Financing for Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan
You’re bold, you’re fierce, and you’re doing it, but you’re having trouble finding funding. Financing for entrepreneurs can be difficult – particularly for women. Fueled by empowerment and intense pride for your tenacity, we established the WESK Financing Fund for women-owned and controlled businesses. With loans of up to $150,000 (or more through our partnerships), we can focus on your prosperity while you focus on establishing, growing, and sustaining your business in Saskatchewan.
Our financing for women entrepreneurs has provided $40.2 million to grow member businesses and has helped create 1,892 jobs and counting! We’re confident that your business is worth the investment.
Fun fact — we can do the splits. We’re not trying to brag, we promise! We just want you to know we’re more flexible than your traditional lender. Each journey is unique, and we’re willing to work with your specific needs to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true.
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. For questions about the WEOC National Loan Program, contact Cara Cote, Client Services Manager at email@example.com.
Benefits of a WESK Loan
Competitive Interest Rates
Approximately Prime + 3%, Fixed Interest-only payment available
No Payout Fees
You can pay off your loan in full or can-do lump sum payments without any penalty
The term can generally range from 1 – 7 years
WESK GOALS Program
You get continued support for the full duration of your loan
WESK All Access Program
You get unlimited access to business professionals through our All-Access Expert Advice Program
Borrow up to $150k
Flexible security and equity requirements (Micro Loans available) based on the requested amount of your loan
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?
- Be a legal entity.
- 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 Western Canada.
- Be operating or about to operate, in Saskatchewan.
- Be a Saskatchewan resident, 18 years of age or older.
- Be a full member of WESK for the duration of the loan. (*Trailblazer)
* “Woman owned” is defined as > 50% ownership, however, under certain circumstances 50% ownership may be considered.
*Must have a Trailblazer membership
If you have questions about your eligibility or our loan program, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What do I need to Prepare for a Business Loan?
Let’s get you ready for the loan process. Below are the four required documents for the loan process. Complete them to the best of your knowledge and if you miss anything or have any questions, our team of Business advisors at WESK 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 & Request a Business Advisor
Once you have purchased the Trailblazer Membership, please fill out the form (found in your member dashboard) to request a business advisor who can guide you towards further steps in the loan process.
Step 2: Submit 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
People invest in those who invest in themselves – the more money you put into your business, the more committed you are to making it work, and investors love that kind of thing. A general rule of thumb is 20% of your project cost. You may be able to get financing through a bank loan, government loan or grant, personal investors, or even from friends and family.
If you’re not able to come up with the full equity requirement, WESK offers the John and Bernice Williams Equity Investment Fund, which covers half of the needed equity up to $10,000 maximum.
This is only available for clients applying for a WESK term loan so contact us if you have any further questions.
While WESK offers loans of up to $150,000, we don’t offer grants. There has been a decline in the demand for grant funding over the past 10 years. Most are federally funded and target specific industries, regions, or groups (visible minorities etc.).
For a list of available grants (and other funding sources), check out the Government of Canada’s Grant and Funding resources.
Yes, we may use accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, land, buildings, and personal assets to secure the loan.
Generally speaking, most 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.
The opportunities are endless for women entrepreneurs who are as motivated as you are!
In general, 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.
Generally, a WESK loan is repaid over a 5-year term. However, depending on the size 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.
Absolutely! WESK provides financing for businesses of all sizes and phases. Whether you’re just starting the hustle or have been hustling hard, we’re here to provide financing to women in every stage of the game.
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.
We’re entering a bit of a grey area here – the short answer? 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 and to see if you fit into this grey area.
We’re not one to penalize go-getters, so you may pay down your loan at anytime without penalty.
Once you’ve met with a WESK Business Advisor, who will help you complete your business plan, and all your documentation is received by the lending department, the review, decision, and disbursal process usually takes about 2 to 3 weeks.
That’s if the stars align and everything is smooth sailing, however, we understand that life can throw you curveballs. If you need the funds sooner than that, please reach out to an advisor as soon as possible to see if we can get the ball rolling.
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, 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 loans 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!
Our team of business advisors are here to help! Advising appointments are free (and unlimited) with a Trailblazer or Changemaker package.