Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneur Program
Indigenous women are, and always have been, at the very heart of our communities. Entrepreneurship represents a promising pathway for Indigenous women to enrich their lives, strengthen their families and participate in the development of their communities.
In 2022, the Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneurship (IWE) Program launched across 32 AFIs in Canada. Through the program, Indigenous women have access to dedicated Business Support Officers, routine workshops and training, and micro-loans to help kick start and grow their businesses.
Developed in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), the program seeks to reduce barriers that Indigenous women face when starting or growing their businesses, and ensure that they have access to the training, resources, and capital they need to prosper and thrive.
For more information on the IWE Program, contact the IWE Team at IWE@nacca.ca.
Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund
Access to capital remains a significant barrier for many Indigenous women entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow their businesses. To help address this barrier, the Government of Canada allocated $55 million in Budget 2021 for the creation of a new national microloans fund, part of its Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES).
NACCA and participating AFIs are delivering the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund on behalf of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). Indigenous women entrepreneurs who meet the eligibility requirements will be able to apply for loans up to $50,000.
NACCA can connect you with the right AFI to help you access the fund and the financing you need to start or grow your business. Contact us at IWE@nacca.ca for more information on the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund and find out what AFI in your region is delivering the program.
Check out our research reports on Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs in Canada
Read some of the stories of women-owned business supported by the AFI network
This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario, Indigenous Services Canada, Women and Gender Equality Canada, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.