Canadian Women – Creating Jobs One Business at a Time

March 5, 2014 – Ottawa – Durham MP Erin O’Toole invites constituents to celebrate International Women’s Week from March 2nd through 8th. This year’s event will highlight the important role played by women entrepreneurs in the Canadian economy, with the theme:  Strong Women. Strong Canada.  Canadian Women – Creating Jobs One Business at a Time.

Quick Facts

  • March 8th is International Women’s Day, which was established by Canada in 1977, following a United Nations resolution calling on member states to proclaim a day for women’s rights and international peace.
  • Evidence shows that women business leaders tend to hire women, and that women-led companies invest in their local communities.
  • As of 2011, 15.6% of small and medium sized businesses in Canada were majority-owned by women.
  • RBC Economics reports that, in 2011, majority owned women’s businesses contributed an estimated $148 billion to the Canadian economy.
  • Since 2007, Status of Women Canada’s Women’s Program has provided more than $53 million in funding for projects that specifically focus on improving women’s economic security and prosperity, including over $9 million for projects which aid and support women’s entrepreneurship.

These facts confirm that women-led businesses are critical to Canada’s economic success. Yet starting a business is not a simple task. It takes time, dedication, and resilience. MP O’Toole outlined some of the initiative’s that the Harper government has implemented to support women entrepreneurs:

  • Economic Action Plan 2014 created a new initiative to increase mentorship among women entrepreneurs
  • A $40 million investment in the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program to help entrepreneurs create new companies and realize the potential of their ideas
  • A Canada apprentice loan which will provide apprentices in Red Seal trades access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year
  • $55 million to create paid internships for recent graduates in small and medium-sized businesses in high-demand fields.
  • Leadership in promoting the participation of women on corporate boards by working with an Advisory Council of leaders from the private sector to address best policy approaches.


“It is important to celebrate women and to honour their achievements and critical contributions to our families, communities and economy. Businesses owned by women currently employ over 1.5 million Canadians and employ and invest in communities across Canada. Our government will continue to promote women in leadership roles and work with the private sector to ensure they continue to help lead our economy from the small businesses in Durham to the boardrooms of Bay Street.”

-Erin O’Toole

Member of Parliament for Durham

“Entrepreneurs are the engines of growth, the creators of jobs and the drivers of innovation on which our economy relies, and so it makes sense to celebrate women business owners during International Women’s Week 2014. These women make outstanding contributions to our economy every day and our Government is committed to supporting their success.”

-The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch

Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women


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