FedDev Ontario Grants $4M to Support Women-Led Companies

Business Woman in Office

UPDATE: The RRRF program is seeing numerous changes as it continues to help Canadian businesses adapt to COVID-19. View our Regional Relief & Recovery Fund (RRRF) for the latest info.

Are you or do you work for a woman driving the success of a small-to-medium-size enterprise (SME)? If so, your business may be eligible to receive up to a $5,000 government grant from FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to support women-led SMEs with economic recovery following the impacts of COVID-19.

Through FedDev Ontario’s RRRF RE3 program, women-led businesses located in southern Ontario can receive up to a $5,000 non-repayable grant to help rebuild, reopen, and revive their business operations.

The FedDev Ontario total investment of $4 million via the RRRF will support over 700 women-led businesses across southern Ontario through the newly established Rebuild Reopen Revive (RE3) Initiative.

How will the RRRF RE3 Funding Help Women-Led SMEs?

In collaboration with regional partners, the RRRF funding will be distributed by the Northumberland CFDC across eastern Ontario and by the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation across western Ontario. Both organizations will be given $2 million to provide non-repayable contributions of up to $5,000 to support eligible women entrepreneurs with the reopening of their businesses.

“Women entrepreneurs face unique and systemic challenges amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The investments made through FedDev Ontario will support women-led businesses with critical costs as they work to re-open their businesses.”

– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Furthermore, the RRRF RE3 funding will assist the Northumberland CFDC in creating a new technological solution that will help women-led businesses access capital investments through the creation of an automated financial lending platform with an algorithm that removes gender bias. The CFDC is planning to support the growth of 30 women-led businesses through this new platform.

Who Qualifies for FedDev Ontario’s RE3 Funding?

Applicant Eligibility

  • A woman, or women, who drive the direction of a business (for a minimum of one year) as Founder, Co-Founder, CEO, or C-Suite Executive (e.g. CTO, CFO, COO, etc.);
  • And/or a private, for-profit business owned by a woman or women (combined) that have majority ownership (a minimum of 51% equity stake).
  • Businesses from the following priority sectors will be considered: Small retail, Sole proprietor, or Personal service industry.
  • Have a business located in either western or eastern Ontario as follows:
  • Western Ontario must operate a business located in: Halton; Hamilton; Niagara; Dufferin; Brant; Chatham-Kent; Wellington; Waterloo; Middlesex; Grey; Bruce; Lambton; Huron; Essex; Oxford; Perth; Elgin; Haldimand-Norfolk; Simcoe; Peel; York; Durham; Muskoka; and Toronto;
  • Eastern Ontario must operate a business located in: Stormont Dundas & Glengarry; Prescott and Russell; Leeds and Grenville; Lanark; Frontenac; Lennox and Addington; Hastings; Prince Edward; Northumberland; Peterborough; Kawartha Lakes; Haliburton; Renfrew; City of Kingston, City of Ottawa and following Census subdivisions: Durham: Brock: and York: East Gwillimbury, Georgina, and Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation.

Eligible recipients include private, for-profit women-led SMEs located in southern Ontario.

Eligible Activities and Costs

All costs must be reasonable and directly related to the eligible project activities.

Eligible costs for project activities may include:

  • Capital
  • Non-Capital
  • Expertise

Eligible activities should support the reopening, rebuilding, and revival of the business, such as:

  • Acquisition of required/mandated Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
  • Workspace reconfiguration to accommodate physical distancing
  • Hardware/software upgrades to enhance online capacity, client servicing, and accessibility

Learn More About How to Apply for RRRF RE3 Funding

For women-led applicants with an SME business located in western Ontario, applications can be found and submitted online directly through the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation’s website.

For women-led applicants with an SME business located in eastern Ontario, applications can be found and submitted online directly through the Northumberland CFDC’s website.

If you require more information regarding the application process or require any assistance at all, please don’t hesitate to contact the Mentor Works team. To stay up to date with government funding updates, new programs, and COVID-19 funding support, subscribe to our free Mentor Works Weekly Funding E-Newsletter.

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