4 minute read 18 Nov. 2020
EY women survey

Shaping the Future of the Canadian Business Landscape

By EY Canada

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

4 minute read 18 Nov. 2020
Related topics Gender equality Supply chain

Women Entrepreneurs survey

Before the current crisis, the Government of Canada had recognized that women entrepreneurs face greater challenges than men entrepreneurs to start up businesses, scale up, and access new markets, and had made meaningful investments to help women entrepreneurs succeed. Progress was being felt. But then COVID arrived and exacerbated the needs of women entrepreneurs.

Our survey results are clear, and not surprising:

  • The Number 1 challenge for women entrepreneurs in the COVID era is to attract clients. Adapting service offerings, finding new ways to connect with potential buyers and identifying customer leads are the primary areas of focus for almost 80% of women entrepreneurs, followed by the need to expand distribution channels for just over 55% of women entrepreneurs.
  • Women entrepreneurs are also focused on enhancing technology (50%) and securing financing (49%).

Between July 20 and August 3, 2020, a survey led by the Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec (RFAQ) and EY was circulated within the women entrepreneurs networks in Canada, in partnership with women entrepreneurs support organizations from across the country. The objective of the survey was to gain insight on their needs around surviving the crisis and to support their continued contribution to the economic recovery. We received responses from 484 women entrepreneurs across Canada.

The organizations that supported this survey recognize the potential and the needs of women entrepreneurs, and are committed to continuing to join forces to strengthen the Canadian ecosystem to effectively address those needs. With 16% of businesses owned by women, women entrepreneurs clearly have a role to play to connect with researchers (women entrepreneurs knowledge hub), large buyers (supplier diversity programs), BDC, and other financial services providers to drive an inclusive, digital and sustainable recovery for our country— and women entrepreneurs are committed to doing so.

With the support of the women entrepreneurs networks working together with governments and the private sector, women entrepreneurs will play a key role to help our country build back better.

Summary

Before the current crisis, the Government of Canada had recognized that women entrepreneurs face greater challenges than men entrepreneurs to start up businesses, scale up, and access new markets, and had made meaningful investments to help women entrepreneurs succeed. Progress was being felt. But then COVID arrived and exacerbated the needs of women entrepreneurs.

About this article

By EY Canada

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

Related topics Gender equality Supply chain