Alberta government funding could help Indigenous women starting businesses

Status of Women Minister Stephanie McLean discusses an increase in funding for a grants program, Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Brad Gowen, Global News

Alberta’s NDP government has tripled funding for a Status of Women grant program that aims to assist female entrepreneurs.

Funding for the program has increased from $500,000 to $1.5 million, with grants ranging from $3,000 to $100,000.

“Every dollar of our Status of Women grant goes to improve the lives of women and girls in Alberta. We know when Alberta women succeed, our economy grows and our communities flourish,”  Minister Stephanie McLean.

WATCH: Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is one of 34 recipients of the grant program. The organization will receive $100,000 for NextStep to Success, which is a training and peer-mentoring program that helps Indigenous women start their businesses and create jobs.

“We believe our communities are strongest when women are full participants in entrepreneurship. Thanks to the grant from Alberta Status of Women, we can support Indigenous women with entrepreneurial aspirations who wish to start, build and grow their own businesses,” Alberta Women Entrepreneurs CEO Marcela Mandeville said.

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The government said the common theme behind all successful grant applicants is they all break barriers down for women.

A 2014 ATB Financial Report shows about 38 per cent of small and medium-sized business in Alberta are owned by women.