Three Alberta-based organizations receive $3 million from WES Ecosystem Fund

Minister Mary Ng

Three Alberta-based organizations have received approximately $3 million in investment from the federal government’s $85 million Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund.

The WES Ecosystem Fund will invest $85 million over five years to help close gaps for women entrepreneurs.

Red Deer-based Community Futures Central Alberta received about $183,000, the Calgary-based Momentum Community Economic Development Society received about $1.3 million, and the Lethbridge Economic Development Initiative Society, located in Lethbridge, received about $1.6 million.

“Today’s investments will help women-owned and -led businesses across Calgary and Alberta innovate, grow, and export to new markets,” said Kent Hehr, member of parliament for Calgary Centre.

Receiving the smallest amount of funding of three, Community Futures Central Alberta provides small business owners with training, support, and loans to help local businesses succeed. It will put its funding toward an Indigenous women entrepreneurship program in central Alberta.

Momentum Community Economic Development Society works with individuals, businesses, communities, and systems to increase each individuals’ income and assets. The organization will deliver entrepreneurship programs for vulnerable women and women-run social enterprises in Calgary.

Lethbridge Economic Development Initiative Society is an organization that encourages the private and public sectors to undertake programs and projects that will promote and foster growth related to the visitor experience in Lethbridge. This initiative will use the funds to create a STEM-focused community for women in southern Alberta.

RELATED: Women Entrepreneurship Fund announces Alberta recipients

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, investing $85 million over five years and aimed to strengthen capacity within the entrepreneurship ecosystem and close gaps in service for women entrepreneurs, is one of two within the strategy. The other is the Women Entrepreneurship Fund (WEF), offering grants of up to $10,000 to women-led companies.

Other recent recipients of the Ecosystem Fund include École des entrepreneurs du Québec, receiving $3.2 million this month, the Kelowna-based Women’s Enterprise Centre, receiving $2.7 million in June, and the Vancouver-based Groundswell Education Society also received $400,000 in June.

Image courtesy Mary Ng via Facebook

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast