Released on November 30, 2021
Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced new support for women entrepreneurs in the province through two new programs, the Scale Up for Entrepreneurs program and the Digital Literacy for Entrepreneurs program. The government also released a new Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan report, which provides statistical information about female self-employment and women-owned businesses and highlights examples of successful women-led businesses.
"Women entrepreneurs and Saskatchewan businesses continue to drive our economy," Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. "This funding will provide continued support for women and under-represented entrepreneurs to secure their financial self-sufficiency and create new jobs for Saskatchewan people through the scaling up of their businesses."
"Women entrepreneurs are an important contributor to Saskatchewan's economic growth and key to advancing our Growth Plan goals," Minister Responsible for Status of Women Office Laura Ross said. "Collaboration between partners is vital to supporting women entrepreneurs successfully and the Government of Saskatchewan is thankful for the work of Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK)."
The new supports and statistical report further advance the recommendations in the Enabling Scale in Saskatchewan report developed by WESK's Advisory Committee on Gender Entrepreneurship Gap.
"This announcement marks a milestone in the province in supporting women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses," WESK CEO Prabha Mitchell said. "I'm pleased to see the government advancing two of the policy recommendations from the final report of the Saskatchewan Advisory Committee. The release of the Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan report and the Scale Up for Entrepreneurs program will not only support women in scaling, but will also drive economic growth in our province."
The Scale Up for Entrepreneurs initiative will provide $450,000 to help eligible Saskatchewan entrepreneurs receive relevant training to acquire skills and knowledge to grow their businesses. The program will include training to support skills development in areas such as leadership and management, business strategy, marketing and sales, financial management, human resource strategies and others. Eligible entrepreneurs will also have access to coaching and mentorship following the training. The program will provide support for 50 women and under-represented Saskatchewan entrepreneurs (Indigenous, visible minority, youth and persons experiencing disabilities) in Saskatchewan and is expected to be open to applications in January 2022.
The Digital Literacy for Entrepreneurs will provide $1.6 million to focus on addressing the digital literacy needs of entrepreneurs, including women entrepreneurs, who want to integrate digital technologies into the future success and growth of their business, while mitigating future risks associated with the application of technology. Programming will include basic operations, foundational, strategic and specialized digital skills to ensure appropriate programming for entrepreneurs in their service area. The program will provide support for over 300 participants and is expected to launch in early 2022.
The Scale Up for Entrepreneurs and the Digital Literacy for Entrepreneurs programs will be funded through the Canada-Saskatchewan Labour Market Transfer Agreements.
The Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan report provides detailed data about women-owned businesses in Saskatchewan and female self-employment by sector from 2007-2020. The report also includes a comparison of how women-owned businesses compare to male-owned businesses in Saskatchewan and Canada for business indicators like employment, revenue and assets. The report can be viewed at https://publications.saskatchewan.ca:443/api/v1/products/115357/formats/130854/download.
Innovation Saskatchewan (IS) also continues to propel the growth of women-led technology companies in the province. IS recently committed $60,000 in 2021 and 2022 to the Founders Table program through WESK. Founders Table is a mentorship program which brings together female technology entrepreneurs to gain new business skills, knowledge, and create industry connections. Innovation Saskatchewan partnered with WESK in 2019 to launch this initiative.
For more information, contact:Robin Speer
Immigration and Career Training
Status of Women Office