A centrepiece of Budget 2018, Canada's first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is a comprehensive, whole-of-government plan to help women grow their businesses through access to financing, talent, networks and expertise. It highlights the Government of Canada's commitment to create a diverse, inclusive economy that supports prosperity and a better quality of life for all.
The Government of Canada recognizes that fostering diversity and inclusion is integral to creating an economy that works for everyone. The full and equal participation of women in the economy is essential to Canada's future competitiveness and prosperity.
Through the strategy, the Government of Canada will support women entrepreneurs in starting and growing world-class businesses that can compete and win on the world stage, boost economic growth and create good middle-class jobs.
The numbers demonstrate the challenges women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses face.
Women-led businesses also face barriers in accessing capital. According to recent data, women entrepreneurs are less likely to seek debt and equity financing and are more likely to be rejected or receive less money.
Canada's first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is based on four key action areas to address the challenges women entrepreneurs face as they move through the phases of business development:
Helping women-led businesses grow
Through investment in areas such as mentoring, skills development and networking, the Government of Canada will help businesses grow, participate in federal procurement and export.
Increasing access to capital
The Government of Canada, with partners, will make additional capital available to help companies grow and access new markets.
Improving access to federal business innovation programming
Reforms in federal business innovation programming will focus on improving the participation of
under-represented groups, including women entrepreneurs.
Enhancing data and knowledge
The Government of Canada will fund the creation of an independent Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, to gather and disseminate information, data and best practices for women entrepreneurs.