Saskatchewan Advisory Committee on the Gender Entrepreneurship Gap Releases Final Report to the Government of Saskatchewan

Impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Job Creation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 28, 2020

SASKATOON, SK – Women entrepreneurs are major contributors of economic growth and job creation. In 2019, women entrepreneurs contributed $23.1 billion to the Saskatchewan economy and created 191,836 jobs. Yet, research indicates women entrepreneurs encounter unique barriers that hinder full participation in growing the wealth of our province.

The final report presented today to the Government of Saskatchewan’s Status of Women Office by the Saskatchewan Advisory Committee on the Gender Entrepreneurship Gap focused on levelling the playing field by outlining ten recommendations that support women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. 

“Enabling women-owned businesses to scale not only advances gender equality but also spurs economic growth,” said WESK CEO Prabha Mitchell. “If Saskatchewan accounts for 4.2 per cent of national GDP, there is potential for an additional injection of $6.3 to $17.64 billion in GDP by supporting women in scaling their businesses.”

The Committee’s recommendations were defined under the following four key pillars:

  1. Enhancing access to capital;        
  2. Developing scale-enabling policies;
  3. Streamlining access to data, programs and networks; and
  4. Enhancing awareness and support by building momentum

Evidence indicated women are less likely to secure capital than their male counterparts. One of the 10 recommendations referenced policy changes to creating incentives for angel investors. Research has shown companies with at least one female founder outperformed all-male founding teams by 88% over a ten-year period. Women-led businesses can successfully scale and incentives for angel investors provides potential capital beyond traditional financial institutions.

“When we support women entrepreneurs, we increase Saskatchewan’s economic growth and competitiveness and build a better quality of life for all residents,” says Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Office Tina Beaudry-Mellor. “Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan and its Advisory Committee are to be commended for this important study, which charts a collaborative course towards increasing women’s economic participation and prosperity.”

A proposed partnership with post-secondary institutions related to access to capital accounted for another recommendation. Financial acumen relative to accessing capital, and more importantly, increasing the number of female investors and leaders in decision-making teams is paramount.  The Committee recommended post-secondary institutions develop and deliver micro-credentialing programs to augment financial literacy as well as educate and empower women to engage in investment activities.  

The Committee, created by the Government of Saskatchewan in May 2019, had a mandate to advise the Government on strategies, policies and activities to close the entrepreneurship gap by examining gender disparity in business growth. The twelve-member Committee commenced work in September 2019 and concluded in June 2020. In spring 2020, the Committee re-examined the original recommendations to address the challenges emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Building a business climate conducive for women-owned businesses to scale also contributes to advancing the achievement of goals defined in the Saskatchewan Growth Plan.

The complete final report is available here: https://wesk.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Enabling-Scale-in-Saskatchewan_July_27.pdf

Watch the live recording of the press conference here: https://youtu.be/3tgAOb7YVBs

Links

For more information, please contact:

Josie Fries, Marketing Advisor, WESK

T: 306-477-6286

E: jfries@wesk.ca

W www.wesk.ca 

About WESK

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.