During Montreal’s Startupfest, Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger announced that the government is accepting proposals from companies that could help it collect data on how best to support women entrepreneurs.
The government first announced its intention to collect “disaggregated data” on women entrepreneurs in Budget 2018, which had a large focus on women entrepreneurs. The budget earmarked $9.5 million over three years for proposals on collecting gender-based data on entrepreneurs.
Chagger expanded on its request for proposals during the event. The government is seeking third parties to launch and operate a “women entrepreneurship knowledge hub,” which will collect and compile information on women entrepreneurs and inform the development of support tools for women entrepreneurs. “This data will also help us establish best practices that women entrepreneurs can use to further their entrepreneurial journey in Canada.”
This year’s budget had a major focus on women entrepreneurs; $1.4 billion in loans over five years is being allocated to women entrepreneurs through BDC, with the overarching goal of doubling the number of women entrepreneurs by 2025. Chagger said that the four core pillars of it’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy include helping women-led businesses grow, increasing access to capital, improving participation in the innovation economy, and enhancing data on women entrepreneurs.
“This is a key area where data is missing and to better understand women entrepreneurs and to help them and support them, we need this data,” said Chagger.
The Minister made the announcement during one of BDC’s Women in Technology bootcamps, which works to foster business skills and financial literacy for women. The bank’s bootcamps were also part of the initial Budget 2018 announcement, and will take place across Canada.
The news is timely, as this morning Female Funders announced a new report on the state of venture capital with Hockeystick. The report drew on data from public sources like Crunchbase and data from angel and VC groups, finding that just 14 percent of Canadian VCs are women.
The deadline for proposals is September 7. More information is available on the government website here.