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The Government of Canada has announced a comprehensive, whole-of-government plan aimed at supporting the growth of women entrepreneurs. The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to create a diverse economy that supports prosperity and is focused on supporting these women through access to capital, training, knowledge, networks and access to new markets.
The need for this program arises from the fact that only 16% of SME’s are owned by women. An even lower percentage of women own high-growth firms at 10%, and exporting businesses are only 8% women-owned. Businesses that are women-led often have problems accessing capital, and are less likely to seek debt and equity financing than their male counterparts.
This is where the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy comes in to play. The strategy aims to double the amount of female owned businesses by 2025 to have a more proportional representation. The key action areas for this $2 billion investment are:
- Helping women-led Businesses Grow: Investing in areas like mentoring, skills development and networking, this program hopes to facilitate the growth of these businesses.
- Increasing Access to Capital: Additional capital will be made available to facilitate growth and access to new markets.
- Improving Access to Federal Business Innovation Programming: Business innovation programming reforms will focus on increasing the representation of women entrepreneurs.
- Enhancing Data and Knowledge: Funding the creation of an independent Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub for uses by women entrepreneurs.
Another resource for women in business is the Women’s Enterprise Centre, who will be at the LinkUp 2018 event this coming November. They, along with other business support organizations, will be on a panel discussing avenues of support on a local level, as well as on a provincial and federal level.
For more information on the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, click HERE
For more information on the LinkUp 2018 event, click HERE.
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