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$255,000 to Support Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan

Released on May 22, 2024

New Funding will Support Newcomer Women Entrepreneur Training Program

Today, the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan announced $255,000 in combined funding for the Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc. (WESK) to support women entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan.

"Women who are newcomers face unique challenges that impact their ability to fully participate and succeed in society," Women and Gender Equality and Youth Federal Minister Marci Ien said. "This includes language barriers, discrimination, and difficulties in accessing services and support. These obstacles also put immigrant and refugee women at higher risk of experiencing gender-based violence. By supporting newcomers and especially those who are female entrepreneurs, we are creating pathways for success, and a more equitable and inclusive society for all."

The province will invest $128,000, with federal funding through the National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence providing $127,000. Funding will support WESK's Newcomer Training Support program, which targets up to 25 eligible newcomer women with an existing business, or newcomer women interested in entrepreneurship, to start, grow and expand their businesses.

"Increasing female participation in the labour force and ensuring equal opportunity for all is a priority for our government and a key component of the labour market strategy," Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Office Laura Ross said. "Through this funding, we are also expanding our support for newcomers to reach their full potential and contribute to Saskatchewan's growing economy."

Funding will also support WESK to conduct research on the unique needs of newcomer women entrepreneurs and use the findings to develop a program tailored to the skills and knowledge necessary for newcomer women. 

"Investing in newcomer women entrepreneurs not only fosters economic growth but also cultivates a more inclusive and vibrant business landscape in Saskatchewan," WESK CEO Miriam Johnson said. "Through tailored programs and strategic partnerships with newcomer support organizations, we are dedicated to equipping these women with the skills, knowledge, financial support and resources they need to succeed as they adjust to their new home Province and Country."

WESK has delivered training programs since 2017 tailored to women entrepreneurs' needs, focusing on Indigenous women, women in rural and northern communities, women in tech, and entrepreneurial phases from ideation to scale, making them well-positioned to successfully support newcomer women through this program. 

"Joining WESK changed my business journey," WESK member and owner of Little Patch of Heaven Daycare Ana Liza Carlos said. "The support from my advisor, Alauna, and the resources I received were so helpful. WESK gave me tools, templates and, most of all, confidence to run my business in Canada." 

In the recently released Building the Workforce for a Growing Economy: the Saskatchewan Labour Market Strategy, the province is prioritizing supporting under-represented groups connect to jobs in Saskatchewan. Targeted investments into teaching women entrepreneurial skills and to successfully operate a small business in the province help Saskatchewan people to prepare for jobs and build economic growth. This investment also promotes the retention of newcomers and ensures they are welcomed into Saskatchewan while being supported for long-term success.


For more information, contact:

Nipun Taneja
Immigration and Career Training
Phone: 306-510-2786

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