Laurier will receive up to $1.385 million in funding from the federal government’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund to support women entrepreneurs, with a focus on non-tech sectors and entrepreneurs creating social enterprises.
The funding is part of the government's Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.
Laurier will use the funding to establish three programs that support women entrepreneurs at the early start-up stage and those looking to accelerate their businesses. The programs include Female Founders Bootcamps, a Female Founders Accelerator program and a series of workshops titled Indigenous Women Building Businesses.
The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy funding aligns with Laurier’s strategic focus on fostering an equitable, diverse and inclusive community, which spans many university initiatives, including research. In addition to the the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy funding, Laurier was recently selected as one of 17 post-secondary institutions to participate in a Government of Canada pilot program, Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada, to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in research.
Laurier also recently secured a federal EDI Institutional Capacity-Building Grant and was one of the first institutions to sign the Dimensions Charter, which commits participating institutions to embracing equity, diversity and inclusion across disciplines and to implementing specific measures to address systemic barriers underrepresented groups face within academia.