Women-Owned Canadian Businesses are on the Upswing

Women-owned businesses have not only survived the pandemic, but are thriving according to The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH). In its State of Women’s Entrepreneurship (SOWE)  report, WEKH said 18 percent of businesses are owned by women which is a stark contrast from 16.8 percent in 2020 and 15.6 percent in 2017. Another study found that the gap between women and men in the entrepreneurial world is beginning to close.

As more Canadian women are developing an interest in becoming an entrepreneur, this is effectively working towards building a stronger economy. Research has also found that the growing number of women entrepreneurs could contribute $150 billion GDP towards the country’s economic growth. There are a number of funding opportunities for Canadian women-owned businesses or women-led companies on the Government of Canada website.

Women-Owned Businesses in the Wood Industry

Re4m (pronounced Reform) was founded by Heather Jeffrey in 2016 in Ottawa. They design and build customer furnishings and displays using recycled and rescued wood materials for commercial businesses. With sustainability and eco-fabrication in mind, Re4m is committed to making a difference in the province’s commercial waste sector by utilizing discarded materials from local businesses. The company’s team is comprised of five individuals, four of them being women and they’ve been awarded 2021 one of 10 National Winners of the BMO celebrating women in sustainability, 2019 Small Business: Best in Manufacturing and 2022 Winner of Skilled Trade SmallBiz of the Year.

More than ever before, women entrepreneurs and workers are turning to the skilled trades sector for growth opportunities. Yet, the percentage is still quite small. Women make up 48 percent of the Canadian labour force but only 28 percent in the manufacturing industry and just 4.5 percent in skilled trades. The trades encourage individuals to innovate and serve global markets which in turn leads to economic development and increases standards of living. The Government of Canada has made increasing the participation of women-owned SMEs a priority. “One of the key factors in Canada’s economic resilience is the success of women-owned and women-led businesses. We’re taking the necessary steps for women to have greater access to technology-based opportunities in business, trade and investment abroad,” said Mary NG, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business, and Economic Development.

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