Women's Economic Advancement Project

On Tuesday, March 18, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, along with Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, announced Government of Canada support for women entrepreneurs in the region of Guelph, Ontario.

Innovation Guelph is the recipient of $149,000 in funding from Status of Women Canada to improve services to assist women entrepreneurs and identify the needs and gaps of local women with respect to business ownership and entrepreneurship. The project will focus on women in four key areas: existing women entrepreneurs, low income women, women in career or life transition, and women in the STEM sectors and pursuing education in those fields. Innovation Guelph’s project was selected through the Government of Canada’s recent call for proposals entitled Opening Doors: Economic Opportunities for Women.

“The number one priority of our Government is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. That is why we continue to support new projects that will help expand and promote greater economic opportunities for women in communities across Canada,” said Dr. K. Kellie Leitch in a news release.


L. to R.: Frank Valeriote, Member of Parliment (Guelph); Dr. James Doran, Chief Operating Officer, Innovation Guelph; the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women; Kristel Manes, Director, Innovation Centre, Innovation Guelph; and Peter Braid, Member of Parliament (Kitchener-Waterloo).

Innovation Guelph will collaborate with other business support agencies, municipal and county authorities, academic institutions, and women to explore barriers to successful entrepreneurship. Strategies to overcome these barriers will be developed and tested through women-led focus groups, and the creation of specialized peer innovation and entrepreneurship networks.

“We are pleased to partner with the Government of Canada on this project so that more women in the Guelph area can pursue economic opportunities as entrepreneurs. We look forward to collaborating with local businesses and other stakeholders to help women achieve this goal,” said Dr. James Doran, Chief Operating Officer at Innovation Guelph.

If you would like to participate in interviews and focus groups, join peer networking groups, and/or volunteer on project advisory committees, click here.