The full and equal participation of women in the economy is not just the right thing to do; it's the smart thing to do.
Studies show that by advancing gender equality and women's participation in the economy, Canada could add up to $150 billion in GDP. Only 17% of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are owned by women, and the Government of Canada is working to change that.
The government is advancing women's economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), representing more that $6 billion in investments and commitments. 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 Inclusive Women Venture Capital Initiative will fund projects to strengthen and build a more inclusive venture capital environment for Canadian women.
Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund Update coming soon
Loans are not yet available through this program but are expected to be available in the near future. The Loan Fund will provide loans of up to $50,000 to women business owners and entrepreneurs so they can start up, scale up and access new markets.
WES Ecosystem Fund Open for applications
Are you a woman entrepreneur looking for networks that offer support, mentorship or help in growing your business? Check out the WES-funded ecosystem organizations that exist across Canada to help you achieve your business goals.
Are you looking for data on women's entrepreneurship? Check out the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, a one-stop source of knowledge, data and best practices for women entrepreneurs.
- Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC): Women Entrepreneurs
- BDC: Women in Technology Venture Fund
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED): Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI)
- Export Development Canada (EDC): Women in Trade
- EDC: Inclusive Trade Investments Program
- Women and Gender Equality Canada: Women's Program
- Farm Credit Canada: Women Entrepreneur Program
- Public Services and Procurement Canada: Procurement Assistance Canada
- Global Affairs Canada (GAC): Business Women in International Trade
- GAC: CanExport funding for exporters
- GAC: Canada's Inclusive Approach to Trade
- April 25, 2022 – Minister Ng launches call for applications to deliver the Inclusive Women Venture Capital Initiative
- March 28, 2022 – Minister Ng announces renewed funding for the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub
- March 8, 2022 – Minister Ng announces the next phase of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy
- January 11, 2022 – Minister Ng announces new call for proposals under the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund
- July 28, 2021 – Minister Ng launches call for applications to deliver the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund