Government Grants for Women

Government Grants for Women, Government Grants

As an entrepreneur, your ideas help shape the business landscape in Ontario. From small independently run businesses to hi-tech corporations, women entrepreneurs are making their mark on the economy. This guide will provide you with links and resources for your business.You can also read our Business Start-Up Guide for information on the requirements for starting a new business in Ontario.If you would like to learn how the federal government promotes the participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada, contact Status of Women Canada (SWC).Contact SWC:
Status of Women Canada



Your business may need licences and permits from the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government.

In addition to the information you will find in this guide, you can use the Canada Business Permits and Licenses Search, powered by BizPaL, to find licences and regulations that may affect your business. You can also contact us to speak to someone about starting your business.

Contact us:
Permits and licences search


Canada Business can help you find government financing options for your business. There are programs that apply to businesses across Canada, and others that apply only to businesses in Ontario. Use the Canada Business financing search tool or browse by type of financing.

You can also access Canada Business information through the ONe-Source online financing wizard. The wizard guides you through 3 easy steps to create a personalized list of results for Ontario business financing programs.

Search online:
Canada Business: Government grants and financing
ONe-Source Ontario business financing guide


The following organizations offer financial support programs that apply specifically to women:


Women's Program – Funding

If you are planning a project that will have a direct impact on women in your community, you may be eligible for funding from Status of Women Canada (SWC).

Contact SWC:
Women's Program – Funding



PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise

If your business is in the Thunder Bay, Greenstone, Patricia, and Superior North regions, you can contact the PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise for information on training programs, peer-to-peer lending, and financing options that are available to women entrepreneurs.

Contact PARO:
PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise


Depending on your location and the type of products or services being offered, federal, provincial and/or municipal business taxes may apply.

Read online:
Taxation guide

If you sell goods and services in Ontario, you may need a business number to collect and remit the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Most businesses that make less than $30,000 in any 12 month period are not required to charge HST; however, you can register voluntarily and claim input tax credits. Speak with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for more information.

Contact CRA:
Canada Revenue Agency


Training and Mentorship

Skills, knowledge, and networking are keys to running a successful business. Training and mentorship programs can give you hands-on experience in the field and put you in contact with other women entrepreneurs. The following resources provide information on mentorship and training programs for women in business.

Investing in Women's Futures

Contact the Ontario Women’s Directorate (OWD) to find out about programs and centres where you can access entrepreneurial training and other community services. Consult their website to find a program near you.

Contact OWD:
Investing in Women's Futures


Businesswomen in International Trade (BWIT)

If your business exports goods, you can get information and resources on international trade from the BWIT program, which is offered through Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

Contact BWIT:
Business Women in International Trade



CATA Women in Technology (CanWIT)

CanWIT is a community network designed to boost women's participation and advancement in the high-growth technology sector. You can find support through mentoring, networking and online resources to help your technology business succeed.

Contact CANWIT
Canadian Women in Technology



PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise

If your business is in Northern Ontario, contact the PARO Centre for Women for information on skills training and peer-to-peer lending programs for women entrepreneurs.

Contact PARO:
PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise




There are many associations that may be of interest to you. It is not necessary to join an association, but some of the advantages include:

  • Promoting and exchanging marketing and promotional ideas among members
  • Establishing and encouraging high standards of quality and professionalism


Examples of associations for women entrepreneurs include:


The Business and Professional Women's Club of Ontario

If you are interested in liaising with other women entrepreneurs and professionals and improving economic and business conditions for women, you may consider becoming a member of The Business and Professional Women's Club of Ontario. The Business and Professional Women’s Club of Ontario also offers the option of a group insurance plan for members.

Read Online:
Business and Professional Women – Club of Ontario





Community MicroSkills Development Centre

You can access critical business and economic skills training through the Community MicroSkills Development Centre, which offers programs, services, and resources to women entrepreneurs for business start-up and operation.

Contact the Community MicroSkills Development Centre:
Community MicroSkills Development Centre





Women Who Excel

If your business is in the Hamilton Wentworth or Halton Regions, you can access panel discussions, networking opportunities and seminars to help you grow your business through Women Who Excel.

Contact Women Who Excel:
Women Who Excel




Next Steps

For more information that relates to starting your business, you can read the following guides:

Additional resources include:

You can also find books, magazines and other relevant print material at business service organizations in your community. To locate a Canada Business Ontario (CBO) community partner, contact us at 1-888-576-4444.