Toronto, February 23 2021 – In advance of International Women’s Day, Visa Canada announced today the extension of Visa’s global grant program bolstering the company’s support of small businesses in Canada. In partnership with IFundWomen, ten women entrepreneurs in Canada will have the opportunity to apply for grants of $10,000 CAD each and receive one-year mentorship to support growing and expanding their business. Starting today until March 12, IFundWomen will be seeking applications from Canadian women entrepreneurs across all sectors.
Visa Canada Announces Grant Program to Provide Needed Financial Support for Women-Owned Canadian Small Businesses
Small businesses in Canada continue to struggle during the pandemic. The Visa Back to Business Study revealed that Canadian small businesses are the least likely among all markets to say that their business is fully operational or will be in the next six months (62%, compared to the global average of 78%)1.
While there are signs of recovery, women-owned businesses in Canada are taking nearly twice as long to recover from the financial setbacks brought on by COVID-19 compared to businesses owned by men2. According to a recent Visa survey, 48 per cent of women small business owners indicated a grant would be helpful for near-term survival or growth. Furthermore, a $10,000 grant would cover at least half of the financing needs for over 60 per cent of these women-owned small businesses3.
“Starting, owning or growing a business is an incredible journey but not always an easy one, especially during a pandemic,” said Stacey Madge, president and country manager, Visa Canada. “The reality is, COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on women business owners. Together with IFundWomen, we are excited to provide a much-needed grant to help empower women entrepreneurs to tackle the unique challenges they face while better positioning them to lead our collective recovery, and we remain committed to championing Canada’s small business community.”
"At IFundWomen, our number one goal is to see women entrepreneurs worldwide get funded. We’re so proud to be partnered with Visa to support these innovative entrepreneurs in Canada,” said Karen Cahn, Founder & CEO at IFundWomen. “We couldn’t think of a better partner with which to do our first Canadian grant program."
To learn more and participate in the Visa IFundWomen grant program, applicants are asked to submit details about their business and online presence, along with a short video about their business to ifundwomen.com/visa-canada. Ten winners will be selected from the shortlist and receive grants of $10,000 each and coaching for a year from leaders within the Visa and IFundWomen network.
Visa has committed to supporting 50 million small businesses globally to power recovery and enable them digitally. Now with the announcement of this grant program, Visa Canada furthers its commitment to support small businesses, particularly those led by women entrepreneurs across Canada. The company’s more recent efforts include the launch of its #MySmallBizReco campaign with the introduction of a new Visa Canada Small Business Hub which has new programs and solutions to enable SMBs to drive efficiency and sales through acceptance of digital payments and expanding businesses online.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a world leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. Our relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit visa.ca, visa.com/blog and @VisaCA.
Jessica Culp, Visa Canada
1. The Visa Back to Business Study
3. In January 2021, the Visa Canada Small Business Outlook Spring Survey surveyed 1,010 Canadian business owners and business decision makers from various sectors using the Maru Voice research panel, as part of Maru’s quarterly BizPulse study. Fielding took place between Jan 20th and Jan 29th, 2021.