Minister Ng calls for applications to implement the Inclusive Women Venture Capital Initiative

OTTAWA (ON), April 25, 2022 /CNW/ – As Canada works to end the fight against COVID-19, the Government is committed to ensuring a strong and inclusive economic recovery that closes systemic gaps and empowers women in the economy.

Today, the Honorable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced a call for applications to implement the Inclusive Women Venture Capital Initiative (IWVCI) , a news $15 million investment under the $6 billion Strategy for women in entrepreneurship.

Women-owned businesses currently receive only 2.8% of venture capital (VC) funding available globally, and about 4% of venture capital funding in Canada. Women are also underrepresented among equity investors, representing only 15.2% of Canadian venture capital partners and 16.7% of Canadian angel investors.

The IWVCI is a three-year program aimed at creating a more inclusive venture capital environment for Canadian women entrepreneurs. It will support projects that help build the capacity of women entrepreneurs to access venture capital funding, help increase the representation of women in the venture capital industry, or help ensure that the venture capital industry is sensitive to gender and potential unconscious bias.

Eligible focus areas for projects include:

  • provide education and training to support equitable access to financing and/or promote related practices in the VC industry
  • inspire investors to better understand, adapt and work with women entrepreneurs or their businesses
  • help women entrepreneurs better understand and access available financing options
  • support efforts to advance and increase the representation of women in roles such as investors and fund managers
  • foster networking or mentorship models to improve access to capital for women entrepreneurs and their businesses
  • demonstrate support and make contributions in other areas to strengthen the network of women and diverse entrepreneurship organizations in Canada

Applications are open to Canadian not-for-profit organizations. Applications from organizations working in partnership are also welcome. For more details on eligibility and the application process, please see the IWVCI Applicant Guidebook on the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy website.

The IWVCI builds on historic investments by the Government of Canada has done to support women since 2015, such as implementing the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, pay equity legislation, providing special funding to support women entrepreneurs during the pandemic, of the Canada child benefit and the creation of $10– day care services nationwide.

Estimate

“Our government is committed to removing systemic barriers and empowering women entrepreneurs, and this investment is another step in moving the dial forward. The new Inclusive Women’s Venture Capital Initiative will help women entrepreneurs access available financing to grow and scale their businesses.
– The Honorable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

Fast facts

  • The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), more than $6 billion investment, includes:
    • the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, which will facilitate women entrepreneurs’ access to additional affordable microcredit through existing loan programs;
    • the WES Ecosystem Fund, which helps remove barriers to support networks and provides the resources women entrepreneurs need to start, grow and access new markets; and
    • the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, which has brought together 10 regional hubs, more than 300 organizations and thousands of women entrepreneurs to create a more inclusive and favorable environment for the growth of women’s entrepreneurship in Canada.
  • The government is also investing in removing systemic barriers faced by various entrepreneurs through programs like the Black Entrepreneurship Program.
  • Ensure that women have equal access to benefits and opportunities arising from international investments, Canada adopts an inclusive approach to trade by integrating gender-related provisions in all its free trade agreements. The government has also co-signed the Global Agreement on Trade and Gender Equality, a stand-alone initiative open to other economies to join.

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SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

For further information: Alice Hansen, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, 613-612-0482, [email protected]; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, [email protected]

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