Canada: WES continuously supporting women entrepreneurs
  • 2024-02-01
  • Entrepreneurship Research Center on G20 Economies
  • Edit
  • On Oct 16th, 2023, the federal government committed $2.7 million to École des entrepreneurs du Québec (EEQ) through its Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund. The WES Ecosystem Fund is a part of the WES program announced in 2018, and is committed to advancing gender equality and women's economic empowerment and to supporting women entrepreneurs.

    The funding will support the launch of EEQ’s FAIR.E project. The FAIR.E program stands for “Flexibility, Action, Inclusiveness, Achievement, Entrepreneurship”. The federal government said the FAIR.E program would serve up to 1,800 prospective women entrepreneurs across six provinces: Québec, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador and that it would deliver three free-of-charge educational programs, which will teach aspiring women entrepreneurs how to launch ideas, set targets, and grow their business by providing online learning tools for business management, customized startup coaching, and a community that facilitates communication among women entrepreneurs.

    On Nov 15th, 2023, the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) announced it received $1 million from the WES to launch the National Women’s Initiative, which is officially launched on Nov 28th. The Initiative will increase women entrepreneurs' access to capital.

    NACO said its new program will direct the $1 million to over 30 partner organizations across the country and will support a variety of projects, one of which is a series of cross-country roundtables where women investors and entrepreneurs can connect, share challenges, and identify opportunities.

    On Nov 17th, 2023, Minister of Small Business Rechie Valdez and Minister of Women, Gender Equality and Youth Marci Ien announced an additional commitment of up to $3.8 million from the federal government for the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH). 

    The federal government said that its latest commitment will help WEKH create more partnerships with business support organizations, help ensure alignment with the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and the 2SLGBTQI+ Knowledge Hub, raise awareness and profile examples of success in women entrepreneurship, and enhance its efforts to reach mainstream organizations.

    Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

    WES represents what the federal government calls a $7 billion commitment to advance women’s economic empowerment by enabling access to the financing, networks, and expertise needed to start and scale up a business, which is the first national policy of the Canadian federal government to specifically promote women's economic empowerment.

    The WES is made up of four resources: the WES Inclusive Women Venture Capital Initiative, Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, and the WES Ecosystem Fund.

    In 2021–22, WES initiatives delivered almost 9,000 affordable loans to women entrepreneurs; more than 22,000 women participated in more than 860 learning and networking events through the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub; and the WES Ecosystem Fund helped more than 10,000 women start or grow their businesses.

  • Partners

  • Global Health Innovation Center (GHIC)
  • World Intelligent Incubation Network (WIIN)
  • National University of Singapore
  • Canada-China Institute For Business & Development
  • TusPark Research Institute for Innovation
  • Cross-strait Tsinghua Research Institute
  • Tsinghua X-Lab

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