Women's Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES)

Women's Entrepreneurship Strategy SEA Public Statement

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (2010), a Strategic environmental Assessment (SEA) was conducted for the Strategy.

The Government of Canada recognizes the vital role that entrepreneurship and small businesses play in improving women's social and economic roles and in strengthening the middle class. New investments announced in Budget 2018 demonstrate the Government's leadership to advance women entrepreneurship with Canada's first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which aims to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025. The Strategy builds on the Government's feminist agenda and introduces a whole-of-government approach that positions women entrepreneurship as an integral part of Canada's growth strategy.

Women entrepreneurs face unique challenges as they move through the phases of business development. Canada's first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy unites government resources under a single federal framework providing nearly $2 billion to further the economic empowerment of Canadian women. The Strategy's four pillars are: (1) helping women-owned businesses grow; (2); increasing access to capital; (3) improving access to federal business innovation programming; and (4) enhancing data and knowledge. The Strategy sets out a flexible approach to the delivery of nationally coordinated, regionally tailored programming that recognizes the varying needs of diverse women entrepreneurs across Canada.

The results indicated that since the Strategy targets women's economic participation, the program may help Canada make progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. The proposal is unlikely to result in adverse effects on the environment. Contributing to the government's Innovation and Skills Plan, the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy will support women entrepreneurs entering productive sectors including clean technology and those providing resources of the future. The Strategy may help to advance environmental outcomes and may indirectly help advance the 2016-2019 FSDS goals and targets.