To help provide support for women-led start-ups and entrepreneurs across Canada, the Canadian federal government has created the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), which represents $6 billion in investments and commitments towards various initiatives supporting female-led businesses. One of the newest programs to come out of WES, is the WES Ecosystem Fund.
The WES Ecosystem Fund has $40M allocated towards supporting projects that will provide business supports for women entrepreneurs and strengthen entrepreneurship. This grant program is currently accepting applications until September 26th, 2022.
This is the second call for applications, with additional application windows expected to be announced later in 2022. For businesses looking to stay informed about future intakes for Canadian government funding programs, we recommend downloading our free When to Apply for Government Funding Programs slide deck.
Program Snapshot: Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES): Ecosystem Fund
Amount of Funding:
This program has no set funding limit allocated towards it, and the amount of funding that a project can receive will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Eligible projects must have a minimum budget of $250,000 and it must not exceed an overall budget of $3,000,000.
Projects must be led by a not-for-profit organization with at least three years of operations. Eligible applicants must apply as a partnership (two or more organizations working together).
Organizations must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Have an established mandate focused on supporting women entrepreneurs; and/or
- Have existing programming (offered within the past three years) which specifically targets or is focused on women entrepreneurs/women skills development.
The WES Ecosystem Fund will give funding consideration to projects with the following:
- A national scope, or serving a minimum of 5 provinces and territories (multi-regional);
- Delivers benefits to women-owned businesses and/or supports activities in areas of strength for women entrepreneurs (e.g. care economy, retail, and service sectors), or projects which provide services to women entrepreneurs in rural and remote areas or the North;
- A project with an end-date no later than March 31, 2025 (project lengths may vary);
- Maximum budget of $3,000,000; and
- Delivers services and products in both English and French-Canadian.
Read Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES): Ecosystem Fund success stories from previous intake periods.
Apply for the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES): Ecosystem Fund
The second application window for the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES): Ecosystem Fund is currently open until September 26th, 2022. For businesses that missed the application window for this program, you can download our free When to Apply for Government Funding Programs slide deck to learn how and where you can find information on upcoming government grant programs that your business may be missing out on.
Due to the short application window this program has, we strongly recommend utilizing a Canadian government grant writing service like Mentor Works, a Ryan Company. Our team of funding application writers provides our clients with an estimated 95%-time savings compared to businesses that apply for funding in-house.