Increased financing and new targets will help women entrepreneurs export

Women who own and lead businesses in Canada will have access to more support after Export Development Canada (EDC) today announced it will increase funds available for its Women in Trade Investments Program and significantly boost targets for this underrepresented group of exporters.

Effective immediately, EDC has established three new commitments of support:

  • Facilitate $2 billion in trade by 2023—eight times more than the $250-million target set in 2018;
  • Serve 1,000 unique customers by 2023, up from 381 in 2018; and  
  • Increase support available through the Women in Trade Investments Program to $100 million, up from $50 million in 2019.

“We need to encourage women to take bold steps internationally,” said Mairead Lavery, President and CEO of EDC. “With our new targets and financial support, EDC will work alongside women entrepreneurs who are breaking down barriers and growing internationally.”

Research has shown that advancing women’s economic equality will benefit all Canadians as it has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP by 2026. But only 11% of today’s women-owned businesses in Canada are exporting.

“Our government will always support women entrepreneurs and business owners because not only is it the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do,” said the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.  “With initiatives like EDC’s Women in Trade Investments Program and other government measures such as our Women Entrepreneurship Strategy and the Business Women in International Trade initiative, all Canadians will benefit from the innovative work of women entrepreneurs as they create middle-class jobs and foster economic prosperity for people across the country.”

EDC has a variety of solutions and programs in place to support women exporters at all stages including early- stage where many can stall due to a lack of capital. Women entrepreneurs who are making plans to export, or are already exporting, can access the full range of connection and export-related tools including financing, knowledge and risk-mitigation.

About EDC

Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian companies of all sizes succeed on the world stage. As international risk experts, we equip Canadian companies with the tools they need – the trade knowledge, financing solutions, equity, insurance, and connections – to grow their business with confidence. Underlying all our support is a commitment to sustainable and responsible business. To help Canadian businesses facing extreme financial challenges brought on by the global response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada has expanded EDC’s domestic capabilities until December 31, 2021. This broader mandate will enable EDC to expand its support to companies focused domestically.

For more information and to learn how we can help your company, call us at 1-800-229-0575 or visit