WES Ecosystem Fund

WES Ecosystem Fund

The Government of Canada is committed to advancing gender equality and women's economic empowerment and to supporting women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (the Strategy).

As part of the Strategy, the Government is ensuring women across Canada have access to the business supports they need to start or grow a business.
To date, the WES Ecosystem Fund has invested $100 million over five years to strengthen capacity within the entrepreneurship ecosystem and close gaps in service for women entrepreneurs.

Ecosystem Fund 2021

Under this new Ecosystem Fund call for proposals, $25 million is allocated to support new projects that are focused on responding to systemic barriers and gaps for diverse, intersectional and/or under-served women.

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

Information session

To answer questions about the program and the application process, ISED and the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub held an information session.

Watch the recording

Transcripts to follow.

Eligibility

Projects must be led by not-for-profit organizations and be inclusive of the needs of diverse and under-represented women. Partnerships/consortia proposals are encouraged.

Please note that current recipients of funding from the 2018 WES Ecosystem Fund call for proposals are not eligible to submit an application for this Call.
Opportunities to compete for funding will be available for 2018 WES Ecosystem Fund recipients in the future. Please consult the WES webpage regularly for updates.

Project scope and areas of focus

Through this call, funding consideration will be given to 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
  • have a maximum budget of $4,000,000
  • have a minimum budget of $400,000

Eligible focus areas include one or more of the following:

  • scale-up
  • supplier diversity
  • recovery planning/adaption
  • start-ups
  • other areas that will support/contribute to strengthening the network of women entrepreneurship organizations in Canada or the Ecosystem Fund objectives

Projects must include mentorship and networking as one component of project activities.

Application deadline

The Government of Canada invites eligible organizations to submit proposals for the WES Ecosystem Fund no later than March 15, 2022 (12 pm PST). Applications must include all of the required information outlined in the application guide to be considered in the next stage of the selection process. Late submissions will not be considered. Late submissions will not be considered. See application guide for additional information.

More information is available in the FAQ. Interested applicants can apply through the application form.