Financing

Financing for Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan

Financing for entrepreneurs can be difficult – particularly for women. But that should not deter you from seeking out support. That is where WESK comes in. We have established WESK Financing, which provides loans to our members for up to $150,000, with the potential for additional financing through our partnerships. Allow us to focus on sourcing your resources, while you focus establishing, growing and sustaining your business.  

To date, WESK has provided nearly $45 million in loans to grow and sustain members’ businesses. This has also helped create 2,039 jobs and counting.  

Have you heard about the newly announced WEOC National Loan Program? WESK is proud to be a Loan Fund Partner, allowing us to offer more financing options for you and your business. Your business advisor will work with you to determine your ideal solution.   

Benefits of a WESK Loan

Competitive Interest Rates  
Fixed, Prime + 3%. Reduced rates are available based on factors such as credit history, plan strength, etc… 

Reduced Payments to Get Started 
Interest-only payments are available while you get your business operational. 

No Payout Fees 
Pay off your loan in full or can-do lump sum payments without any penalty. 

Flexible Term 
The term can range from 1 – 7 years. 

WESK GOALS Program 
Get advising, access to experts, invitations to special events, and free or discounted training. 

Borrow up to $150k 
WESK can lend between $1,000 and $150,000. An additional $50,000 can be applied for through WEOC. 

Flexible Security Options 
Loans under $20,000 typically don’t require security registered against the loan. For loans over $20,000, business and/or personal assets can be used as security.  

Together We Grow 
All the interest that is collected from the loan goes directly to fund the next women entrepreneur looking for a loan. 

Am I Eligible?

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a WESK member.
  • Be a woman, or an operation owned and controlled by a woman, or women.*  
  • Be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant (permanent resident), or a legal entity owned and controlled by a Canadian citizen(s) or landed immigrant(s). 
  • Be a registered business in Saskatchewan (or have the name reserved). 
  • Be operating or about to operate in Saskatchewan. 
  • Be a Saskatchewan resident, 18 years of age or older. 
  • Have sufficient security (refer to the FAQs below). 
  • Provide 20% owner’s contribution (refer to the FAQs below).

* “Woman-owned” is defined as more than 50% ownership, however, under certain circumstances, 50% ownership may be considered.


If you have questions about your eligibility or our loan program, please email us at info@wesk.ca

What do I need to Prepare for a Business Loan?

All businesses must complete a loan application, and provide business details and financial information. To fast-track smaller loans and businesses that are already in operation, we have a few different sets of documents. See the table below to see which documents you should prepare: 

Complete them to the best of your knowledge, and if you miss anything or have any questions, your Business Advisors can help you. Kindly remember that during the loan process, you may be asked to provide additional supporting information.

How Do I Get a Business Loan?

Step 1: Confirm WESK Membership

Once you have purchased the Trailblazer Membership, please fill out the form (found in your member dashboard) to request a business advisor. 

Step 2: Meet with Your Business Advisor

Your Business Advisor can explain the loan process and help you prepare your loan documents. 

Step 3: Submit Your Loan Documents

Once you have all your documents prepared and meet all the eligibility requirements for the loan process, you can submit your documents directly to your business advisor.

Important Details

  • WESK does not offer grants, and the full value of the loan is owing. 
  • WESK membership must be maintained for the length of your loan term. 
  • Quarterly financial statements must be submitted each month for the first year of the term. 
  • Submitting completed loan application documents does not indicate automatic approval. 
  • You are responsible for loan application fees regardless of the outcome of your application. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to put my own money into the business? (Owner’s Contribution)
Open

Yes. WESK will lend up to 80% of your total project/business costs, which means your contribution would be at least 20%.  

For example, if you estimated it would cost you $100,000 to start your business, you would need to contribute $20,000 and would be eligible for an $80,000 loan from WESK. 

If you’re not able to come up with the full owner’s contribution requirement, WESK offers the John and Bernice Williams Equity Investment Fund, which covers half of the needed amount up to $10,000 maximum. 

Are there any grants available to women starting a business in Saskatchewan?
Open

While WESK offers loans of up to $150,000, we don’t offer grants. For a list of available grants (and other funding sources), check out the Government of Canada’s Grant and Funding resources.  

What is security and do I have to provide it?
Open

Security is an asset(s) you own that is comparable to the value of your loan. Lenders register your asset(s) so that if you fail to make payments on your loan, the asset(s) may be sold to pay your loan balance. We may use accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, land, buildings, and personal assets (home or vehicle) to secure the loan. Loans overs $20,000 are required to have security registered. 

What interest rate do WESK loans carry?
Open

Loans are at a fixed rate of + 3% over the prime lending rate when the date the letter of offer is signed. Sometimes rates may be adjusted slightly higher or lower, based on the specific risk level of the loan. Rest assured that this rate will stay the same for the entire term of the loan, so you can have peace of mind that your payments will not need to increase when interest rates rise. 

What types of costs/activities qualify for WESK financing?
Open

Eligible activities may include the purchase of tangible and/or intangible assets, working capital for inventory or accounts receivable, start-up costs, or even the purchase of an existing business.

What are the terms of a WESK loan?
Open

Depending on the amount of the loan and the specifics of the situation, the term of the loan can vary from 1 year up to a maximum of 7 years. Repayment terms longer than 7 years may be available for special situations. 

Does my business and I both need to be physically in Saskatchewan?
Open

WESK loans are for Saskatchewan residents looking to start or expand their businesses in Saskatchewan. 

You can still qualify for loans to expand outside of the province as long as your company is headquartered here. If you and your business are in another province, check out our sister organizations that provide entrepreneur funding: 

Does my business and I both need to be physically in Saskatchewan?
Open

Generally, yes, WESK loans are for Saskatchewan residents looking to start or expand their businesses in Saskatchewan.

BUT, you can still qualify for loans to expand outside of the province as long as your company is headquartered here. If you and your business are in another province, check out our sister organizations that empower, inspire, and provide entrepreneur funding:

Also – if you’re looking to move to Saskatchewan and expand your business into the province, we’d love to discuss the specifics of your situation and see if we can find a way to support you.

I only own 50% of my business, can I still qualify for a loan from WESK?
Open

Maybe. A majority (51%) ownership by one or more women is required, however, in limited circumstances, 50% ownership may be considered. Please contact us for additional information. 

If I pay back my loan early, will I be subject to a penalty?
Open

You may pay down your loan at any time without penalty. 

How long does it take to get a loan from WESK?
Open

Preparing your loan documents could take a day or a few weeks, depending on how far along you are. Once your Business Advisor says your documents are ready, it takes about 2 weeks to process the application.  

Can I get pre-approved?
Open

Yes. For transactions that have a short turnaround time, such as purchasing a business, leasing space, or working with multiple funders, we offer pre-approvals so you can move quickly. 

If the loan is denied, may I appeal?
Open

Yes. Within 15 business days of the date of the decline letter, please provide, in writing to the CEO, sound business reasons why your application should be reconsidered, and include any new information not previously shared. 

The CEO will review your original application, assessment, and appeal letter, and gather any additional input from you and/or staff as needed. If the CEO feels there are sufficient grounds for the appeal, the CEO will forward the material to two individuals independent from the loan process. From here, a final decision on the appeal will be made within two weeks. The CEO will then contact you to explain the decision, which is binding. 

Apply for a Loan

Ready to submit your documents? Submit them to your business advisor to get the ball rolling! If you’re stuck, book a business advising appointment and let us clear things up!

Questions?

Our team of business advisors are here to help! Advising appointments are free (and unlimited) with a Trailblazer or Changemaker package.

Email: info@wesk.ca