Visa Canada Announces Grant Program To Provide Needed Financial Support For Women-Owned Canadian Small Businesses

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KAWARTHA LAKES-In advance of International Women’s Day, Visa Canada announced today the extension of Visa’s global grant program bolstering the company’s support of small businesses in Canada. In partnership with IFundWomen, ten women entrepreneurs in Canada will have the opportunity to apply for grants of $10,000 CAD each and receive one-year mentorship to support growing and expanding their business. Starting today until March 12, IFundWomen will be seeking applications from Canadian women entrepreneurs across all sectors.

Small businesses in Canada continue to struggle during the pandemic, according to experts. The Visa Back to Business Study revealed that Canadian small businesses are the least likely among all markets to say that their business is fully operational or will be in the next six months (62%, compared to the global average of 78%)i.

While there are signs of recovery, women-owned businesses in Canada are taking nearly twice as long to recover from the financial setbacks brought on by COVID-19 compared to businesses owned by men according to VISA . According to a recent Visa survey, 48 per cent of women small business owners indicated a grant would be helpful for near-term survival or growth. Furthermore, a $10,000 grant would cover at least half of the financing needs for over 60 per cent of these women-owned small businessesiii.

“Starting, owning or growing a business is an incredible journey but not always an easy one, especially during a pandemic,” said Stacey Madge, president and country manager, Visa Canada. “The reality is, COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on women business owners. Together with IFundWomen, we are excited to provide a much-needed grant to help empower women entrepreneurs to tackle the unique challenges they face while better positioning them to lead our collective recovery, and we remain committed to championing Canada’s small business community.”

“At IFundWomen, our number one goal is to see women entrepreneurs worldwide get funded. We’re so proud to be partnered with Visa to support these innovative entrepreneurs in Canada,” said Karen Cahn, Founder & CEO at IFundWomen. “We couldn’t think of a better partner with which to do our first Canadian grant program.”

To learn more and participate in the Visa IFundWomen grant program, applicants are asked to submit details about their business and online presence, along with a short video about their business to ifundwomen.com/visa-canada. Ten winners will be selected from the shortlist and receive grants of $10,000 each and coaching for a year from leaders within the Visa and IFundWomen network.