Access to capital remains a significant barrier for many women entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow their businesses. To help address this barrier, the Government of Canada allocated $55 million in Budget 2021 for the creation of a new national microloans fund, part of its Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). As one of the selected administrators of the funding, WEOC will provide loans of up to $50,000 to women entrepreneurs who meet its eligibility requirements.
If you are in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario or Newfoundland and Labrador, you can connect with one of our six loan partner organizations. Additional loan partners are being added to ensure that there is a loan fund partner available to entrepreneurs in all provinces and territories.
Entrepreneurs in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut will also have access to the WEOC National Loan Fund in the near future.
In the meantime, if you are an entrepreneur living in one of these provinces, you can apply for a loan through the following organizations that are delivering comparable loan products:
While WEOC loans are not available in Quebec, we encourage you to explore the existing resources at Evol.
The process depends on whether an entrepreneur is seeking start-up financing or a loan for an existing business.
For Start-Up Loans
Loans for Existing Business:
Loans are available in any amount up to $50,000. Terms are up to 5 years.
Once the loan is approved and the entrepreneur has met all of the loan conditions, the funds should be be distributed within ten (10) business days.
WEOC’s Loan Fund Partners are skilled professionals who work with diverse women entrepreneurs. They are able to provide a variety of resources, including seminars, webinars, mentorship programs, networking opportunities, one-on-one advising, and loan aftercare. Their goal is to answer your questions, provide you with relevant resources, and guide you in the development of a business plan that documents the feasibility and viability of your business idea. They have your best interest in mind so will often ask the tough questions to make sure that you are considering both opportunities and challenges that could affect the success of your business.
There are a few ways that you can keep up-to-date on the WEOC National Loan Program: