Financing and Support Resources

There are a growing number of organizations interested in supporting women’s entrepreneurship and some focus on women in food. Let us know if any of these ideas are useful to you…just post on the member listserve!  Also note that many of these organizations have newsletters available for sign-up.

Women’s Enterprise Centre

“Fueling the success of BC women entrepreneurs since 1995”

Women’s Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women start, lead and grow their own business. Since 1995, WEC has fueled the success of women-led businesses by providing business loans up to $150K. We also provide business skills training, personalized business advice, mentoring, practical business resources and a supportive community to help women business owners gain the skills, mindset, financing and networks they need to realize their business potential.

Our team understands and relates to the unique circumstances of women business owners. Our experienced business advisors, mentors, trainers, and facilitators provide our clients with tools and confidence through a supportive, individual, and practical approach.

Vancity Fair & Fast Loan™

The Vancity Fair & Fast Loan™ provides an affordable cost of borrowing, has more flexible eligibility criteria than our conventional loans and can build credit history. Vancity is one of the first Canadian financial institutions to offer a sustainable alternative to payday loans. Under the Vancity Fair and Fast Loan, if a member borrowed $300 for the minimum term of two months and paid it off after two weeks, it would cost them about $2.20, which is a 19 per cent annual percentage rate (APR).

Since launching:

  • Approximately 1,700 loans have been funded, with the average size loan equal to $1,156. The Average Term Length is 14.6 months.


  • Applicants must be a member of Vancity
  • Term loan (2 – 24 months)
  • Amount: $100 – $2,500
  • 19% Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
  • Processing time: about an hour. No application fee.
  • Can build credit history
  • More flexible lending criteria than other Vancity conventional loans, including lower beacon score eligibility.
  • Members apply with proof of income and two pieces of ID.
  • For applicants with no credit history, Vancity will review the most recent three months timely payments, from two different sources of bill/rent payment records.

Certain restrictions and conditions apply including Vancity credit granting criteria. For more information and product terms and conditions, members can visit a Vancity branch or call 1.888.Vancity (826.2489).

Making it work. Vancity is able to offer the Vancity Fair & Fast Loan to its members by looking at things differently and closely monitoring the loans:

  • Taking into account its individual relationships with its members.
  • Providing credit in alignment with members’ needs and ability to repay.
  • Offering a higher interest rate than its conventional loans.
  • For applicants with insufficient credit history, Vancity will review alternative sources of establishing credit worthiness, such as paying bills on time.
  • Closely monitoring the loans taken

Women in Food

Canadian Women in Food (CWIF) was founded in 2014, as a national association to help amplify the voices of female food entrepreneurs and to promote a more inclusive space for all women in food.

We help to promote women-owned businesses; to cultivate the positive energy that comes from women supporting women; and to stir up the spirit of female food entrepreneurs by creating opportunities for economic growth.

We are also grateful that CWIF has been nourished by the passion, inspiration, and expertise of many within the food industry and reflects their aspirations to ensure a sustainable future for female food entrepreneurs in Canada.

Start-up Canada

Startup Canada is the national rallying community and voice for Canada’s 3.5 million entrepreneurs. Since launching in 2012, Startup Canada has grown to represent more than 250,000 entrepreneurs and 50 grassroots communities from coast to coast to coast. Through digital programs and flagship events, Startup Canada is the network promoting, inspiring, educating, connecting and giving a voice to Canada’s entrepreneurs; supporting them to start, operate and scale businesses that build a better Canada for the world today and for future generations.   Please note their special programs for women

FCC Women Entrepreneur Program  https: //

FCC is committed to empowering women in agriculture, agribusiness, and food. Through our research and discussions with women in agriculture, we discovered three key needs: increased access to capital to start or grow their business, access to business and competency skill development for themselves and their business, and access to tools, resources, and people to learn from and be inspired.  Through the Women Entrepreneur Program, FCC has dedicated $500 million over the next three years in lending, enhancing events and creating resources specifically for women entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses.

Through access to financing, value-added offerings to expand their skill set and connections to people and organizations across the industry, we’re helping ensure a diverse, open and forward-thinking agriculture industry for everyone.

Women Entrepreneur Loan at FCC

If you’re a woman involved in agriculture and/or food, the Women Entrepreneur Loan can help you take the next step in starting or growing your business.

  • One-time loan processing fee waiver for up to $1,000 throughout the lifetime of the program to invest in skill development that best suits your business needs.

Connect with an FCC Relationship Manager to determine rates and payment structures that work for you. Call 1-888-332-3301 to learn more

Business Development Bank BDC

Unlock your potential! Because your business is unique, we have developed a wide selection of free resources that will meet your needs. We’re here to help you achieve your full potential as a women entrepreneur.

Connect. Access events, networking opportunities and partners that can benefit your business.

Learn. Get articles, tools and exclusive content on growing and maintaining your business.

Be inspired. Read about women who overcame challenges to build successful businesses.

Scotia Bank’s Women’s Initiative

The Scotiabank Women Initiative is a comprehensive program helping women take their businesses to the next level, through Access to Capital, Mentorship, and Education. Scotiabank has committed lending capital to support women-led businesses. While these programs will be subject to Scotiabank’s standard risk assessments, applications will be subject to review by a dedicated team that has received training in unconscious bias.

Existing/New Scotiabank Women-Owned or Women-Led businesses:

  • Women-Owned (i.e., owned or partially owned by a person that identifies as a woman)
  • Women-Led Business (i.e., decision-maker or C-suite role held by a person that identifies as a woman)

The Program is only open to Scotiabank clients, however, some program elements may be available to non-Scotiabank clients.

Futurpreneur Canada

has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 3,000 volunteer mentors.

District Ventures

About District Ventures District Ventures is Canada’s leading ecosystem that focuses on bringing capital, marketing, programming, and commercialization to companies in the food, beverage, and health CPG industries. District Ventures is led by renown Canadian entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson and comprised of a venture capital fund, accelerator, commercial kitchen, and marketing agency, which operate alongside each other to assist companies in increasing their sales, distribution and ultimately their company’s valuation. For more information on District Ventures Capital, visit

Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH)

The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) is a national network and accessible digital platform for sharing research, resources, and leading strategies. See It. Be It. Women Entrepreneurs Beyond the Stereotypes.