Billions in Untapped Potential From Saskatchewan Women Entrepreneurs

A province-wide study estimates Saskatchewan could see an economic boost of $17.6 billion per year if more women were encouraged to start, run and grow their own businesses.

Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK) received funding from the Government of Saskatchewan’s Status of Women Office to explore avenues of scaling up women-owned businesses.  With the funding, WESK assembled an Advisory Committee to identify recommendations that support the growth of women-owned businesses in Saskatchewan.

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The Advisory Committee created a report titled Enabling Scale in Saskatchewan.  Recommendations include new financial and mentoring supports for women entrepreneurs and developing scale-enabling policy.  The report also identifies that the success of women entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan has a direct and positive impact on our economy, including job creation.

According to the report, women entrepreneurs contributed $23.1 billion to the Saskatchewan economy in 2019 and were responsible for 191,836 jobs.  However, more than 80 per cent of the province’s women-owned businesses have fewer than 10 employees.

“Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of female entrepreneurship among all provinces, with one in every eight women employed running her own business,” Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Office Tina Beaudry-Mellor said.  “We can build on this and be one of the best places in Canada for female entrepreneurs.”

Enabling Scale in Saskatchewan recommends:

•       Enhancing access to capital;

•       Developing scale-enabling policies;

•       Streamlining access to data, programs and networks; and

•       Enhancing awareness and support.

“Supporting women entrepreneurs is important to the success of Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan and our province’s future,” Beaudry-Mellor said.  “I applaud Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan and its Advisory Committee for their work and look forward to continuing to collaborate, adding jobs and opportunities in the process.”

As well as supporting the efforts made by WESK and the Advisory Committee, the Status of Women Office is focused on increasing Saskatchewan women’s participation and prosperity.  Currently, the Office is conducting a study to identity educational and entrepreneurial pathways for women in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Read the full report Enabling Scale in Saskatchewan online at https://wesk.ca/sk-advisory-committee/in-the-news/.

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