portraits of four diverse women

The Government of Canada invests $4 million to support over 700 women-led businesses across southern Ontario.

Women-led businesses often face unique challenges, which have been amplified by the impacts of COVID-19 on our economy. As the economy reopens, these businesses need support to adapt their operations and position themselves for a successful recovery.

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade recently announced a $4-million FedDev Ontario investment in support of women entrepreneurs across southern Ontario, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.

With this investment through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), the Northumberland CFDC and WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with regional partners, will deliver the Rebuild Reopen Revive Initiative to support women-led small- and medium-sized enterprises in rural and urban communities across southern Ontario. Both organizations will receive $2 million to provide non-repayable contributions of up to $5,000 to help eligible women-led businesses with key re-opening expenditures, including:

  • Acquisition of reusable personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • Reconfiguration of workspaces to accommodate social distancing impacts; and
  • Enhancing online capacity to improve accessibility and client service.

Over 700 women-led businesses will be supported through this initiative. Interested SMEs can visit Northumberland CFDC (eastern Ontario) or WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation(southwestern Ontario) for more details or to apply.

Quick facts

  • Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) provides financing and strategy support for entrepreneurs. Delivering an array of entrepreneurial development and finance programs funded by FedDev Ontario, Northumberland CFDC also manages an investment portfolio that drives business start-up and expansion.
  • The WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation is a not-for-profit organization with a focus to develop and execute strategies to retain, expand, attract and help new businesses start up in the Windsor-Essex region.
  • The national $962-million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), is delivered through Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) and supports SMEs across Canada that have been unable to access existing relief measures. In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario is delivering $213 million to provide financial relief and help businesses recover.
  • Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $182 million in 181 projects in support of women entrepreneurship.
  • Through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund, the Government of Canada has invested a total of $30 million to more than 300 women-owned and led businesses across Canada to grow and reach new markets. In addition, the Government of Canada allocated $85 million to the WES Ecosystem Fund to strengthen capacity within the entrepreneurship ecosystem and close gaps in service for women entrepreneurs. Over 50 projects were funded through this initiative.