Dedicated resources for women entrepreneurs during COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted women entrepreneurs. It has severely affected sectors such as retail, hospitality and food services—sectors where women entrepreneurs are most present. On top of typically operating smaller businesses and having less access to capital, many women business owners also still bear a disproportionate share of domestic work, caregiving and childcare.
Here are some supports for women entrepreneurs:
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund supports women-run businesses that are ineligible for other government COVID-19 funding. Eligible businesses can qualify for interest-free loans of up to $40,000, with up to $10,000 forgivable if repaid before December 31st, 2022.
Sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations are eligible, and funding is provided through the Women's Enterprise Centre.
Through the Unity Women Entrepreneurs Program, Vancity is offering loans of up to $150,000 to women entrepreneurs who have been in business for more than two years. The program also provides support services from the Women’s Enterprise Centre, including online education and resources on financial management, and preferred entry into the Women Enterprise Centre’s Mentoring Program.
The Government of Canada has announced an additional $15 million in funding to support women entrepreneurs through the WES. This money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients and will help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Women’s Enterprise Centre is committed to supporting women-owned businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. They have created several invaluable resources to help achieve this aim, including free one-on-one appointments with a business advisor where WEC’s business advisory team is available to discuss your situation, review your cash flow and generate ideas for how you can navigate this difficult time.
WEC will also share new developments in the supports available to women business owners, answer questions and share inspiration and ideas for moving forward. This includes offering free webinars, including:
- Women Entrepreneurs: Strength in Numbers
- Negotiate Naturally: Tips for Women Entrepreneurs
- Financial Fitness Webinar Series Recordings
- Government of Canada Announces Further Funding for Women's Enterprise Centre
This multi-year $150,000 fund will provide tuition bursaries to women entrepreneurs in financial need, and women belonging to marginalized groups. The fund will be available to offset tuition costs for any of FWE's programs, including Money Moves.