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The Progression of Investment Funds, Grants, and Business Loans for Women


The presence of Canadian women in business is growing. From the early 1990s to 2010, the percentage of female entrepreneurs rose from 27 percent to 33 percent, and in 2012, 35.6 percent of all self-employed people in Canada were women. Reflecting the ever-growing presence of women in business and entrepreneurship, several grant and loan programs geared towards women have emerged across Canada. These business loan programs provide women with the capital they need to begin and grow their ventures.

The Rise of Female-Focused Investors

A lack of investment in female entrepreneurs is often cited as one of the most important barriers to overcome when addressing the business world’s gender gap. Despite the recent female-generated growth in the business world, businesswomen reportedly only receive 4% of the venture capital provided to new businesses. In Canada, female run investment groups aim to address this problem. In August 2015, the Female Funders organization launched by Canadian entrepreneur Katherine Hague with a goal of getting 1,000 female investors to back their first ventures by the end of the year. Her experiences as a successful entrepreneur and angel investor inspired her to create a platform where savvy, experienced female venture capitalists could come together to create a space that supported female progress and funding in businesses.

SheEO is another Canadian group that aims to support women-run businesses. The group was created in the summer of 2013 by Vicki Saunders, a Toronto-based award-winning business mentor, and entrepreneur. In July 2015, SheEO launched a program called “Radical Generosity,” which asked female investors across Canada to pledge $1000 towards a pool of venture capital that would be given to up and coming businesswomen. The money that Radical Generosity raised was distributed to five selected “ShEOs” in the form of no-interest loans. Other Canadian groups that support women in business include the Ontario’s PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise, British Columbia’s Women’s Enterprise Centre in British Columbia, and Femmessor in Quebec.

Entrepreneur Grants and Awards

Many Canadian organizations now offer competitive grants and awards that celebrate the presence of women in business. A notable grant program directed towards women in business is RBC’s Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. In partnership with Women of Influence Inc., RBC gives new and experienced female entrepreneurs fellowships that aid them in the start or continuation of their businesses. Awards are granted to a broad range of candidates, including women leading start-ups, women who’ve experienced outstanding growth in their companies, women in the non-for-profit sector, trailblazing trendsetters, and long-standing, successful professionals with a thriving business of over a decade old. RBC grants these fellowships annually.

Small Business Loans for Women

The small to medium business arena is the fastest growing field for women stepping into the business world. In 2011, Canada’s Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises reported that 31.7 percent of Canadian companies had equal or majority female leadership. Businesses with equal partnerships between male and female owners accounted for 18.2 percent of employer small businesses, while 13.5 percent were solely owned by women. At Lendified, we continue to see more and more women look to us for fast, easy, and affordable financing. We are proud and excited about the opportunity to support female entrepreneurs across Canada and helping them share their success stories. In fact, two of our female customers were recently featured in the Toronto Star.

While leaps and strides still have to be made before the business world’s gender gap is closed, women can nevertheless access the funding that caters to their needs and supports their continued success.

If you are a female entrepreneur running a business with over $100k in annual revenue and at least 1 year in operation then we may be able to provide you the funding you need to grow. You can apply online in minutes and receive same-day approval with no obligation.

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About the Author



Lendified is Canada's premier online lender for small businesses. The company was founded by former bank executives dedicated to provide businesses with fast, easy, and affordable financing. The Lendified team regularly produces blogs and guides to help small business owners succeed.

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