Canada is revving up its economy by focusing on women entrepreneurs. Its Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) comes with a $2 billion investment. “We have the potential of adding up to $150 billion dollars in incremental GDP to the Canadian economy,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion. “Our government believes that women’s economic empowerment is not just the right thing to do; it’s good for the bottom line. The strategy seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses.”
Currently, only 16% of all small-to-medium-sized businesses in Canada are majority women-owned.
Evidence finds that women entrepreneurs are less likely to seek debt and equity financing, and are more likely to be rejected or receive less money when they do ask for it. WES has created a $20 million Women Entrepreneurship Fund that will give up to $100,00 in grants to women entrepreneurs pursuing marketing opportunities abroad, and are scaling up or expanding as well as other initiatives that meet the fund’s objectives.
The Canadian government is also making 40,000 affordable childcare spaces available making it easier and more convenient for entrepreneurs to return to their businesses.