Strengthening businesses in Eastern Ontario
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Many of Kingston’s female business leaders are thriving and many more will benefit from new programs and services that will strengthen women-led businesses in Eastern Ontario.

Queen’s University recently secured over $3 million in funding that will help support the WE-CAN project – a three-year strategy involving several partners that will help develop and deliver new resources for women entrepreneurs, including women-led start-ups and small- to medium-sized enterprises. The project aims to help form a supportive community for women entrepreneurs, while stimulating the creation of new jobs and increasing the number of underrepresented women in the local workforce.

WE-CAN programming will serve both women entrepreneurs who are creating new businesses and those seeking to grow their existing business. It will focus on assisting three primary groups: women entrepreneurs in technology sectors, particularly those in which women’s representation is low; Indigenous women entrepreneurs; and women entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented groups, including visible minorities, newcomers to Canada, persons with disabilities, and women entrepreneurs from rural areas.

Queen’s is receiving funding from the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund program delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Key partners include the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, the City of Kingston, St. Lawrence College, KEYS Job Centre, and L-SPARK.

“This funding will enrich our local business ecosystem by accelerating the establishment and growth of new and diverse entrepreneurial ventures,” says Janice Mady, Director, Research and Innovation Partnerships at Queen’s. “WE-CAN will further fuel Kingston’s rise as a hub for innovation and will help lift underrepresented members of our community to new heights of success.”
Janice Mady
Director, Research and Innovation Partnerships at Queen’s University
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