A new provincial initiative is giving rural women entrepreneurs easier access to capital and local support to start or grow a business in their community.
The Alberta Women’s Economic Recovery - Capital Growth Initiative, will be available to provide easier access to loans for women-owned small and medium-sized businesses and help create jobs and diversify the Alberta economy.
The Community Futures Network of Alberta and Alberta Women Entrepreneurs will administer funding. Under the initiative, Community Futures will provide capital to women in rural communities throughout Alberta. Alberta Women Entrepreneurs will provide capital to women in Edmonton, Calgary, St. Albert and Fort Saskatchewan.
Through the Community Futures Network of Alberta, a network of 27 local Community Futures locations will have the ability to access an increased amount of capital to provide financing for women entrepreneurs in their communities. Applicants will also be able to grow their skills and receive ongoing support from local business advisors.
“This initiative is a strong investment in women’s entrepreneurship and shows the strength of creating local support and local solutions,” said Phyllis Maki, Executive Director of the Community Futures Network of Alberta. “This funding will not only empower rural women to develop as entrepreneurs but help many women-owned businesses on the road to recovery.”
Women entrepreneurs will be able to apply for unsecured conditionally repayable loans ranging from 10,000 to $75,000. Eligible costs include operating capital, equipment, leasehold improvements, inventory, non-owner salaries, and professional fees.
Funded by the Alberta Government, this initiative will provide $3 million in grant funding to the Community Futures Network of Alberta (CFNA) to increase lending capital through its network of independent Community Futures office locations across rural Alberta.
Left to right: Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation, Phyllis Maki, Executive Director at Community Futures Network of Alberta, Marcela Mandeville, CEO at Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, Whitney Issik, Associate Minister of Status of Women, Anna Liska, Owner at Always Occasions, Jewel Buksa, Board Chair at Alberta Women Entrepreneurs.