Government of Canada supports recovery and growth of women-led businesses across Inuit Nunangat amid COVID-19 pandemic

By griffith - March 31, 2021

Minister Daniel Vandal announces $143 thousand to support women entrepreneurs in Inuit Nunangat to adapt and grow

IQALUIT, NU, March 30, 2021 /CNW/ – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

Women entrepreneurs are crucial to Canada’s economic success, and supporting their success is key to ensuring a strong, inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As Canada marks the one year anniversary of this crisis, it has never been more important that the gains women have made, are not lost.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced $143 thousand in top-up funding for Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, a recipient of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund, which supports women entrepreneurs to navigate this crisis and continue to grow their businesses. This investment, delivered by CanNor, represents a top-up to the $2 million in WES funding previously provided to this organization in 2019.

The top-up funding aims to support women entrepreneurs across Inuit Nunangat, which includes Nunavut, Inuvialuit (northern Northwest Territories), Nunavik (northern Quebec) and Nunatsiavut (Labrador). It also aims to help businesses start up, scale up and access new markets, which is even more important as the economy recovers from COVID-19.

With this additional funding, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada will create a series of professional videos that guide and support Inuit businesswomen to address economic barriers, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. These videos will provide information on topics such as Facebook marketing, business plan development, online banking and payment processing, and will be available in English and Inuktut.


“This investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting Inuit businesswomen during this difficult time. We are providing funding to organizations such as Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada who have been working hard to ensure that women-led businesses across Inuit Nunangat have the resources they need to recover from the impacts of this pandemic. Our goal is to continue to support organizations like Pauktuutit so that they can continue to play their vital role in creating networks and linkages and drive initiatives that respond to the evolving needs of these regions.”
–       The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs

“Women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses are facing unique challenges. In response to these challenges, our government is providing critical investments so women-led businesses can continue contributing to Canada’s economic future. Women entrepreneurs want to continue building their businesses, and we will be there to help them build back better.”
–       The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

“Pauktuutit appreciates the federal government’s ongoing support for businesses owned and led by talented Inuit women. This additional funding will ensure these strong women have additional support and information to help their small businesses recover from the significant economic impact of COVID-19.”
–       Rebecca Kudloo, President, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

Quick Facts

  • In Canada’s Speech from the Throne, COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, and the Fall Economic Statement 2020, the Government of Canada reiterated its commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs in getting through the COVID-19 crisis, through various measures including accelerating the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
  • An overall investment of nearly $5 billion in the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy reinforces the Government of Canada’s commitment to increasing access to financing, talent, networks and expertise that women-owned businesses need to start up, scale up and access new markets.
  • The regional development agencies are delivering on the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy across Canada. Across the territories, CanNor invested close to $2 million to support Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
  • In May 2020, an additional $15 million in national funding was made available for Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund recipients to provide timely support and advice to women entrepreneurs facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency has made significant investments to support women throughout the pandemic, including providing funding to over 200 women-owned businesses, amounting to an investment of over $8 million, through the Agency’s Northern Business Relief Fund and Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.

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SOURCE Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)