private sector business


Check out the State of Women's Entrepreneurship in Canada 2022 - 

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and sole proprietorships are the drivers of the Canadian economy, accounting for the vast majority of all businesses in the country.

For over two years, these businesses have been battered by the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those in the service sectors, where women-owned businesses tend to concentrate, have been hardest hit.

Diverse women entrepreneurs, including Black women and other racialized women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, and 2SLGBTQ+ individuals, have been among those most affected.

Despite the array of challenges, women entrepreneurs have demonstrated incredible resilience, ingenuity, and the ability to innovate amid uncertainty.

State of Womens Entrepreneurship in Canada

FULL REPORT:  can be accessed on the Women's Entrepreneur Knowledge Network Hub

About the Micropedia of Microaggressions

Have you asked yourself any of these questions lately?  How can I do better? How do I learn to understand my privilege and use it to be a better ally?  How do I get past defending my "intention" and really listen to the harmful "impact" of my words, thoughts and deeds? 

The Micropedia of Microagressions is a good first step to better understanding and owning our personal implicit biases? It provides real-life examples and concrete steps that each of us can take to build our capacity to uncover, challenge and unlearn entrenched implicit bias.  By doing this personal work we can be a better ally, reduce our defensive tendencies and help to foster a climate where difficult conversations can lead to meaningful systemic change. Individual reflection and willingness to listen and learn is where an inclusive culture begins.

Check out the launch of the Micropedia of Microaggressions, an interactive, comprehensive tool to learn about the different microaggressions people experience and unlearn the behaviours that cause them to create more inclusive workplaces, schools, and social interactions. 

Microaggressions are the, often unintentional, everyday thoughts, comments, and interactions that happen due to unconscious bias, causing harm to those on the receiving end. Everyone is capable of bias and psychologists suggest we’ve all most likely been on the giving or receiving end of microaggressions.


The research and content were co-created through consultations with individuals who have experienced microaggressions and:

  • The Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA)
  • The Canadian Congress on Diversity and Workplace Equity
  • The Diversity Institute
  • Pride at Work
  • Zulu Alpha Kilo

Let your journey begin/1


Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

Check out the resources, tools and resources available through Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada

The full and equal participation of women in the economy is not just the right thing to do; it's the smart thing to do.

Studies show that by advancing gender equality and women's participation in the economy, Canada could add up to $150 billion in GDP. Only 17% of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are owned by women, and the Government of Canada is working to change that.

The government is advancing women's economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), representing more than $6 billion in investments and commitments. WES aims to increase women-owned businesses' access to the financing, talent, networks and expertise they need to start up, scale up and access new markets.

Top Banner Women Entrepreneurshp strategy EN

Check out the resources, tools and resources available through Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada

Myth-busting Federal Government Procurement for Canadian Small Businesses  

March 29, 2021  @ 12:30 - 1:30 ESTprocurementcanada

The Canadian SME in partnership with Public Services and Procurement Canada Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Ontario Region will deliver a myth-busting presentation  on federal procurement for Canadian small businesses.

Did you know that the Government of Canada buys billions worth of goods and services each year? Do you think they only buy from big companies? Would you be surprised to learn that many of these contracts are awarded to small businesses in Canada?

Let us help you decide if selling to the Government of Canada is appropriate for you.

Join us to dispel some myths about selling to the government and find out:

  • What the government buys
  • Who the government buys from
  • How the government buys
  • Where to find resources and free support for small businesses

This webinar is presented in English only. For information on a French webinar or for special assistance, please contact the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) - Ontario Region at 1-800-668-5378 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at least five business days prior to the event. 

To  Register       

Note:  If you missed this session feel free to contact the OSME directly to learn more. 

COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for Business and Industry Sectors 


Additional COVID-19 Information and Resources

Women Boost Productivity by 43% - 2022

Collaboration and Working Remote - Tips for individuals, business and organizations to effectively work remotely and connect virtually

COVID-19 International Trade  - Call to Action

Canadian Business Resilience Network

Business Development Bank of Canada

Canadian Chamber of Commerce 

Ontario Chamber of Commerce - COVID Resources for Business

Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Canadian Comercial Corporation - COVID

McKinsey Special COVID-19 Collection of Reports 

COVID-19 Call to Action for Gender Equality and Inclusivity in the New Normal- UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)

What COVID-19 Is Teaching us about Gender Equality in the Future of Work - Global Compact Network Canada  

Women's Enterprise Organizations of Canada - COVID 19 Resources 

6 Leadership Traits for Inclusive Leadership - Deloitte

Catalyst: A Vision for Thriving Canada in 2020 - Deloitte Canada

Boom and Bust - 50 Big Tech Revealed in the Pandemic - Visualization  - CoCoSign

Free Printable COVID-19 Signage:

See how businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are using the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPS) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to create an inclusive workplace for sustained business success.

Check out the growing list of Canadian WEPS Signatories.

You too can become an employer of choice. Equality means Business.


Workplace Strategies to Advance Women's Participation in the Workplace

Hosted a two-day Symposium on Women and the Workplace at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

At the event, 240 Canadian leaders and champions of workplace gender equality and diversity shared best practices to inspire and advance women’s participation in the workplace. Presenters and participants came from the public and private sector, unions, academia, industry and human resource associations and civil society organizations.workplace symposium

This report provides strategies and resources employers can use to advance women’s participation in the workplace. It is based on presentations and discussions held during a two-day Symposium on Women and the Workplace held at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management in May 2019.

Symposium Report and additional Resources

 Gender - Smart Entrepreneurship Education and Training - Report

Gendersmart entreprenuership CEET report

This report is an important and practical tool that can be applied as an integral part of the COVID-19 pandemic response, recovery, and resilience action agenda.  

Women's Economic Imperative (WEI) is honored to collaborate with Dr. Barbara Orser, Dr. Catherine Elliott and partners of Gender-Smart Entrepreneurship Education & Training Plus (GEET+) to adapt and translate this work in a range of economic and social contexts with the goal of reducing “gender, racial and occupational stereotypes and unconscious biases associated with entrepreneurship education and training.”

"Leveraging Inclusive Procurement amid COVID-19".

This webinar will showcase the public and private sectors' role in following the gender-responsive procurement practices in times of COVID-19. The panelists will speak about practical policies, practices, and services that companies could develop, implement, and practice to help in the procurement responses.

WHEN - 18 June 2020, 09:00 am EDT
WHERE - Online via GoToWebinar
TO ACCESS RECORDED SESSION CLICK HERE (link will be active when available)
Please send your questions, comments, and feedback to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WEOC Canada


Internationally, both the G7 and the G20 have identified that supporting women’s entrepreneurship is a priority economic development strategy in both developing and developed economies.


Connect with organizations in your community that provide programs and services directly to women business owners in Canada.


Women's Enterprise Centre - Fueling the success of BC women entrepreneurs since 1995

Women’s Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women start, lead and grow their own business.

Check out the free webinars and resources to help you launch, grow your business. 






















Women Enterprise Knowledge Hub 

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Hub (WEKH) is led by the Diversity Institute with partners the Brookfield Institute and the Ted Rogers School of Management and more than 50 partners including regional hubs, experts and organizations from across the innovation ecosystem. 

Find papers and research from Women Entrepreneur Knowledge Hub partners.

Learn more about the complex and multilayered innovation ecosystem.


Business and Industry - Canada.ca

Business taxes, permits and regulations, intellectual property, business support and how to sell to government.

spotlight market diversification

Gender-based Analysis+ A Framework for Inclusion

Groups of people are not homogeneous. Although gender has typically been conceptualized as a binary (girl/woman and boy/man), there is considerable diversity in how individuals and groups understand, experience, and express gender. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ also considers many other identity factors, like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.          


CHECK OUTgba eng

Demystifying  GBA+ - 6 Page PDF
Beyond Gender and Sex - YouTube Video



Gender Equality Leadership in the Canadian Private Sector

Gender Equality

"The Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is proud to announce that the Government of Canada is investing in funding the GCNC for a three-year project to engage the private sector in eliminating barriers faced by women in the workplace, and act as a responsible accelerator to advance gender equality.

This three-year project is entitled Gender Equality Leadership in the Canadian Private Sector. It focuses on engaging corporate partners to develop, test, and implement a set of tools leading to a blueprint for gender equality in the private sector, a maturity model assessment tool, and a resource database."

 Learn More


Video Recap of September 2019 Event



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