WES Ecosystem Fund- Second Call


The Government of Canada is committed to advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment and to supporting women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. As part of this strategy, the Government is ensuring women across Canada have access to the business support they need to start or grow a business. The WES Ecosystem Fund has invested $100 million over five years to strengthen capacity within the entrepreneurship ecosystem and close gaps in service for women entrepreneurs.

The first call of the WES Ecosystem Fund launched on January 11, 2022, and closed on March 15, 2022, focused on supporting not-for-profit organizations to strengthen capacity and address ecosystem gaps for diverse populations of women entrepreneurs. $40 million is allocated under this second call and will prioritize support for activities in areas of strength for women entrepreneurs as well as for projects which provide services to women entrepreneurs in rural and remote areas, or the North.


Projects must be led by a not-for-profit organization with at least three years of operations. Eligible applicants must apply as a partnership i.e., two or more organizations working together.

Organizations must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have existing programming (offered within the past three years) which specifically targets or is focused on women entrepreneurs or women skills development; And/or
  • Have an established mandate focused on supporting women entrepreneurs.

 Project Scope and Areas of focus

Funding consideration will be given to projects that:

  • have a maximum budget of $3,000,000
  • have a minimum budget of $250,000
  • are national in scope, or serve a minimum of 5 provinces and territories (multi-regional)
  • projects which deliver benefits to women-owned businesses and/or support activities in areas of strength for women entrepreneurs (e.g., care economy, retail, and service sectors) or projects which provide services to women entrepreneurs in rural and remote areas or the North
  • be completed by March 31, 2025 (project lengths may vary)
  • deliver services and products in both official languages
  • focus on women entrepreneurs or women majority-owned businesses (51% or more ownership stake) and demonstrate a focus on diverse/intersectional and/or under-served women entrepreneur populations
  • Meet one or more of the following project scope elements:
  1. Enhance or expand the 2018 WES Ecosystem Fund Projects
  2. Deliver business support for women entrepreneurs (e.g., business operation innovations [helping businesses become more sustainable, or achieve internal efficiencies] or supplier diversity and procurement)

 Application deadline

Eligible organizations are invited to submit proposals in either English or French no later than September 26, 2022 (11:59 am Pacific Time).

Applicants must include all required information in section 7 of the application guide to be considered in the next stage.

For more information, visit WES Ecosystem Fund (canada.ca)







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