Following on the heels of the announcement of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund earlier this month, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has just announced the details of the Women Entrepreneurship Fund (WEF). The fund is a $20 million investment that will provide up to $100,000 in funding over a 12-month project for female-owned and female-led businesses to invest in a range of activities to help them grow their businesses. The types of activities that the program will consider supporting are defined quite broadly to include almost anything in support of pursuing export market opportunities, as well as scale-up, expansion and growth activities.
More specifically, examples of qualifying activities include: international marketing strategy, supply chain integration, promotions, business advisory services, online presence/website development, product/service development and improvement, inventory management, value stream mapping, upgrades to plant and equipment, and process and technology improvement.
While this female entrepreneur grants program is open to any female-owned and -led businesses that have been in operation for at least two years and have fewer than 500 employees, priority will be given to organizations where the woman owners/leaders self-identify as a member of a diverse group and to businesses operating in advanced manufacturing, agri-food, health/bio-sciences, clean tech, digital industries and/or resources of the future. Priority applicants can have up to 90% of their project costs covered by the government contribution, where others will be eligible for up to 80% coverage.
The program is currently accepting applications, and the deadline to apply is fast approaching: November 15th, 2018. Time is limited, so contact our government grant specialists for an initial complementary assessment of your eligibility for WES: