REPORT:
What Women Entrepreneurs Need From Budget 2021

ABOUT THE REPORT

The 2021 federal budget is critical in determining if women-led businesses survive the economic recovery period. The Speech from the Throne provided a glimpse into the possibility of a fair and feminist economic recovery. Despite the announcement, the women’s entrepreneurship sector has been grossly underrepresented within these conversations.

The Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CanWCC) and our colleagues across the country have witnessed the impact of the pandemic on women-identified entrepreneurs and our organizations over the past year. CanWCC organized an Independent Women’s Entrepreneurship Task Force to participate in a series of consultations. This report is the result of those consultations.


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BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Fund a feminist stimulus package.


We recommend that the Government of Canada create a $500 million recovery fund, which will be used to provide capital to Black, Indigenous, racialized and mature women to start or scale their businesses.  The fund should be community-managed with grants and loans administered by women-led community organizations, using existing expertise and infrastructure within the sector. 

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2. Apply an intersectional lens to the economic recovery plan.


We recommend that the Government of Canada further the intersectional analysis of the economic recovery plan by making child care costs a tax-deductible business expense.

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3. Expand the Canada Recovery Benefit.


We recommend that the Government of Canada extend the Canada Recovery Benefit program beyond September 25, 2021 and expand the number of periods that an individual can apply to receive the benefit.

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4. Reinvest $5 billion into the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy.


We recommend that the Government of Canada reinvest at least $5 billion into the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) with four funding priorities:

  1. Funding for organizations that support women entrepreneurs to strengthen sector partnerships, collaborations and reduce the duplication of services. 
  2. Funding for organizations within the women’s entrepreneurship sector for capacity building and training to administer and manage financial supports (i.e. grants and loans).
  3. Funding for community-based research with guidance and support from research-based institutions across the country.
  4. Funding for women-identified entrepreneurs to start and/or rebuild a business.
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5. Create an inter-ministerial committee to address women’s economic security and entrepreneurship.


We recommend that the Government of Canada create a multi-sectoral committee to examine the correlation between women’s economic security and entrepreneurship to coordinate policy and strategic priorities across the ministries of finance, women and gender equality, small business and export promotion portfolios

  1. The committee’s mandate should be to create a sustainable long-term strategy for women’s entrepreneurship in Canada. 
  2. The committee should include representatives from government ministries, leaders from the women’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, and individual women-identified entrepreneurs.
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Women-owned and -led businesses are integral to Canada's economic recovery.  The Government needs to double down on its investment in the Women's Entrepreneurship Strategy.

Nancy Wilson, Founder & CEO, Canadian Women's Chamber of Commerce

“Women who run businesses have waited almost a year for their voices to be heard, we cannot wait another year, much less another day.”

Jessica Ketwaroo-Green, Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, Canadian Women's Chamber of Commerce