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Maximize your charitable impact with the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund

Maximize your charitable impact with the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund

4 Minute Read

The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund has issued its 2021 call for grant proposals. Find out how MNP can help your non-profit organization access and make the most of this crucial financial support.

Partner, Consulting

MNP can help you prepare ahead of the March 12, 2022 application deadline

The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund has issued a call for proposals to Canadian not-for-profits eliminating entrepreneurship barriers for diverse, intersectional, and/or under-served women. A total of $25 million in grant funding is accessible for organizations at the national, regional, and local level to cover a wide range of costs for projects between $400,000 and $4 million.

MNP can help your organization at every stage — from preparing your proposal, to deploying funds, and  maximizing the impact of your grant-related initiatives in the community. Here’s what you need to know before submitting your grant application and proposal:

Is WES funding right for you?

The WES Fund focuses on projects aimed at fostering connections and cultivating networks, providing mentoring opportunities, and creating resources / supports for women entrepreneurs.

WES and the Government of Canada are currently offering $25 million in grant funding to not-for-profit organizations seeking to implement new projects that will:

  • Strengthen capacity, and
  • Address ecosystem gaps for diverse populations of women entrepreneurs.

Who Qualifies?

Eligible applicants must demonstrate they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have an established mandate focused on supporting women and/or women entrepreneurs
  • Have existing programming (offered within the past one year) focused on women entrepreneurs / women’s skill development.

Only one applicant per company is allowed, and recipients of the 2018 WES Ecosystem fund are not eligible to submit for this call of applications.

What is an eligible project?

To qualify for funding, a project must:

  • Be led by an eligible not-for-profit organization that has been in operation for at least one year
  • Have a budget between $400,000 and $4 million with a project completion date of March 31, 2025.
  • Focus on women entrepreneurs or women majority-owned businesses (≥51% ownership stake) and demonstrate a focus on diverse, intersectional, and/or under-served women entrepreneur populations
  • Meet one or more of the project scope elements

What can I expense?

Eligible expenses under the WES Fund include:

  • Labour, operating, and implementation costs (e.g., salaries, project management, consultants)
  • Hardware / software (including software licensing)
  • Capital costs (equipment and infrastructure)
  • Costs for meeting, events, and workshops spaces

How MNP can help

Our team can help your organization from the initial stages of preparing your proposal and application, to operational enhancement, program deployment, and more. Many of our partnership opportunities also qualify for funding under the WES grant funding criteria, which makes partnering with MNP not only cost effective — but a significant potential value add. 

Grant strategy and program specific opportunities

The following opportunities will help you build a robust grant application, and deploy your programming in a way that aligns closely with both your mission and the funding requirements:

Ideation sessions —  We’ll work with your leadership and programming teams to conceptualize and design a new program that aligns both with your organization’s mission and the funding requirements. Through this process we will also help you articulate your credentials and ability to affect meaningful change in terms that will resonate with grant approvers.

Application planning and development — If you already have an eligible project in the pipeline, we can work with your leadership and programming teams to define your value proposition and project plan in a way that will resonate with grant approvers. This process will ensure you’re both staying true to your vision and communicating your value in a way that is most likely to secure funding.

Project execution — After receiving funding, we can provide ongoing support to help you execute the project on time and on budget with a range of grant-eligible services. Some opportunities include:

  • Project management and resource plan development
  • Assess and optimize processes and procedures
  • Develop and implement technology dashboards to measure and monitor progress
  • Create project rollout plans to reach target segments

Transform your organization and position it for success

The following services are covered by WES funding and can help ensure you not only deliver an effective project but continue to innovate, evolve, and maximize your value proposition for years to come:

Organizational renewal — Our advisors will help you master change, create enduring value from transformation, and tackle your most critical organizational challenges. Organizational renewal spans the entire continuum of change efforts — from analysis and planning, to design, implementation, and evaluation. More specifically:

  • Strategy and business planning
  • Training, development, and education programs
  • Compilation and delivery of policies and procedures

Digital transformation — We’ll provide knowledge and guidance to help you define your digital strategy, unlock your innovative potential, and evolve the way you work. From planning and selecting the right platforms to optimizing your people, processes, and technology, we’ll work together to realize your vision.

Next steps

The Saturday, March 12, 2022 application deadline is approaching quickly. If this seems like the right opportunity for your organization, contact your MNP Advisor as soon as possible to start building your proposal. Include a scope project overview if possible so we can discuss how MNP can help maximize your funding.

If you’d like support to come up with a project or more information about our organization renewal or digital transformation services, include some details about your organization and how it aligns with the funding criteria. We’ll follow up to schedule a meeting where we can discuss your organization, your initiative, and your opportunities in further detail.

Contact Jen Hayes

Learn more about the WES Ecosystem Fund


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