Government of Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) – WES Ecosystem Fund

Description:

The WES Ecosystem Fund was designed to provide non-repayable contribution funding to projects led by not-for-profit organizations that would help close service gaps and strengthen capacity within the women entrepreneurship ecosystem in Canada.

Comments on Funding:

Funding will take the form of a non-repayable contribution. Typically through this type of funding, recipients incur costs, and submit claims for reimbursement. Total Canadian government assistance for all eligible expenses, including federal, provincial/territorial and municipal, cannot exceed 100% of total eligible costs funded.

Eligibility:

Applicants must:

  • be Canadian not-for-profit which operates at a local, regional or national level and falls under at least one of the following categories:
  • business and entrepreneur support organizations;
  • research/innovation hubs;
  • organizations that certify diverse suppliers in Canada;
  • Indigenous organizations; and
  • business accelerators and incubators.
  • be in operation for a minimum of one year (as of March 15, 2021).
  • demonstrate that they meet at least one of the following criteria:
  • have an established mandate focused on supporting women and/or women entrepreneurs; and/or
  • have existing programming (offered within the past one year) focused on women entrepreneurs/women skill development.

Projects must:

  • be led by an eligible not-for-profit organization that has been in operation for a minimum of one year (as of March 15, 2021);
  • be completed by March 31, 2025;
  • have a minimum budget of $400,000;
  • not exceed a budget of $4,000,000;
  • 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; and
  • meet one or more of the project scope elements.
  • be delivered in both official languages in case of National/Multi-Regional Project activities and products.

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must submit:

  1. a maximum ten-page (12-point font, double spaced) Microsoft Word or PDF document Proposal Paper;
  2. one year of past financial statements (audited or review engagement);
  3. the incorporation document;
  4. the completed Budget Detail Template;
  5. a Sustainability Plan (covering the period after funding ends 2024-2025);
  6. Letters of support from partners (optional);
  7. Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between partners organizations (if applicable);
  8. Confirmation if the organization is subject to comply with M-30 legislation, if Quebec-based organizations.

Other Things to Note:

Under this new call, $25 million is allocated to support new projects that are focused on responding to systemic barriers and gaps for diverse, intersectional and/or under-served women. 

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