Canada has launched the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) to stimulate economic growth by doubling the number of women-owned businesses from 16% to 32% with the investment of $2 billion
According to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion Mary Ng, the government believes that the economic empowerment of women is good for the economy and has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental gross domestic product. A study found that women outpace men in starting businesses and Canadian women are launching businesses at a higher rate compared to women in other G20 countries.
The WES Ecosystem Fund will spend as much as $85 million to provide women with mentorship opportunities, networking events, training and access to incubators and accelerators. The program will also invest $8.62 million for a Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.
The Women Entrepreneurship Fund was also created to provide women business owners $100,000 in grants to pursue marketing opportunities overseas and to expand or scale their business. The BDC Capital Women in Technology Fund has committed to providing $200 million seed investment for women-led or co-led technology companies in order to address the problems of women entrepreneurs in raising venture capital. The Canadian government also plans to provide 40,000 affordable childcare spaces to make it easier for women business owners to return to their businesses after childbirth.