Four Pillars of Ontario Women in Business

PARO uses a four pillar approach to supporting northern women in business:

  1. Nurturing Start-Up Enterprises
  2. Growing Women's Companies
  3. Accessing New Growth Opportunities
  4. Expanding Access to Export Markets

The four pillars work together to provide a solid foundation for business growth in a changing economy. Within each pillar, themes have been identified through consultation with women. Although themes are organized by pillars, it is the linkages and integration among themes and, ultimately, within pillars that will support northern women in business to seize new opportunities.  


Project Pillars

Nurturing Start-Up Enterprises

PARO assists women to:
  • Seed start-up
  • Be poised for growth
  • Nurture peer lending circles
  • Provide access to loans with non-repayment portion
  • Connect with mentors and other connectors

Growing Women's Companies

We help women's companies to:
  • Diversify economies and expand markets to Scale-up companies
  • Diversify funding opportunities including Growth Grants, from Start-up to Scale-up 
  • Encourage and support STEM, Green/Clean Tech, Agri-food, Industry/skilled trade related businesses, products, and jobs
  • Connect women to Innovation and Business Ecosystems (WEKH)
  • Diversify opportunities by facilitating access to government and industry business programs

Accessing New Growth Opportunities

Expanding women's companies by:
  • Strengthening linkages with Federal and Provincial programs
  • Supporting Innovation and Technology Adoption to Scale-up
  • Using PARO's Hubs, infrastructure, and supportive programs including CIT's to expand and integrate their activity in existing and emerging business sectors
  • Providing growth grants

Expanding Access to Export Markets

We support women to:
  • Identify the challenges and supports they need to Export
  • Increase women's knowledge of how to build their capacity and readiness to Export
  • Leverage connections through events and trade missions such as WBENC, PDAC, and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
  • Provide education and events that support women's learning and progress towards Exporting
  • Participate in PARO's Regional Cluster Innovation Tables to seek services and funding in support of Exporting