Toronto, April 24, 2023 – Today, Visa Canada announced the return of its She's Next Grant Program for the fifth time. The initiative aims to support women-owned small businesses in Canada through funding, customized coaching, and mentorship. Starting today until May 15, women entrepreneurs in any sector can apply for the opportunity to receive one of 10 $10,000 CAD grants, and access to an accelerated mentorship program through York University.
According to Visa’s Small Business Pulse Report, most small businesses* (85%) say their costs went up in 2022, by an average of 13% leading to some describing their 2022 as “frustrating” and “tough”1. Women-owned businesses appear to be adversely affected, reporting lower growth (5%) for 2022, compared to 9% for small businesses overall and remain less profitable (62%) compared to 70% for small businesses overall2.
When it comes to financing, funding continues to be important for women entrepreneurs with four in 10 women small business owners anticipating seeking additional financial support in the next year and 41% stating they do not have full funding for what they want to do with their business in the next six months3
“Small businesses are anything but small to Visa. They are the backbone of our communities and vital to our local economies,” said Stacey Madge, president and country manager for Visa Canada. “Women entrepreneurs are an important segment and are disproportionately impacted. Through this program we aim to bolster small business growth with funding and tools, so that they can successfully run their business and thrive in today’s market.”
Previous She's Next grant recipient, Eight50 Coffee, shares the impact of the program: “The grant allowed us to strategically invest in growth areas of the business. We are launching in some of Canada's larger grocery stores and the funding has enabled us to launch with our retail partners and ramp up production. The coaching came at a pivotal point of our growth and allowed me to tap into experts who have been in my shoes and understand the space." – said Muna Mohammed, founder of Eight50 Coffee.
To learn more and apply for Visa She's Next Grant Program, applicants must submit a short video with details about their business and digital presence to ifundwomen.com/visa-canada.
For tools, resources, and business solutions to drive efficiency and sales through acceptance of digital payments and expanding businesses online visit the Visa Canada Small Business Hub.
* “Small Business” is defined as those businesses with fewer than 100 employees.