As part of a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned and women-led businesses by 2025, the Government of Canada has launched the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES).
A core part of Budget 2018, the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy will help organizations address the challenges and obstacles that women entrepreneurs face and provide access to financing, talent, networks and expertise.
The WES is based on four key action areas:
- Helping women-led businesses grow through investment in areas such as mentoring, skills development and networking
- Increasing access to capital to help companies grow and access new markets
- Improving access to federal business innovation programming to encourage the participation of under-represented groups, including women entrepreneurs
- Enhancing data and knowledge with the creation of an independent Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub
“Helping women entrepreneurs tap into corporate supply chains enhances diversity and builds a more resilient economy,” says Silvia Pencak, President of WBE Canada. “We are delighted to see strong commitment on the part of government to advance this objective. This is an exciting time for Canadian women-owned businesses, and I hope that it will be an important step toward seeing the gender gap shrink in supply chains across the country.”
Why do we need initiatives like this?
- Only 5% of government and corporate contracts are awarded to women-owned businesses
- Only 10% of high-growth firms are owned by women
- Women entrepreneurs are less likely to seek debt and equity financing and are more likely to be rejected or receive less money
- Only 8% of women-owned businesses export
Now’s the time to get involved! The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, recently announced that the government is looking for individuals to provide expert advice on the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
This Expert Panel will provide advice on gaps in support and services available to women entrepreneurs in Canada.
If you think this sounds like the right opportunity for you, apply now. The deadline for applications is November 15, 2018.
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