People often ask me, “is there anything for female entrepreneurs?”

The answer is yes but not much.

I originally wrote a blog on this topic in 2017, so it’s time for an updated version.

Funding for female entrepreneurs is one of the most widely misunderstood areas in grants. Contrary to popular belief, few grants exist is this space. The 2018 Women Entrepreneurship Fund was the first real attempt to offer straight up cash (reimbursed) to women entrepreneurs, but it hasn’t opened since. Also, Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity Grant and Contribution Program has not reopened since its closing date of August 4, 2017.

Still, some grants are available to women, but they are in a number of different places.

To help you understand how to win grants in this space, I encourage you to read a piece I wrote about helping my sister win a $426,000 grant from the Status of Women grant. You’ll pick up a few tips in that article. If you want more tips, you can find 100 of them in my book.

DOWNLOAD NOW! 5 Grant Gotchas

There is grant money waiting for YOU! BUT if you step in a “grant trap,” your application is a NO! Learn the FIVE most common errors to AVOID in government grants! Get the 5 Grant Gotchas now to save you countless hours.
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Here is the current status of women grants in Alberta (as of 2021). The former Status of Women Community Grant Program has been consolidated under the Community Initiatives Program (CIP) – Project Based stream for community-based initiatives focused on addressing gender-based violence, women’s economic security and women in leadership.

Below is a list of more grants.


Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women

Value: Varies. You’ll notice the government is now grouping several regular grants on this site, so they are not all specific to women. Loads of money though.


Works to improve Albertans’ quality of life through support of cultural development, historical preservation and increased gender equality. It offers few women grants and accept applications through multiple intakes on an annual basis.

Contact Information: 780-427-2711 or 310-0000 (Toll-free)


Women Entrepreneurs Program | Startup Canada

Value: Varies


The Startup Canada Women Entrepreneurs Program supports women entrepreneurs, particularly those from marginalized backgrounds, to start and scale thriving businesses.


In the month of March, in celebration of International Women’s Day, Startup Canada, Startup Communities, leading women entrepreneurs, and government and industry partners will come together to celebrate the contributions and achievements of women entrepreneurs to the Canadian economy. Join the program and encourage Canada’s 3.5 million entrepreneurs to #ChooseToChallenge in building a more gender-balanced world, to accelerate gender parity, and to unleash the economic potential of women.

Contact Information:


Status of Women Canada : Women’s Program

Value: Varies.


The objective of the Women’s Program is to achieve the full participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada. Funding is provided to eligible organizations in support of projects at the local, regional and national levels that address the following three priority areas:

  • Ending violence against women and girls
  • Improving women’s and girls’ economic security and prosperity
  • Encouraging women and girls in leadership and decision-making roles

How do I apply?

The Women’s Program issues targeted calls for proposals on specific themes, each with a number of predetermined elements, and application deadlines. Check the current funding opportunities here:

Status of Women Canada also accepts a small number of applications to the Women’s Program on an ongoing basis. To ensure your proposed project fulfils the requirements of the Women’s Program’s eligibility criteria, please consult the General Eligibility Requirements or contact a Status of Women Canada office to discuss the application with a project officer.

Contact Information: 1-855-969-9922 │


Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women


  • The AIG-W is a taxable grant worth $3,000 per level, awarded to registered apprentices.
  • You must complete your first year/level (or equivalent) to apply for the AIG-W.
  • You can apply for this grant twice during your training (for a maximum of $6,000).
  • You can apply for your second AIG-W after completing your second year/level (or equivalent) of training.


The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women (AIG-W) helps you pay for expenses while you train as an apprentice in a Designated Red Seal Trade where women are underrepresented.

  • The AIG-W is a taxable grant worth $3,000 per level, awarded to registered apprentices.
  • You must complete your first year/level (or equivalent) to apply for the AIG-W.
  • You can apply for this grant twice during your training (for a maximum of $6,000).
  • You can apply for your second AIG-W after completing your second year/level (or equivalent) of training.

To be eligible for the AIG-W, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person
  • not be a high school student
  • have the required AIG-W supporting documents
  • be registered with your provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority as an apprentice in an eligible designated Red Seal trade where women are underrepresented.
  • provide proof that you have successfully completed, on or after April 1, 2018, either your first or second year or level in a designated Red Seal trade
  • self-identify as a woman.

Contact Information: 1-866-742-3644 (Toll-free) or 1-866-909-9757 North America TTY


The Canadian Women’s Foundation

 Value: Up to a maximum of $20,000 each; you may apply for additional funding of up to $3,000 to assist with access costs.


As a women’s foundation, the foundation specializes in helping women and girls move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership. Each of the foundation’s three grant areas have different eligibility and criteria. Specific guidelines for each granting area are posted when the application process opens.

Eligible Applicants:

To be considered for an Annual Grant, your program, project or initiative is required to meet the following:

  • Women or gender equality organizations with significant experience in working with women, girls, Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary peoples such as shelters, sexual assault centres, women’s centres, and organizations providing a continuum of services and connection to the community
  • Understand the intersection of inequity and barriers to participation factors such as race, class, gender, and sexual identity, (dis)ability, immigration status, language, or geography
  • Use an asset-based, positive approach that centres participants’ knowledge and experience
  • Demonstrate approaches to create and maintain safer/braver spaces during program time that encourage participants to speak up, and consideration given to the safety of program participants and staff outside of program spaces
  • Must have valid charitable number from Canada Revenue Agency or be a First Nation that is designated by Canada Revenue Agency as a qualified donee or be working with a partner who fits this eligibility requirement.


Eligible Expenses

Organizations can apply for grants in one of the following areas:

  1. Gender-based violence:

Programs, projects and initiatives that support women, Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary people, and their children, who have experienced violence, that aim to promote violence prevention, or that support systemic change efforts related to gender-based violence.

  1. Economic security:

Programs, projects, and initiatives that support women, Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary people to lift them and their children out of poverty and into financial independence.

  1. Girls’ empowerment:

Programs, projects, and initiatives that support girls, Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary youth aged 9-13 in supportive, all-girl environments to build confidence, resilience, and critical thinking skills needed to face life’s challenges.

  1. Inclusive leadership:

Programs, projects, and initiatives that support women, girls, Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary people to practice leadership skills and help participants understand that there is more than one way to lead.

Deadline: February 27, 2020

Contact Information: Canadian Women’s Foundation │ 1-866-293-4483 │

Jacqueline Hall – Program Manager │ (ext. 231) │

Rifka Khalilieh – Grants Administrator │ (ext. 223) │


Global Fund for Women


Global Fund for Women’s primary goal is to get resources to organizations led by women, girls, and trans people. We support organizations led by historically marginalized groups who are working to build strong, connected movements for gender equality and human rights. We trust women, girls, and trans people to know how best to solve the problems in their communities. As funders, our goal is to provide resources that strengthen the agency, participation, and power of local organizations working directly in their communities.

Global Fund for Women provides three types of grants: general support grants, travel and event organizing grants, and crisis grants.

Contact Information:


Women in Sport Encouragement (WISE) Fund Grant | Canadian Women and Sport

Value: With the support of Sport Canada, the 2021 WISE Fund will grant 30 organizations $2500 to advance gender equity in Canadian sport.


Since 2004, Canadian Women and Sport has awarded $250,000 in grants through our WISE Fund to leaders and organizations across Canada to help address this gap.

Canadian Women & Sport is committed to the equitable distribution of grant funds to all communities and underrepresented groups across the country. This year, we will strengthen our commitment by dedicating a minimum of 60% of grant funding towards organizations or initiatives led by or directly serving women and girls who are:

  • Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit)
  • People of Colour (people who are non-white, regardless of birthplace)
  • Deaf Persons, Persons with Disabilities

Contact Information:



Women in STEM Award Stream – Leaders in Equality Award of Distinction (LEAD) Program

Value: 50 awards of $2,500 available for this stream


The LEAD Program is supporting students who are working to reduce gender discrimination in their communities, or who are studying in fields where their gender is traditionally underrepresented. The program is a consolidation of 2 funding streams: the previously announced Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Award stream, and the Persons Case Scholarship stream.

Eligible Applicants:

  • identify as a woman studying in STEM
  • are a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident or Protected Person
  • are an Alberta resident
  • must be 30 years or younger by March 31, 2021
  • must be a registered (full or part-time) student in an approved Alberta post-secondary institution
  • Indigenous women, racialized women and women living with a disability are strongly encouraged to apply.

Contact Information: Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women │


Canadian Industrial Leadership Award

Value: One-time $6,000 bursary and the opportunity for full-time employment


Canadian Industrial Leadership Award (CILA) provides more than just financial support. It’s an experience and an opportunity to contribute to a leading defence and security company in a meaningful way and kick start your career in a STEM-related field. In 2020, we will be awarding ten women enrolled in STEM programs at Universities and Colleges across Canada with a fully paid internship and executive mentorship at L3Harris, CAE or Thales Canada. In addition, award recipients will receive a one time $6,000 bursary and the opportunity for full-time employment after successful completion of their program.

Eligible Applicants:

Any female Canadian citizen or permanent resident enrolled in the final year of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program at participating universities across Canada are eligible to apply.


Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Digital Subsidy | Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Value: A subsidy of up to $7,000


ICTC’s WIL Digital is an innovative Work Integrated Learning program that helps employers grow their businesses by providing financial assistance for hiring post-secondary students.

WIL Digital is funded by the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) and provides the following wage subsidy types:

  • 50% of the student’s salary, up to $5,000; or
  • 70% of the student’s salary, up to $7,000, if the student falls within one of the following under-represented groups: Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Indigenous students, recent immigrants, students with disabilities, and first-year students.

Contact Information: Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) │ 613-237-8551 ext.176 │



Value: Varies


Maximizing positive impact on local communities by providing support and funding for projects in these areas:

  • Environment & Safety – Programs that contribute to the safety of the communities where we operate, the long-term health and biodiversity of local and regional ecosystems, including water and land conservation and stewardship efforts.
  • Education & Innovation – Initiatives aimed at developing a skilled workforce by supporting youth literacy programs and vocational training programs ranging from engineering, science, and technology to business, trade, and the arts, promoting and supporting STEM education.
  • Empowering Communities – Projects that create economic opportunities for local residents, cultural initiatives, and social issues focused on equality, poverty, healthy living, and women and children’s needs.

 Contact Information: Repsol │ 403 237 1234 │



While Loans is a dirty word at our company, we recognize not many grants exist in this space, so you should be aware of these programs.


Women in Trade | Export Development Canada (EDC)


Through this program, Export Development Canada (EDC) manifest its dedicated to helping Canadian women-owned and -led businesses achieve success on the global stage by providing the financial solutions and knowledge to grow with confidence. The program aims to empowering women entrepreneurs to realize their global potential.

EDC’s Women in Trade – Investment Program has made $100 million available to provide equity growth capital to women-owned and -led companies that are scaling up, or venture capital funds, showing a commitment to promoting gender equity.

Contact Information: 1-800-229-0575



Women in Technology Venture Fund | Business Development Bank of Canada


The BDC Capital Women in Technology (WIT) Venture Fund is one of the world’s largest venture capital funds dedicated to investing in women-led technology companies and helping to build a robust ecosystem to support women in tech today and in the future.

BDC do this in three ways:

  • Direct Investment

By investing in women-led tech companies that bring together the right people, technology and resources to disrupt today’s markets.

  • Indirect Investment

By investing in emerging venture funds with at least one-woman partner, which have also committed to investing in women-led tech companies.

  • Ecosystem Development

By working with many partners to develop and support a self-sustaining ecosystem for women that provides mentorship, networking, and tools to ensure they thrive.

Contact Information: 1-877-232-2269



DOWNLOAD NOW! 5 Grant Gotchas

There is grant money waiting for YOU! BUT if you step in a “grant trap,” your application is a NO! Learn the FIVE most common errors to AVOID in government grants! Get the 5 Grant Gotchas now to save you countless hours.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.