Startup Canada’s Women Founder Fund to help female entrepreneurs and female-led companies excel
Startup Canada – the national social enterprise supporting and giving a voice to entrepreneurs through multiple channels to foster a community for startup and small business success in Canada – and Montreal-based Evolocity Financial Group have forged a new partnership to launch the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund, powered by Evolocity Financial Group. The fund will provide micro-grants to women entrepreneurs and women-led companies in Canada—helping them to start and grow their businesses.
Although women in Canada now represent 47 per cent of Canadian business owners and contribute $148 billion to the Canadian economy, they continuously face barriers to accessing capital to start and scale their businesses, Startup Canada says.
“Today, Canadian women are starting businesses at double the rate of their male counterparts, yet receive only 4 per cent of venture capital,” explains Marissa McTasney, Startup Canada Women Entrepreneur Fellow and Founder of Moxie Trades.
“A great portion of these women-led ventures offer significant social contributions, making an investment in women-owned businesses good for our economy and great for our communities. The Startup Canada Women Founders Fund, powered by Evolocity, provides an excellent opportunity for women entrepreneurs to extend their impact as they start and scale their companies,” she adds.
Through the Women Founders Fund, Startup Canada and Evolocity Financial Group aim to alleviate some of the financial barriers women face when starting and accessing opportunities for business and professional growth. Funds can be leveraged to support operations and support women in accessing business growth opportunities like trade missions and skills development opportunities, among others.
Recipients of the fund are also connected to the Startup Canada network through the Startup Canada Membership Program where they can access additional exposure, skills training, mentorship, and support.
The Women Founders Fund is the first joint initiative between Startup Canada and Evolocity Financial Group. For almost a decade, Evolocity Financial Group has worked with entrepreneurs in Canada by providing them with access to capital through their Financing Programs. Together, the organizations hope to empower women entrepreneurs and drive awareness of the importance of women entrepreneurship.
Women entrepreneurs and women-led companies can submit applications for the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund until August 31, 2016. The adjudication period will carry into September, with grant recipients announced on September 30, 2016.
The Startup Canada Women Founders Fund powered by Evolocity is adjudicated by Canada’s top entrepreneurs, industry leaders and women entrepreneur advocates. Startup Canada says adjudicators will be announced in the near future.
Who is Eligible?
- Applicants must be women entrepreneurs or women-led companies.
- Applicants must be based out of Canada.
- Applicants must use the funds to support the operations of their company or to access business or professional growth.