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Women entrepreneurs get boost as feds give $1M to YWCA Hamilton

Women entrepreneurs in Hamilton have a lot to celebrate. The YWCA Hamilton will be expanding their Women In Entrepreneurship program with over $1 million from the federal government.

In the past year, 21 new businesses were launched in Hamilton. The year before, 37 were created by the program that was made to help women who want to start and grow their own business in Hamilton. The program consists of participants attending 10 weeks of business training and they have six additional weeks of one-on-one support. A business coach instructs participants on the ins and outs of running a small business. Some of the most important lessons are how to develop a business plan and applying for grants.

Liberal MP Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced $19 million in funding for women entrepreneurs and organizations that support them in Ontario. The WES Ecosystem fund will be funding the YWCA Hamilton program. The WES Ecosystem fund is part of the larger federal Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a $2 billion initiative that aims to double the amount of women-owned businesses in Canada by 2025. Eight other groups that support women entrepreneurs also recieved funding.

Denise Christopherson, CEO of YWCA Hamilton said that the money would not only benefit “the women who are going to advance their own businesses,” but also “their families and for the entire Hamilton community.” YWCA Hamilton announced in a blog post that they will use their $1,015,641 to continue to support women and offer training in French. In addition to this, 74 women owned or led businesses will receive up to $100,000 each through the women entrepreneurship fund.

These programs and their continual funding are important as only 16% of Canadian businesses are owned or led by women, according to the federal government.

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