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.
These programs take advantage of a growing appetite among Canadian women to become entrepreneurs. Canadian women are starting businesses at a higher rate than their counterparts in all other G20 countries. The G20 is an informal group of 19 countries and the European Union, with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. “Canada has seen a surge of entrepreneurship in our economy over the last 20 years, and women have been at the forefront, launching businesses at rates that often outpace men,” said Karen Hughes, a professor at the University of Alberta’s Alberta School of Business and Department of Sociology, and author of the 2015/16 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Canada Report on Women’s Entrepreneurship.
During the next five years, the WES Ecosystem Fund will spend up to $85 million on training, networking events, mentorship opportunities, accelerators, and incubators as well as supplier-diversity programs that provide business development opportunities to work with government agencies and large corporations. The program will allocate an additional $8.62 million for a Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, a one-stop source for knowledge, data and best practices.
To read the rest of this article, Click Here.