$50m boost to help women access export markets

Export Development Canada (EDC) has announced a new $50-million Women in Trade Investments Program to provide equity capital specifically designed to help Canadian women entrepreneurs.

This commitment complements the suite of initiatives EDC previously announced in 2018 to better serve the needs of women-owned and women-led businesses engaged in export activities.

Research shows that women own only 16% of all small- and medium-sized enterprises in Canada, and only 11% of those are active outside of Canada. That means only 2% of small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada are both exporting and owned or led by women.

“Women face unique challenges in the business world, and we’ve seen that equity capital providers are not meaningfully investing in businesses owned or led by women in Canada,” said Mairead Lavery, president and CEO of EDC.

“EDC’s new program is the latest in a series of solutions EDC offers to ensure all Canadians have the same opportunities to dream big, be daring and take on the world, regardless of gender.”

Research has shown that advancing women’s equality in Canada has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP by 2026.