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New Report on Women Entrepreneurship in Saskatchewan released by WESK during Women Entrepreneurs Week


SASKATOON, SK – The Government of Saskatchewan has officially proclaimed the week of May 17 through May 23, 2020 to be Women Entrepreneurs Week across the province. Women-led businesses have consistently increased and along with this rise is a significant impact to the Saskatchewan economy. In 2019, women-led businesses contributed $23.1 billion to the province’s GDP.

A new Women Entrepreneurship in Saskatchewan report was released today, commissioned by WESK, prepared by PwC, and sponsored by Conexus Credit Union, Hill Levene Schools of Business, and the Women Entrepreneurs Knowledge Hub. (Note: The report was commissioned prior to the COVID-19 crisis, however the findings are relevant and valuable in plotting a course through economic recovery to sustainability and growth.)

A key measure of a healthy economy is the creation and number of jobs; the report noted that 191,836 Saskatchewan people were employed in women-led businesses in 2019.

Prabha Mitchell, CEO of WESK commented, “WESK commends our Government for this annual proclamation of Women Entrepreneurs Week while recognizing the gravity and impact of COVID-19 on ALL small businesses. The report revealed though the majority of women led/owned businesses employ 0-10 employees, their contributions of 191,836 employees to job creation and $23.1 billion to our GDP is enormous and they will remain a pivotal segment in stimulating recovery in our province.”   

The report was initiated through the work undertaken by the Saskatchewan Advisory Committee on Women Entrepreneurship. Last year the Government of Saskatchewan, Status of Women Office announced the creation of an advisory committee to research and develop policy and recommendations on advancing gender equality in the creation of economic activity.

“The majority of women-led businesses in Saskatchewan are labour intensive, which means they are important and efficient job creators,” said Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Minister responsible for the Status of Women Office. “Supporting and amplifying them is critical, especially as we emerge from COVID-19 restrictions and look towards rebuilding our economy.”

The Women Entrepreneurship in Saskatchewan report findings confirmed understanding and addressing the barriers that exist for women entrepreneurs can improve opportunities for them to scale businesses, boosting economic growth in our province. 

To celebrate Women Entrepreneurs Week, May 17 to 23, WESK has a variety of virtual activities including two panel discussions with stellar women entrepreneur guests. The first on May 21 will delve into the topic of Rebounding from the Crisis – What’s Next? On May 22, the second panel will explore What it Takes to Succeed as a Tech Entrepreneur. For a complete list visit: https://wesk.ca/women-entrepreneurs-week/

For more information, please contact:

Josie Fries, Marketing Coordinator
T: 306-477-6286
E: jfries@wesk.rbdemo.site
W www.wesk.rbdemo.site


WESK is a non-profit, membership-based organization that provides business advisory; start-up, purchase and expansion lending; mentoring and networking and learning and training opportunities. WESK is supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada.

In the past 25 years, WESK has provided over $38.8 million in financing to women entrepreneurs and more than $30.9 million has been leveraged as a result.



Highlights from the Women Entrepreneurship in Saskatchewan Report

Commissioned by WESK, prepared by PwC, and sponsored by Conexus Credit Union, Hill Levene Schools of Business, and the Women Entrepreneurs Knowledge Hub.

Gender analysis of Saskatchewan businesses

Share/size of women-led businesses

  • 88.4% of women-led businesses in Saskatchewan have up to 10 employees.
  • Across all business size categories, the share of men-led businesses is greater.
  • Women are less likely to lead a business as the size of the business increases.

Financial metrics of women-led businesses

  • For businesses with 1 to 49 employees, women-led businesses have lower revenues than men-led businesses.
  • For businesses with 50 to 99 employees, women-led businesses have higher revenues than men-led businesses.
  • Women-led businesses are less capital intensive than men-led businesses.

Sectoral composition of women-led businesses

  • In the ‘Health care, social assistance’ and ‘National security’ sectors, the number/share of women-led businesses appear to be greater than men-led businesses.

Women-led businesses by city of location

  • Of the total Saskatchewan businesses:
  • 24% are in Saskatoon
  • 20% are in Regina, and
  • less than 4% are in each of the remaining cities.
  • Women-led businesses in Regina are larger in comparison to Saskatoon.
  • Women-led businesses are more often headquartered in Saskatchewan.

Contribution of women-led businesses to the Saskatchewan economy in 2019

  • $23.1 billion in GDP
  • 191,836 employees
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