Application process

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Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub

The WEKH will help close information gaps regarding the economic participation of women entrepreneurs and their access to business support services. Through evidence-based research, improved knowledge, and the development of public metrics related to women and the entrepreneurship ecosystem, this investment will support governments and stakeholders to:

  • gauge the engagement and impact of funded government programs;
  • share best practices;
  • identify and address stereotypes about women as entrepreneurs and in business; and
  • develop business support materials that translate research into useful tools for women entrepreneurs and organizations that engage or support them.

The aim of the WEKH's activities must help ensure that women entrepreneurs, women business support organizations, government bodies and financial institutions in Canada will be equipped with useful resources and new information to better understand and assist women entrepreneurs. These outcomes will help facilitate the full engagement of women entrepreneurs in Canada's economy.


Eligible applicants

Applicants may apply independently or as a Consortium with other organizations to deliver Hub activities.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as a Consortium to strengthen their application request; increasing the scope and breadth of activities they can deliver. Collaboration will help build the capacity needed to undertake all the required activities, ensure a national reach and provide products, in both official languages.

Eligible applicants are one of the following, not-for-profit organizations:

  • Canadian post-secondary academic institutions
  • Canadian research institutes
  • A consortium with one or more of the above parties partnering with Canadian incorporated non-profit organizations

Consortium applicants

  • Must have a Canadian post-secondary academic institution or a Canadian Research institute Lead Applicant
  • Canadian incorporated non-profit organizations are encouraged to participate as a Consortium member

The Lead Applicant will be responsible for the completion and signing of the application form, managing the project and contribution funding and report on results.

Ineligible applicants

  • For–profit organizations

Eligible activities

  1. A report on the progress of women entrepreneurs in Canada, including a measure or review of the entrepreneurship ecosystem supports for women in Canada
  2. Activities related to collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information, and/or advancing research on women's entrepreneurship
  3. Activities to support sharing of best practices and knowledge amongst women business support organizations. (e.g. sharing of information related to best practices for increasing diversity, and tools to help increase the participation of women on boards and within senior management).

Applicants are also encouraged to engage in additional activities that will contribute to the achievement of the WEKH objectives.

Eligible costs

Eligible costs are expenses that are directly related to managing the WEKH and its activities.

Eligible costs include:

  1. Salaries and benefits of employees specifically identified as delivering the activities of the WEKH
  2. Costs related to marketing and communication
  3. Administrative expenses
  4. Other costs necessary to support the purpose of the funding, as approved by the Minister of ISED

Non-eligible costs

Non eligible costs include, but are not limited to:

  1. Capital expenditures such as land and building expenditures
  2. Costs related to the routine administration and operation of the applicant and partner organizations, except the reimbursement of salary and administrative costs specifically identified and related to the Hub
  3. Salary of members of the Board of Directors
  4. Federal and provincial income taxes, goods and services taxes, excess profit taxes or surtaxes and/or special expenses in connection with those taxes
  5. Expenditures related to developing a project proposal for funding; and
  6. Contingency costs

Assessment criteria and review process

Projects will be assessed to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and for their quality, merit and relevance.

Review process

Applications will be reviewed in a two-step process as follows:

Step 1: Initial screening

All application packages will be screened to ensure that they are complete and meet the eligibility criteria. If an application package is incomplete or fails to meet the eligibility criteria, applicants will be notified in writing that their application will not be considered further.

Step 2: Review and approval

Eligible application packages will be assessed for quality, merit and relevance. Please note that the assessment criteria for each section are included in the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub Application Guide.

Once a final decision is made, all applicants will be notified in writing.

How to apply

When you click 'Apply now', you will be prompted to submit a basic request form. We will then contact you by email within two business days to provide you with an application package and instructions to complete and submit the forms.

Instructions for a consortium

A consortium consists of an academic or research institution lead applicant and a group of partner organizations submitting one application collectively. For the purpose of this application request, both the lead organization and partner organization(s) must meet all the Hub eligibility requirements. The lead applicant will be the key point of contact for this application and is requested to complete and sign the application form and submit the documents listed in the checklist. Partner organizations will each provide a letter of support for the project as part of the application package.

Application Intake

The deadline to submit an application was September 14, 2018 23:59 PST.

Please ensure you review the checklist included in the application package and submit a complete application. ISED will acknowledge receipt of your application package within two business days.

Once completed, application forms can be submitted by email or registered mail, prior to the deadline date.

Please be advised that the generic email account is un-secured and should not be used if you are sending sensitive or personal information. If you wish to submit your application package electronically in a secure manner, contact us through the generic email to obtain more information (Please ensure sufficient time (72 hours) for this process in order to submit your request within the deadline).

Contact information


By registered mail:
Women Entrepreneurship Strategy – Small Business Branch
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street, 571I, 5th Floor, West Tower
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H5

If you require further information or clarification about the application process, please contact us.