma to launch a project that we have been working on for several years: the creation of our own eco-responsible active private cosmetics line. A line that will be created in the Outaouais region, and will highlight the talents of local people. A 100% Canadian brand, supported by a solid scientific foundation. We want to create products that will be free from compromise in terms of quality, scientific rigour and safety. We are extremely grateful to Canada Economic Development and the government of the day for this assistance, which will help build the prosperity of the Outaouais region and of Canada. We are committed to make this project a model of both economic success and sustainable development. We are confident that our small Outaouais-based company could penetrate international markets within 3 to 5 years with its product line, which already has an agreement with 7 major points of sale outside the Outaouais region. “
– Marie Dominique Loignon, CEO Cliona Derma (Les Crèmes Jovencia)
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.