Government of Canada invests $2 billion to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025
March 8, 2019 – Vancouver, British Columbia
The Government of Canada is advancing women’s economic empowerment with the first-ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.
This week, in celebration of International Women’s Day, the Honourable Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, met with female entrepreneurs in Yukon and British Columbia to share how the Government of Canada is supporting them as they start up, scale up, and access new markets.
On March 6, Minister Ng joined Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, for a roundtable discussion with female entrepreneurs at YuKonstruct in Whitehorse. Following this, Minister Ng announced Lumel Studios as a recipient of the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. Minister Ng concluded the day by attending a fireside chat with local business owners, including members of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, and Yukon First Nation Chamber of Commerce.
On March 7, Minister Ng was in Vancouver, Surrey, and Richmond. She began the day by participating in a fireside chat with small business owners hosted by the Fleetwood Business Improvement Association before meeting female entrepreneurs in advance of the 2019 Influential Women in Business Awards. Minister Ng concluded the day by participating in an International Women’s Day panel discussion on women in technology and business hosted by UrbanLogiq.
On March 8, Minister Ng celebrated International Women’s Day by joining the Coquitlam Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce for an International Women’s Day celebration with female business leaders. Minister Ng also visited local female-run small businesses throughout the day.
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy complements the Government of Canada’s efforts to advance gender equality through addressing pay equity, introducing more affordable childcare and putting an end to gender-based violence.
“Our government believes that women’s economic empowerment is not just the right thing to do; it’s good for the bottom line. That’s why we launched the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a strategy that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by increasing their access to financing, networks and advice. It’s a smart investment with an economic and social return.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
“Local businesses will soon be looking at significant new opportunities for redevelopment and growth as the arrival of rapid transit transforms our community. We’re building on a local economy that is already strong, and our government has great partners like the Fleetwood Business Improvement Association, the City of Surrey, and TransLink to make the absolute best of what’s to come.”
– Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood–Port Kells
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but only 16% are owned by women. That’s why the Government of Canada is investing in Canada’s first-ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which aims to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025. That means businesses in our community can scale up and grow, and women who want to start a business have improved access to capital, advice and targeted, gap-closing support.
– Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam
“Women entrepreneurs and business leaders in Yukon make incredible contributions to our economy every day. This funding will help a successful local business become even more successful by scaling up and broadening its current market. Investing directly in women-led companies is smart and strategic, and I congratulate Lumel Studios on their pursuit of new and expanding opportunities.”
– The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) will help women start and grow their businesses by improving access to financing, talent, networks and expertise through an investment of nearly $2 billion.
The strategy will help our government achieve its goal of doubling the number of majority women-owned businesses by 2025.
WES programs complement our government’s broader initiatives to help women, including measures on pay equity, more flexible parental leave and more affordable childcare.
Advancing gender equality has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP to the Canadian economy by 2026.
Fewer than 16% of SMEs in Canada are majority women-owned.
Only 8.4% of majority women-owned SMEs export, compared to 12.8% of majority male-owned SMEs.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Canada 2015/16 Report on Women’s Entrepreneurship indicated that in 2016 Canada had the highest percentage of women participating in early-stage activity (13.3%) and the fifth highest in terms of female ownership of established businesses among comparable innovation-based economies
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Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada