Entrepreneurship is an essential building block for economic growth across the globe. It has been evident as well, the fundamental role that women play in the progress of the Canadian economy, considering that they represent 47 per cent of business owners and contribute $148 billion in economic activity; however, according to Statistics Canada, only 15.7 per cent of SMEs are owned by women, most with fewer than 19 employees. The Women Founders Fund aims to bridge the gap on entrepreneurial equal opportunity, by providing access to resources and empowering growth for female entrepreneurs.

Startup Canada and OnDeck Canada (formerly Evolocity Financial Group) have joined forces to invest in women-led companies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) through the creation of a platform which provides micro-grants to women entrepreneurs across Canada while accelerating the gender parity and further unleash the economic potential of women.

Applications close September 15,
2019 at 11:59 PM PT

  • Up to $5,000 grants to support business operations or business growth opportunities.
  • Promotional feature on and a guest-spot on THRIVE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs.
  • Applicants must be women entrepreneurs or women-led businesses.
  • Applicant’s business must be in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) field.
  • Applicants and their companies must be based in Canada.
  • Funds must be used to support business operations or access to business or professional growth opportunities.
  • Applicants must confirm that the company is a new initiative that could not happen without the seed funding or an existing SME that is augmenting their operations or ability to access business development.
  • Impact statement on the business and the use of the funds.
  • Proven business model with evidenced traction.
  • Case study evaluating the opportunity that this investment would provide,  without which would not be possible.
  • Agreement to participate in external and media testimonial.
  • Agreement to complete an impact assessment post investment period.
  • Agreement to provide a standard photo for social media communications and the company’s logo image (png. file)
  • Agreement to disclose partnership of the fund using the hashtag #StartupWomen and by tagging recognized sponsors in all associated marketing efforts (full social media regulations and policy to be provided)
  • Agreement to include evidence that proves it is an existing and active company and the impact of the grant through photos, an impact assessment, an interview testimonial and relevant social media activity tagging #StartupWomen and associated sponsors.
  • Application Deadline: September 15, 2019
  • Adjudication Period: October, 2019
  • Recipient Notification: October 15, 2019
  • Public Announcement: October 16, 2019
  • Startup Canada Awards Gala: October 23rd, 2019


Victoria Lennox
President and Co-Founder, Startup Canada

David Souaid
Chief Revenue Officer, OnDeck Canada

Katrina Caroll Foster
CEO, Kollectively, Co-Founder, The RAISE Collective

Mandy Potter
Director, Lesbians Who Tech, Vancouver Chapter

Miryam Lazarte
CEO, LatAm Startup

Marney Stapley
Vice President, North Forge Technology Exchange

Melloney Campbell
Community Leader, Startup Peel

Nicole Verkindt

Francine Whiteduck
Founder, Whiteduck Resources Inc.


2018 Recipients

  • Mommy Monitor, a non-clinical maternal health app and service that customizes care by organizing maternal health care services for women. (CEO & Founder, Elsie Amoako)
  • Streamline Genomics, a company that provides clinicians with a powerful and user-friendly analysis platform. (CEO & Founder, Josette-Renee Landry)
  • The Growcer, a food-tech company that specializes in the design and manufacturing of food production systems that allow Arctic and Sub-Arctic communities to grow food profitably year-round. (Chief Operating Officer, Alida Burke)

2017 Recipients

  • Eve Medical, a medical device company that provides women’s health screening kits. (Co-Founder and CEO Jessica Ching)
  • Awake Labs, is using AI to care for brain and mental health disorders. (CEO Andrea Palmer)
  • SportFitz, is a Smart Solution to measure, monitor and manage impacts to the brain. (Founder and CEO Diane Matyas)

2016 Recipients

  • Spreza, a transcription company that provides automatic speech to text and live captioning. (Co-Founder Heather Evans)
  • Welbi, a platform that helps families take care of their elderly loved ones. (Co-Founder Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau)
  • YUMiBOX, a subscription box that sells products to support diabetic blood sugar control. (Co-founders Mengyin Hong and Zoey Li)
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