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Federal government announces funding for women’s entrepreneurship in the Yukon

Indigenous Women Entrepreneur program accepts more applicants
Yukon MP Brendan Hanley. Hanley and federal Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal announced $200,000 for the Indigenous Women Entrepreneur (IWE) program. (Yukon News files)

The federal government has announced investments to support women’s entrepreneurship and Indigenous economic growth across the territory.

A July 11 statement says the funding is to ensure a strong economy in communities across the North.

“Traditionally under-served businesses, particularly those that are women-owned or Indigenous-owned, are an important pillar to regional economic growth, providing a wide spectrum of important goods and services to their communities,” the statement read.

The announcement for the funding was made by federal Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal, who is also the minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and CanNor, and Yukon MP Brendan Hanley.

A total of $200,000 went to the Indigenous Women Entrepreneur (IWE) program, a micro-loan initiative operated by dänä Näye Ventures which has resulted in additional capital support for 12 Indigenous businesswomen to start or grow their businesses across the territory.

The statement said the funding served as additional financing for dänä Näye Ventures to accommodate a growing subscription base to its Indigenous Women Entrepreneur program, allowing more applicants to be accepted into the program.

“The economy will realize its full potential and fire on all cylinders when people and businesses are not left behind,” Vandal said, noting that by investing in women-owned and Indigenous-owned small businesses, “we can ensure everyone benefits from a strong economy in the Yukon and across Canada.”

He said initiatives like this recognize the “value these businesses have to their respective communities, as well as the work by organizations like dänä Näye Ventures to support their growth. These businesses create good jobs, are a source for career development and skills training, and give new platforms for the kinds of innovation and creativity that keep our northern economies competitive.”

Hanley said the entrepreneurial spirit in the territory has always been strong. By making targeted investments in initiatives such as the Indigenous Women Entrepreneur program, he said the federal government is “ensuring every type of business has the support it needs to innovate, contribute and prosper in the Yukon’s growing economy.”

Rosaline Norwegian IWE program officer, said applicants for the program were excited when they were informed their applications have been accepted.

“Some hugged me while others shed joyful tears. Knowing that I contribute to their ability to launch or expand their business gives me a pleasant feeling,” she said.

dänä Näye Ventures provides business development and financial services for entrepreneurs and businesses across the territory. Through its IWE micro loan program, applicants can receive micro-loans up to $20,000 to expand or grow their business and are provided access to dedicated business support officers, regular workshops and skills training.

The statement added the support demonstrates the government’s “ongoing commitment to supporting the diversified growth of northern economic sectors and enhancing the contributions of Indigenous women in the economy.”

Contact Patrick Egwu at

Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
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