The Government of Saskatchewan, through the Status of Women Office, is pleased to announce the creation of an advisory committee to examine the entrepreneurial gender gap in Saskatchewan. The advisory committee is created and funded through a partnership with Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK).
“Women help drive the economy of Saskatchewan in a number of ways,” Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Office Tina Beaudry-Mellor said. “Our government is working to ensure the participation of women in the growth of our entrepreneurial ecosystem through many initiatives. This partnership with Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan will help us continue to do that by examining one of the key barriers to scaling-up their businesses that we have heard all over the province, and that is access to capital.”
The advisory committee will be made up of representatives from government, the entrepreneurial community, and financial and legal professions. The entrepreneurial gender gap examination will take place over the course of one year, with the goal of helping business leaders and the Government of Saskatchewan better understand women entrepreneurship, specifically barriers Saskatchewan women encounter such as access to venture capital and financial support.
In Saskatchewan, 34,600 women are self-employed, reflecting 16.5 per cent growth over the last to years – the third highest growth rate in Canada. Saskatchewan’s women entrepreneurs contribute to the economy in many sectors such as construction, manufacturing, health services, finance and technology.
“Supporting women to scale their businesses is imperative for economic growth in our province,” WESK CEO Prabha Mitchell said. “Advancing women’s equality in the creation of economic activity has the potential to increase GDP in our country by $150-420 billion. The endorsement of this priority by the Government of Saskatchewan positions our province as a leader in examining and addressing the gender entrepreneurship gap.”
WESK is a non-profit organization that works with Saskatchewan women to assist them with starting, buying or expanding a business and to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.