ALLISTON, ON, Oct. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women today hosted a panel discussion on women entrepreneurs with members of the Expert Panel on Championing and Mentorship for Women Entrepreneurs. The Minister was joined by the Chair of the Expert Panel, Arlene Dickinson, CEO of Venture Communications and YouInc.com, as well as panel members Ron Close, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Pelmorex Media Inc., and Carolyn Cross, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ondine Biomedical Inc. Participants addressed the challenges and opportunities faced by women business owners and took questions from the audience.
The Minister took the opportunity to highlight the measures the Government of Canada has put in place to support women entrepreneurs. For example, the Government of Canada, through Status of Women Canada, supports community-based projects across the country that focus on helping women entrepreneurs succeed. In fact, this spring, Status of Women Canada issued a call for proposals entitled Economic Prosperity: Positioning Women for Success, which solicited projects focused specifically on expanding opportunities for women entrepreneurs and professionals.
The Expert Panel on Championing and Mentorship for Women Entrepreneurs is part of the Government's commitment to support women entrepreneurs, as set out in Economic Action Plan 2014. The Expert Panel is advising the Minister on best practices for mentorship and championing to support women entrepreneurs to expand their business and access international markets; as well as the financial tools required for women entrepreneurs to succeed.
The Government of Canada has also established an Advisory Council on Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders, which will provide a forum for the exchange of views, experiences, best practices and solutions on issues related to helping women entrepreneurs succeed in starting and growing their businesses. The Advisory Council will be in place for two years.
- RBC Economics reports that, in 2011, majority-owned women's businesses contributed an estimated $148 billion to the Canadian economy.
- As of 2011, 15.6% of small and medium sized businesses in Canada were majority-owned by women.
- Women-owned businesses currently employ over 1.5 million Canadians, according to the BMO Financial Group.
- Since 2007, the Government of Canada has provided over $54 million for projects that promote women's economic security and prosperity. Of this amount, more than $9 million has gone to projects that support women in entrepreneurship.
"The number one priority of our Government is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Women are critical to meeting that commitment. Canadian women entrepreneurs are creating jobs and building prosperity in communities all across the country. Our Government is helping expand opportunities for women entrepreneurs through the work of the Expert Panel, as well as through our ongoing initiatives, including community-based projects that enhance opportunities for women business owners."
The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women
- Minister Leitch announces expert panel on championing and mentorship for women entrepreneurs
- Minister Leitch announces advisory council on women entrepreneurs and business leaders
- Information on the call for proposals, Economic Prosperity: Positioning Women for Success
- Information on Status of Women Canada: www.women.gc.ca
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SOURCE: Status of Women Canada
For further information: For media inquiries only: Andrew McGrath, Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P., Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Tel: 819-953-5646, [email protected]; For all other inquiries: Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Public Affairs, Status of Women Canada, Tel: 819-420-6810