Women Entrepreneurship Strategy’s Ecosystem Fund Application Guide – Second Call

Section A: About the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy and the Ecosystem Fund

1. Introduction and background

Launched under Budget 2018, the Government of Canada's Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) aims to increase women-owned businesses' access to the financing, talent, networks and expertise they need to start up, scale up and access new markets.

The WES Ecosystem Fund was designed to provide non-repayable contribution funding to projects led by non-profit organizations that would help close service gaps and strengthen capacity within the women entrepreneurship ecosystem in Canada.

Information on the 2018 recipients of funding is available on the WES Ecosystem Fund website.

Through this call, the WES Ecosystem Fund will prioritize projects which support activities in areas of strength for women entrepreneurs (e.g. care economy, retail and service sectors) or projects which provide services to women entrepreneurs in rural and remote areas or the North.

It will also focus on fostering connections and cultivating networks, mentoring opportunities and resources/supports for women entrepreneurs.

2. The WES Ecosystem Fund call for proposals

Through Budget 2021, an additional $65 million in funding was committed to the WES Ecosystem Fund. In January 2022, a first call for proposals (valued at $25 million) was launched. This first call targeted women-focused organizations, that had not previously obtained funding through the WES Ecosystem Fund, which provided mentoring, networking and business supports to diverse/intersectional and/or under-served women thereby expanding support to organizations beyond those which received funding in 2018.

Now, a second call has launched. Under this new call, $40 million is allocated over two years (ending in 2024-25) to support:

  • New projects that will deliver business supports that will contribute to business development and growth. Recipients of 2018 Ecosystem Fund support may seek funding for either new projects or for enhanced/expanded 2018 projects, which abide by the parameters of this call for proposals.
  • Projects that support activities in areas of strength for women entrepreneurs (including in the care economy, retail and service sectors), in order to maximize benefits within the ecosystem.
  • Projects that provides services to women in rural and remote areas or the North.

Organizations which have not previously obtained funding through the WES Ecosystem Fund, as well as 2018 Ecosystem Fund recipients, are eligible to apply for funding through this call for proposals. Further, information on eligibility is provided in Section 4 of this document.

This funding will provide an opportunity to further foster connections and strengthen the network of supports within the entrepreneurship ecosystem for women entrepreneurs, and ensure supports are available and respond to the needs of women entrepreneurs.

Through this call, funding will be available to support:

  • National/Multi-Regional Projects
    • Projects that are national in scope, or serve a minimum of 5 provinces and territories (multi-regional);
    • Priority will be given to projects that deliver services in all provinces and territories;
    • the Project budget must not exceed $3,000,000;
    • Projects must have a minimum budget of $250,000; and
    • Project funding must conclude by March 31, 2025.

3. General information

This application guide has been developed to assist in the completion of a project application form for the 2022 WES Ecosystem Fund. It provides information on how to submit the application, eligibility criteria for prospective applicants as well as the assessment criteria against which the project will be assessed.

Applicants may only submit one application for funding.

Priority will be given to eligible organizations that deliver national services. In order to further foster connections between organizations within the ecosystem, eligible applicants must apply in partnership with at least one other organization.

Prior to starting your submission, please read this application guide in its entirety to ensure a clear understanding of the WES Ecosystem Fund's objectives and eligibility criteria. Failure to adhere to the instructions outlined in this guide may lead to your application being screened-out.

Applications should be submitted by clicking the "Submit" button at the end of the Application Form PDF by September 26, 2022 (11:59 am Pacific Time).

Applications will only be reviewed after the deadline. If more than one application is submitted, only your most recent application will be reviewed. To be considered for funding, applications must provide all the required information and documentation, outlined in this application guide. If your application package is incomplete, your application may be rejected. Late submissions will not be considered for funding. Documents sent after the deadline will not be considered.

If you experience technical difficulties or have any additional questions, contact the WES central inbox or call 1-800-328-6189. Please note that 48 hours prior to the deadline for applications, September 26, 2022 (11:59 am Pacific Time), we are unable to guarantee a response from the WES central inbox. During that time, queries on technical issues will be prioritized.

It is highly recommended that applications be submitted well before the deadline to ensure there are no unforeseen issues at the time of submission. Late applications due to technical issues within 24 hours of the deadline will not be considered acceptable grounds for late submission and may lead to your application not being considered further for funding.

Section B: Eligibility, costs and application process

4. Eligibility requirements

i. Eligible organizations

Applicant organizations must be a Canadian not-for-profit organization or association which operates at a local, regional or national level and falls under at least one of the following categories:

  • Business and entrepreneur support organizations;
  • Research/innovation hubs;
  • Organizations that certify diverse suppliers in Canada;
  • Post-secondary institutions, universities, colleges and technical institutes;
  • Indigenous organizations; and
  • Business accelerators and incubators.

The following types of organizations are ineligible to apply as lead applicants on proposals (although may still apply as partners on proposal submissions):

  • Crown Organizations;
  • Community Futures Development Corporations;
  • Community Business Development Corporations;
  • Sociétés d'aide au développement des collectivités; and
  • Centres d'aide aux entreprises.

Lead applicant organizations must have been in operation for a minimum of three years (as of September 26, 2022). Partner organizations must have been in operation for a minimum of one year. Applicants must demonstrate that they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have an established mandate focused on supporting women and/or women entrepreneurs; and/or
  • Have existing programming (offered within the past three years) which specifically targets or is focused on women entrepreneurs/women skills development.

Please note: Programming which has significant uptake or is attended primarily by women is not sufficient to meet this criteria. Programming must have been specifically designed and targeted towards women entrepreneurs or skills development for women.

The Province of Quebec's M-30 legislation may apply to Québec based applicants. Applicants are asked to identify if they are implicated by this legislation. This will not impact assessment of the proposal. For further information, consult the following website prior to submitting your application for funding: An Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (M-30).

ii. Partnerships

In order to further strengthen relationships between organizations within the ecosystem, applicants must work in partnership with at least one other organization (or multiple organizations) to effectively administer the project and to demonstrate they meet the elements outlined in the Assessment Criteria.

A partnership is formed when organizations operating in a similar sphere come together to deliver an initiative. This could include community organizations connecting with other organizations that serve similar purposes or clientele across Canada.

A project proposal for a partnership should only be submitted by one applicant (the lead organization) who must meet the eligible organization requirements.

Partnerships may include private sector actors. However, private sector partners will be expected to make a financial or in-kind contribution to the project. Private sector partners are not intended to be beneficiaries of project funding. Private sector organizations can be engaged in a sub-contracting/procurement relationship. In this context, they will not be considered to be functioning as partners on a proposal.

The lead applicant is responsible for the completion and signing of the application form, project and financial management (including signing of the contribution agreement and managing funds internally with partner organizations) and reporting on results. When developing the proposal content, both lead applicant and partner(s)'s experience and expertise may be used to demonstrate the skillset and capacity to meet the required assessment criteria and ensure successful project delivery.

For example, in the case of a new partnership formed to apply for this call, Partner A may have experience in delivering programming which targets women entrepreneurs, while Partner B may have experience in delivering supports to Northern communities. Collectively the partners can demonstrate their ability to serve both women entrepreneurs and Northern communities. The partners can also use their combined experience to demonstrate their capacity to effectively manage and financially administer projects of a similar size and scope.

Partnership applications must include a letter of support between the lead applicant and each partner organization (signed by their authorized official). Each letter must clearly describe the details of the respective partners' contribution – roles and contributions in delivering the required project, experience, expertise and knowledge, and if applicable, financial and in-kind contributions – to the implementation project. Should an application be selected for funding formal memorandums of understanding (MOUs) will be required between the lead applicant and the partners, and will need to be submitted to ISED prior to funding.

iii. Eligible projects

General Requirements:
  • Must be led by an eligible non-for-profit organization that has been in operation for a minimum of three years September 26, 2022;
  • All proposed funded activities be completed by March 31, 2025;
  • Projects must have a minimum budget of $250,000;
  • Projects must not exceed a budget of $3,000,000;
  • Projects must focus on women entrepreneurs or women majority owned businesses (51% or more ownership stake);
  • Project activities and products must be delivered in both official languagesFootnote *; and
  • Projects must meet one or more of the project scope elements.
Footnote *

Project services must be provided in both official languages. Applicants must clearly outline in their application how they plan on providing services in both official languages. Failure to provide such information may lead to your application being deemed ineligible. For example, if an applicant plans on hosting a virtual information sessions in English, clear information must be provided on how the session will be translated into French (e.g. live translation, close captioning etc.). Translation costs (if applicable) should be built into the proposed budget.

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iv. Project scope

Applicants must demonstrate capacity to reach a national or multi-regional audience. Priority will be given to projects which deliver benefits to women-owned businesses and/or support activities in areas of strength for women entrepreneurs (e.g. care economy, retail and service sectors) or projects which provide services to women entrepreneurs in rural and remote areas or the North.

Recipients of 2018 Ecosystem Fund support may seek funding for either new projects or for enhanced/expanded 2018 projects, which abide by the parameters of this call for proposals.

Eligible focus areas include one or more of the following:

  • Enhance or expand 2018 WES Ecosystem Fund Projects;
  • Deliver business supports for women entrepreneurs (for example: business operation innovations [helping businesses become more sustainable, or achieve internal efficiencies] or supplier diversity and procurement).

v. Eligible and ineligible activities

Eligible activities are those that address one or more of the following:

  • Mentoring, networking or related supports;
  • Facilitate capacity building and skills development opportunities (e.g. training and education, strategic business and/or financial planning, networking, matchmaking, mentorship and coaching, and, advisory services);
  • Involve innovative business development and deployment supports and/or strategies (e.g. service improvements, and pilot or experimentation approaches);
  • Compilation, development, and delivery of learning materials, policies, procedures, tools, and workshops responsive to the objectives of this initiative;
  • Establish or strengthen inclusive networks and partnerships that identify and share knowledge and best practices, and/or improve coordination of supports for small businesses and entrepreneurs;
  • Advance/support procurement and supplier diversity efforts;
  • Meetings, events, workshops;
  • Promotion activities to increase awareness of issues faced by small businesses and entrepreneurs (i.e. access, representation, diversity).
  • Other activities that support the objectives of this initiative.

Ineligible activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Undertaking any type of direct funding to third party organizations (e.g. loans/financing/grants for entrepreneurs).

vi. Eligible costs

Eligible costs are those incurred and which, in the opinion of the Minister, are reasonable, incremental and required to carry out the Eligible Activities if an agreement is signed.

Eligible costs include:

  • Cost of labour (e.g., salaries and benefits) and of material used;
  • Capital costs directly related the Eligible Activities such as capital disbursements and associated expenses, purchase of machinery, equipment and infrastructure and/or associated repairs or retrofits;
  • Operating costs that are incremental and directly related to the project: management fees or working capital;
  • Costs related to marketing, promotion, and communication;
  • Professional fees (e.g., consultants, research, IT, technical expertise, legal, translation, digital and social media production);
  • Costs associated with procuring space or equipment necessary to carry out the project, including for workshops, events and meetings; and
  • Costs that support the use of tools and products for capacity building and skills development (e.g., educational licensing, third-party software).

Administrative costs will be limited to a maximum of 15% of the total contribution amount. Administrative costs do not include costs associated with capacity building activities.

Any project costs incurred before the signing of the Contribution Agreement will not be eligible for reimbursement.

vii. Ineligible costs

Ineligible Costs under the WES Ecosystem Fund include(but are not limited to):

  • capital investments, as well as the refinancing of an existing debt;
  • any form of direct funding (loans, financing, grants) to third party organizations;
  • the purchase of any assets for more than the fair market value of the said asset;
  • costs of amortization;
  • land and building acquisition; and
  • goodwill.

viii. Expected results and outcomes

The following are expected outcomes and performance indicators for the WES Ecosystem Fund:
Outcome(s) Performance Indicator(s)
Women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses have access to programs and services to start, maintain and grow their businesses and are aware of the supports and partnerships available to them.

Number of clients supported in starting a new business (by province/territory).

Number of clients supported in sustaining or growing an existing business (by province/territory).

Enrolment/Number of clients who receive training/capacity building/outreach sessions/bootcamps.

Number of clients connected with networking, matchmaking or mentorship opportunities.

Percentage of businesses, supported through the program, self-reporting employment growth.

Percentage of businesses, supported through the program self-reporting revenue growth.

Other outcomes that advance the objectives of the Fund

As relevant to the identified outcome.

Applicable to all above objectives

Number of diverse/intersectional and/or under-served clients supported by business support organizations (by province/territory).

Number of clients from rural, remote or the North which are supported by business support organizations (by province/territory).

Percentage of clients who are satisfied overall with services of the business support organizations.

Recipients of funding will also be asked to collect business participant information (Business Number, Company legal name; Address; and Company website).

5. Project proposal details

The following information should be provided in a maximum twelve-page (12-point font, double spaced)Footnote * Microsoft Word or PDF document. Please use the headings provided when responding to each of the elements outlined below.

Footnote *

Please note, due to the anticipated high volume of applications, only the first 12 pages of your application will be reviewed. This includes any charts and/or graphs.

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i. Organization eligibility

  • Explain how your organization clearly meets at least one of the following eligibility criteria:
    • Have an established mandate focused on supporting women and/or women entrepreneurs; and/or
    • Have existing programming (offered within the past three years) which specifically targets or is focused on women entrepreneurs/women skills development.

ii. Key partners

  • Outline key partners in the project, what their roles will be and how they will benefit/enhance the project; and
  • Include a letter of support for each partner as an attachment to this application (not considered as part of the proposal paper page limit). The letter(s) should clearly outline the role of each partner and their contribution to the project.

iii. Organization capacity (may include partner(s)'s capacity)

  • Provide a description of the project team and the project management structure; a description of the organization (mandate, reach membership, governance);
  • Describe the experience and expertise your organization/partners have managing and financially administering projects similar in size and scope;
  • Outline the experience and expertise your organization/partners have in working with women entrepreneurs or women-owned business, and within areas of strength for women entrepreneurs (e.g. care economy, retail and service sectors) or in rural and remote areas or the North;
  • Demonstrate how your organization/partner is well-positioned to identify and address gaps and strengthen capacity in the women entrepreneurship ecosystem; and
  • Explain how the project will be properly governed collectively and how the combined experience of the partners addresses the capacity requirements of the project.

iv. Project objectives and scope

  • Describe the project scope:
    • What gaps will the project address and how? (evidence of the gaps, and why it is important to address these gaps); and
    • How the project will contribute to the achievement of the overall Fund objectives.
  • Describe the reach of your project:
  • Who will be served?;
    • Which priority women groups will the project benefit (if applicable)?;
    • Geographic regions that will be served by the project and how they will be served (national or multi regional);
    • Points of service (locations where services will be offered, how clients can access the services)Footnote *; and
    • How will you ensure that the project activities and products are marketed/communicated (both through prepared materials and direct interaction) in both official languages?
  • Indicate and explain the project focus:
    • Enhance or expand 2018 WES Ecosystem Fund Projects;
    • Deliver business supports for women entrepreneurs (for example: business operation innovations [helping businesses become more sustainable, or achieve internal efficiencies] or supplier diversity and procurement).
Footnote *

For the purposes of this project, online services will be considered in regards to project reach. However, applicants should outline how services will be provided to those individuals who may have limited access to the internet.

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v. Project activities

  • Identify which of the eligible project activity(ies) your project will cover and describe:
    • What activities and services will be offered;
    • How will activities be delivered in both official languages;
    • How activities will be delivered and by which partners;
    • Proposed project length;
    • Feasible timelines;
    • Which organization(s) will be responsible for delivering the work under each activity.

vi. Risks and mitigation plan

  • Describe the main risks that could have an impact on your organization's ability to carry out the activities proposed or achieve project objectives; and
  • Indicate the probability (low, medium or high) and the mitigation strategies for each risk.

vii. Project budget

  • Provide a detailed overview of project costs by completing the Budget Detail Template (not considered as part of the proposal paper page limit). The Budget Detail Template should be completed after consulting the Budget Detail Template Instructions.

viii. Expected outcomes

  • Describe how your activities will contribute to the planned outcomes of the WES Ecosystem Fund.
    • Include both qualitative and quantitative measures (e.g. qualitative: improved knowledge of financing options; and quantitative: 200 women entrepreneurs received training and mentorship)

ix. Sustainability plan

  • Describe plans for future sustainability after the project is completed, including an overview of how this project will seek to achieve self-sufficiency by the end of funding agreement (not considered as part of the proposal paper page limit)Footnote *.
Footnote *

Please note, given the time limited duration of funding, the purpose of this requirement is ensuring that organizations have considered how they will sustain the project activities long term or conclude projects. Applicants should have a clear plan outlined in this section how their project will be self-sufficient post funding or how services will wind down.

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x. M-30 disclosure (Quebec based organizations only)

  • Disclosure if M-30 legislation is applicable to your organization, where applicable.

Any other information required to evaluate the eligibility of your project and help determine the extent to which the project will contribute to the achievement of the WES Ecosystem Fund's objectives and to define the benefits that the project will generate, while respecting the max page limit.

6. Assessment criteria

Assessment criteria must be met, and demonstrated, by at least one of the organizations in the Partnership, as outlined in the table below. The combined experience of the partners will be considered throughout the assessment process.

Assessment criteria
Organization Experience
Organization capacity
  • Project team and management structure are clear and sound;
  • Experience in effectively managing projects of a similar size and scope;
  • Experience in financially administrating projects of similar size and scope;
  • Experience working with entrepreneurs and/or women majority owned businesses (51% or more ownership stake);
  • Experience working within areas of strength for women entrepreneurs or in rural and remote areas or the North; and
  • Ability to identify and address gaps and strengthen capacity in the women entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Implementation
Project objectives, expected outcomes and scope
  • Gaps identified in ecosystem are clear and evidence based;
  • Information is provided on how the proposed project will impact and/or strengthen the ecosystem by effectively addressing gaps through project activities;
  • Ability to deliver services to women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses; and
  • Ability to deliver services in both English and FrenchFootnote *.
Footnote *

Please note that it is not enough to simply declare that services will be provided in both official languages. Clear information must be provided on how women entrepreneurs will be able to access services in the official language of their choice.

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Project activities
  • Detailed and relevant information is given on the proposed activities and services;
  • Activities will achieve project's objectives and link to overall initiative objectives;
  • Clear plan to attract clientele (marketing/advertising) and deliver services (virtual/in-person);
  • Feasible timelines and milestones; and
  • Clear and sound information is given on how the work will be done, and who will do this work.
Risks and mitigation Plan
  • Risks that could impact proposed activities are identified and comprehensive; and
  • Risks are identified and reasonable risk mitigation strategies are outlined.
Key partners
  • Key partners needed to carry out proposed work are included and their project roles are identified.
Budget
  • Provides adequate details and description of eligible costs in budget; and
  • Proposal demonstrates value for money.
Expected outcomes
  • Proposal clearly indicates how the organization will contribute to the planned outcomes of the overall initiative; and
  • Any qualitative and quantitative outcomes are provided and substantiated.
Sustainability
  • Approach to continue services when the funding for this current agreement ends on March 31, 2025Footnote *.
Footnote *

Please note that the sustainability plan must clearly articulate how the project will continue without ISED funding or how services will wind down.

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7. Submission details

Application submission – Deadline: September 26, 2022 (11:59 am Pacific Time)

Your application package must include the following:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. Proposal paper, no more than 12 pages in length (12-point font, double spaced, including graphs/charts) which includes the information outlined in Section 5 : Project Proposal Details
  3. Three years of past financial statements (audited or review engagement) for the lead applicantFootnote *.
  4. Incorporation document (for the lead applicant).
  5. Completed Budget Detail Template.
  6. Sustainability Plan (covering the period after funding ends 2024-25)
  7. Letter(s) of support from partners (signed by their authorized official) in the application (at least one). Letter(s) must outline partner roles and contributions in delivering the required project, experience, expertise and knowledge.
  8. Quebec based organizations only – Disclosure if M-30 legislation is applicable to your organization/proposed project
Footnote *

Please note, the financials submitted must clearly state that they are audited/review engagement. Failure to provide this information will lead to your application being screened-out. Applicants should make best efforts to provide financial statements that are as recent as possible.

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The Application Form and Budget Detail Template are secure PDFs. Do not attempt to open the form in your browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox etc.). Download the file and open it with a PDF viewer/reader.

How to download and open a PDF form

To open a PDF form, you need to have Adobe Reader 10 or higher, or any alternative non-web based PDF viewer/reader installed (please note that free versions of PDF viewers/readers are available). Mobile devices such as iPads, tablets and mobile phones can't be used for the WES Ecosystem forms.

Downloading and opening PDF files - for PC users
  • Find the link of the file you want to save (you may need to go back to the previous page to find it).
  • Right-click the link.
  • Select "Save target as" or "Save link as".
  • Choose the location on your computer where you would like to save the file.
  • Select "Save".
  • Use Windows Explorer to get to the location where you saved the file.
  • Right click on the PDF file.
  • Select "Open with".
  • Select "Choose program".
  • Select "Adobe Acrobat Reader".
  • Make sure to check the box that says, "Always use this program to open these files".
  • Select "OK".

If you can't open the files with Adobe Reader 10 or higher or any alternative non-web based PDF viewer/reader, let us know about your technical issue.

Once the forms are completed, attach the required additional documents and electronically submit by clicking on the "Submit" button at the bottom of the application form. If more than one application is submitted, only the most recent application will be considered.

Please note, the submission of the application form requires a PDF entry. The Government of Canada recognizes that PDF files have limited accessibility and are incompatible with some screen readers. If your organization requires another submission format, please email wes-sfe@ised-isde.gc.ca for assistance. Please ensure you are able to access the application form early in the process. Exceptions or extensions to the deadline will not be granted and assistance cannot be provided within the last 24 hours prior to the deadline for applications.

8. Approval, contribution agreement and reporting

If approved, a contribution agreement will include the legally binding responsibilities and obligations of both parties. Successful projects and funded amounts will be publicly disclosed.

Please note: If funded, WES Ecosystem Fund recipients must produce annual audited financial statements for the duration of the agreement.

Successful Applicants will be required to report on the applicable Ecosystem Performance Indicators and provide ISED with:

  • Quarterly progress updates;
  • Annual reports which include audited financials; and
  • A final report.

Recipients of funding will be obligated to share data with the Women's Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub to help provide data that will strengthen then women's entrepreneurship ecosystem.

9. Stacking provisions and other government assistance

Leveraging of funds is strongly encouraged. Total Canadian government assistance for all eligible expenses, including federal, provincial/territorial and municipal, cannot exceed 100% of total eligible costs funded. The stacking limit applies to the scope of activities captured by the Contribution Agreement.

Section C: Glossary

Activities

Activities are undertakings that are eligible for funding under the WES Ecosystem Fund (see eligible activities) and required to complete a project.

Application

A set of documents submitted to the Government of Canada in order to participate in an application for funding process. For WES Ecosystem Fund, this includes the application form and all additional documents included in the "attachments" section of the form.

Assessment Criteria

The criteria ISED will use to grade applications and choose the recipient(s) for funding.

Authorized Official

An individual who is authorized to legally sign on behalf of the organization.

Budget Detail Template

The template that Applicants will use to forecast their budget for the duration of the project.

Capacity Building Activities

Relates to those activities which improve an organization's effectiveness, teaching or consulting to build needed skills (e.g., training and education, strategic business and/or financial planning, networking, matchmaking, mentorship and coaching, and advisory services).

Contribution Agreement

A written agreement between the successful applicant and the Government of Canada. It includes the legally binding responsibilities and obligations of both parties.

Diverse/Intersectional and/or Under-served Women

Includes, but is not limited to, women with disabilities; Indigenous women; women in rural or remote regions; recent immigrants; visible minority women; women who identify as two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender individuals; and women from Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs).

Eligible Applicant

Applicants that meet the eligibility criteria to receive funding for the WES Ecosystem Fund.

Eligible Costs

The costs to which Initiative funding may be applied and which are established in the Contribution Agreement.

Eligible Projects

Projects that meet the eligibility requirements to receive funding for the WES Ecosystem Fund.

Financial Statements

Financials statements are documents that demonstrate the business activities and financial health of an organization. There are two levels of financial statements acceptable under this call for proposals: audited and review engagement. WES Ecosystem Fund recipients will be required to produce annual audited financial statements for the duration of the project.

Incorporation Documents

Documentation filed with the Government of Canada or specific provinces to legally document the creation of a corporation which may include charitable organization, a public foundation, or a private foundation.

Ineligible Costs

Costs that are not eligible for reimbursement through the Initiative.

Letters of Support

Letters of support are required for each Partner organization and should clearly detail how they will contribute to the project (role, expertise, activities etc.). Where applicable, it should outline how the organizations have collaborated in the past, including role, track record, experience and expertise. The letter of support has to be signed by an authorized official of Partner organization.

Mentorship and Related Supports

Examples include networking, matchmaking, mentorship and coaching, and, advisory services.

Multi-Regional Project

Projects serving entrepreneurs in at minimum 5 provinces and territories.

National Project

Projects serving entrepreneurs from coast to coast to coast in their official language of choice.

Not-for-profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations are associations, clubs, or societies that are organized and operated exclusively for social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure, recreation, or any other purpose except profit.

Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs)

Refers to English-speaking communities in Quebec and French-speaking communities in the rest of Canada.

Partner Organizations

Are identified organizations fundamental in the delivery of the proposed project. These partners provide additional expertise and support to the recipient and should provide signed, detailed letters of support stating their commitment and role to the project. The partners are invested in the completion and/or the success of the project through the provision of either financial and/or non-financial contributions.

Project

The combined activities that are required to accomplish a stated objective and the completion of the activities that may result in specific outcomes being achieved. The Contribution Agreement includes a statement of work that details the eligible project and related activities.

Recipient

An Applicant that signs a Contribution Agreement with the Government of Canada and receives funding. Once an Applicant signs the agreement, they become a Recipient.

Rural, Remote and North

For the purposes of this call, "rural" is defined as individuals in municipalities located outside the commuting zone of larger urban centres (with 10,000 or more population). "Remote" is defined as a community that meets the definition of a rural community and does not have year-round road access. "North" or "northern area" is defined as the three territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut).

Stacking Limit

The maximum level of total Canadian government (municipal, provincial/territorial, federal) funding authorized for any one activity, initiative or project of a recipient.

Sustainability Plan

The plan that outlines how Applicants will ensure the project will continue after the funding from the Government has ceased.

Underserved Groups

Please see definition for "Diverse/Intersectional and/or Under-served Women"

Value for Money

A term that refers to achieving economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and equity in project delivery.

Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES)

The program initiated by the Government to ensure the full and equal participation of women in the economy. It represents a nearly $6-billion investment that aims to increase women-owned businesses' access to the financing, talent, networks and expertise they need to start up, scale up and access new markets.

Women-owned Business

Refers to a business is that is at least 51%, owned by one or more women, that is managed and controlled by one or more women, where a woman is a signatory of the business's legal documents and financial accounts, and which is operated independently from businesses that are not owned by women.