Federal funding will help improve women’s economic security in Northern Ontario

PARO Centre offers resources for women and youth. Supported by Trillium Foundation
Thunder Bay Liberal candidates standing on the Liberal platform
Thunder Bay Liberal MPS Patricia Hajdu and Don Rusnak

THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Don Rusnak states, “The PARO Centre does amazing work across Northern Ontario to break down barriers affecting women entrepreneurs in our communities. I am pleased that this funding will enable them to provide support and increased economic security to even more business women across Northern Ontario, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts this investment will have.”

Minister Patty Hajdu, the MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North comments, “Addressing barriers to women entrepreneurs in our rural areas will mean more participation and economic development in Northwestern Ontario. I look forward to seeing the results of this project and increased economic diversity in our region.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, today announced Government of Canada funding for a project that will increase women’s economic security in Northern Ontario.

The PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise will receive $280,061 in funding for their project, “Collaborating for Transformation: Advancing Women’s Economic Security”. In this 36-month project, the organization will focus on understanding the gaps to the growth experienced by women-led businesses in Northern Ontario and will help better understand why many women-led enterprises start off well but are unable to expand and grow. These barriers include women’s unequal access to growth capital, attitudes of investors, existing and potential market opportunities, as well as improving business networks and other small business “connectors” that can make a difference to success or failure. The project will also address the role that other factors such as sexism, rural isolation and ageism play in hindering the growth of women-led enterprises.

Women continue to be disproportionately affected by economic insecurity. In 2015, women in Canada earned just 87 cents for every dollar earned by men. They are also much more likely to work on a part-time basis, making up 76% of all part-time workers, with 25% of women reporting childcare responsibilities as their reason for working part-time.

In October 2017, Status of Women Canada invited organizations to propose projects that support women’s economic security across Canada by addressing some of the root causes of inequality, including barriers such as access to childcare, unequal pay and the gender wage gap. Through this call for proposals, entitled Support for Women’s Economic Security, more than 30 projects have been approved for a total of $10 million in funding. These projects will unfold over a period of three years, and funding builds on our ongoing efforts to support women’s economic empowerment and advance gender equality for all Canadians.


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