When women entrepreneurs succeed, everyone benefits

Leader's Ledger

Thunder Bay Superior North MP Patty Hajdu is seeing re-election
Thunder Bay Superior North MP Patty Hajdu

Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, hard-workers, and they make sacrifices for their families, for their businesses and for our community every day.

They are essential to growing our economy and creating good-paying middle class jobs while leveraging our government’s investments in innovation, skills training and infrastructure. Small businesses employ more than 8 million Canadians and represent more than 90% of Canadian businesses. This year we fulfilled our commitment and cut taxes for small businesses to nine per cent. This means up to $7,500/year in savings that can be reinvested in the business.

But there are far too many would-be entrepreneurs out there being left behind. Only 16% of Canadian businesses are owned or led by women and yet studies show that by advancing women’s economic participation in the economy Canada could add up to $150 billion in GDP.

The full and equal participation of women in the economy is not just the right thing to do, it’s good for the bottom line and continue growing our economy that’s already seen one million jobs created since 2015 and the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years.

That’s why we’re advancing women’s economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025. It’s a whole-of-government approach to helping women grow their businesses through access to financing, talent, networks and expertise. Here are a few other ways we’ve making sure women entrepreneurs have a fair chance at success:

Business Women in International Trade

Want to grow and explore new markets? Majority women-owned firms and women entrepreneurs can explore potential trade opportunities in international markets through Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioners Service’s Business Women in International Trade program.

Farm Credit Canada

Are you a women entrepreneur in the agriculture and agri-food sector? Farm Credit Canada unveiled a Women Entrepreneur Program – an investment of $500 million over the next three years – to provide financing, events and resources specifically for women entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses.

Business Development Bank of Canada

Need access to financing? Are you part of a women-led business in tech? The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), has committed to increase its lending to majority women-owned businesses to $1.4 billion. In addition, the BDC Capital Women in Technology Venture Fund  – a $200 million Fund, one of the largest funds of its kind world wide – is investing in women-led technology companies and building a robust ecosystem to support women in tech today and in the future.

Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative

Curious about how the venture capital ecosystem is being made more inclusive? The $400-million Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) aims to improve financing opportunities for women and under-represented groups. A portion of the funds made available under this initiative are dedicated to enhancing diversity and increasing women’s participation in the venture capital ecosystem.

Export Development Canada

Need help exporting? Export Development Canada (EDC) committed $250 million over three years to provide financing and insurance solutions for women-owned and women-led businesses that are exporting or looking to begin exporting. To complement this commitment, EDC has announced a $50 million Women in Trade Investments Program to offer equity capital specifically designed to help Canadian women entrepreneurs.

When women entrepreneurs succeed, everyone benefits. Please contact my office for more information.

Patty Hajdu MP