The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the success of women entrepreneurs and business owners through the COVID-19 pandemic and in an inclusive economic recovery.
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, alongside the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, met with Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub partners to discuss the state of women entrepreneurship in 2021.
The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub—a three-year, $8.62-million program—is part of the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. In advancing research, gathering statistics and sharing best practices, the hub is creating a one-stop shop for the information, tools and resources women entrepreneurs need to succeed.
Both ministers focused on how the Government of Canada is working to remove systemic barriers to women entrepreneurship and helping women reach their business goals.
It is estimated that increasing women’s participation in the economy could add up to $150 billion to Canada’s GDP. The Government of Canada continues to advance women’s economic empowerment with the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), a nearly $5‑billion cross-government initiative to increase women-owned businesses’ access to financing, talent, networks and expertise.
The government invested an additional $15 million in the WES Ecosystem Fund to provide timely support and advice to women entrepreneurs facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister Ng also participated in a session on the state of women entrepreneurship in 2021 at the Women Entrepreneurship Conference, a month-long event series presented by the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub in partnership with Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada.
The conference brought together leading researchers, policy-makers, government representatives, women entrepreneurs and other key ecosystem stakeholders to better understand the challenges women entrepreneurs face and to discuss the best ways to build inclusivity into the pandemic recovery.
As Canada addresses the pandemic and steps forward on the road to recovery, the Government of Canada will continue to support women—especially women entrepreneurs—every step of the way.
“Women entrepreneurs play a key role in Canada’s economic growth and development—more important than ever before as the country starts to recover from the pandemic. Our government is supporting women in many ways, from legislating pay equity and income supports for raising children, to investing in programs to ensure women-owned businesses grow and thrive. More than social policies, these important economic measures will be critical to rebuilding from COVID-19 and building back better.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
“I was happy to join today’s roundtable to hear directly from women entrepreneurs. The pandemic has exposed critical gaps in our social safety net, and the virus has hit certain sectors and groups of people harder than others, including seniors, women, low-wage workers, young people, people of colour and Indigenous peoples. Our government will continue to have their back as we work to remove the barriers so everyone can thrive in the workforce.”
– The Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
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