The Government of Canada is committed to advancing gender equality, women's economic empowerment and supporting women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy announced in Budget 2018.
The full and equal participation of women in the economy is essential to Canada's competitiveness. Current female entrepreneurs face unique barriers as they move along the business cycle. As a result, women own fewer than 16% of businesses and are underrepresented in the economy.
By addressing women's economic empowerment through initiatives such as the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (the Strategy), Canada will have the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP by 2026.
In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada allocated $20 million to the Women Entrepreneurship Fund to fund over 200 projects. Due to the strong demand for Women Entrepreneurship Fund support, an additional $10-million investment was made to fund approximately 100 more applicants, $2.5 million of which was for Indigenous women entrepreneurs. With this additional investment, the Government is now providing a total of $30 million to women-owned and led businesses across Canada to grow and reach new markets.
This call for proposals is closed - we are no longer accepting applications.
In total, more than 300 applications were approved for funding.
The Women Entrepreneurship Fund helps women-owned and women-led businesses invest in activities that focus on:
- Supporting pursuit of market opportunities abroad (e.g. international marketing strategy, supply chain integration, promotions, business advisory services, online presence/website development)
- Supporting Scale-up, Expansion and Growth (e.g. product/service development and improvement, inventory management, value stream mapping, upgrades to plant and equipment, process and technology improvements
- Additional activities that support the objectives of the Women Entrepreneurship Fund