Minister Ng shares plan to build capacity for women entrepreneurs as WES invests $3.2 million into Québec

minister ng sf

The École des entrepreneurs du Québec has received a $3.2 million investment from the federal government’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund.

“This is about being able to build the right tools for women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in Québec.”

The École des entrepreneurs is a post-secondary educational institution that offers support on launching, growing, and selling businesses, in addition to financial loans, grants, and business financing. BetaKit spoke with Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, during her visit to Startupfest in Montreal, who said the new funding would be used to support women entrepreneurs.

“The École des entrepreneurs du Québec is a wonderful organization. They are building capacity for all women entrepreneurs,” Minister Ng told BetaKit. “This is about being able to build the right tools, the right supports, for women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in Québec.”

Minister Ng did not specify how the funds would be allocated or used, but the École specializes in several business areas, including commercialization, export market development, industrial and sustainable development, retail, and social economy. Founded in Montréal in 1985 by Service Aide Jeunes Entreprises, it now has four locations across Quebec: Bas-Saint-Laurent, Mauricie, Montreal, and Outaouais.

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The school offers workshops à la carte, credited programs, and specialized programs in entrepreneurship, which can range from practical orientation from newcomers to Canada, to sector-specific entrepreneurial support.

The Ecosystem Fund is part of a $2 billion federal strategy to double the number of women-led businesses by the year 2025. This fund, which is investing $85 million over five years, is one of two within the strategy; the Women Entrepreneurship Fund (WEF) will grant up to $100,000 to women-owned or led Canadian businesses. The WEF recently received an additional $10 million, and will be adding more businesses to its list of recipients.

“We are committed to supporting women in business and ensuring their full and equal participation in our economy,” said Rachel Bendayan, Member of Parliament for Outremont. “That is why the Government of Canada created the first-ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which aims to double the number of women-owned businesses in Canada within six years. Today’s investments will help women-owned and women-led businesses here in Montréal and all across Quebec grow, innovate and export to new markets.”

Image courtesy Startupfest

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.