SOUTHERN ONTARIO WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR INITIATIVE (SOWEI)



To support the development of francophone and bilingual women's entrepreneurial skills in southern Ontario through strategic alliances, coaching, training, mentoring and microcredit financing.
Through our strategic partnership alliances, we will strenghten your entrepreneurial skills by sharing your best practices through networking, coaching, training, mentoring and B2B partnering throughout Southern Ontario.
A maximum of 10 hours of coaching may be available for eligible francophone or bilingual businesses.  Our professional coaches can help you acquire the knowledge and know-how to build a succesful business by providing you with essential tools.

Coaching resources may be focused on but not limited to:
  • Financial management for francophone or bilingual women in business
  • Human resources for francophone or bilingual women in business
  • Leading change in small francophone or bilingual business
  • Sales and marketing for francophone or bilingual women in business
  • Strategic planning for francophone or bilingual women in business
Various training, in partnership with La Factorie Desjardins,  such as accoutning, marketing, human resources, small business start-up along with how to choose the right business structure, branding, taxation, e-commerce, just to mention a few.
A mentor may be provided to support and encourage francophone or bilingual women entrepreneurs to help them remain focused on their day to day operations which are critical for the success of their business.
Through SOWEI, we can assist you in finding the most suitable financing option or conditional contribution for your start-up or business expansion.
Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants must be:
  • francophone or bilingual women over 18 years of age;
  • a for profit organization, this may include but not limited to:
    • An individual operating a francophone or bilingual small or medium-sized business
    • Business partnerships (2 entrepreneurs +) francophone or bilingual
    • Incorporated companies, corporations, and
    • An Indigenous oraganization
    • Must have an active francophone offer (must offer products and services in french at all times)
  • francophone or bilingual women-owned and/or francophone or bilingual women-led business;
  • a small to medium francophone or bilingual SME - up to 499 employees;
  • located within the boundaries of Southern Ontario as defined by the Government of Canada;
  • registered or incorporated;
  • operational for at least 1 year;
  • able to provide financial statements (in house) and a financial report (in house) if applicable.
Non eligible applicants
  • Not-for-profit organizations;
  • Government or municipal entities.
Priority will be given to any of the following groups:

The PRCDC recognizes that many under-represented groups face unique economic challenges.  Understanding that the participation of under-represented groups is an integral part of building strong and inclusive communities and this helps the PRCDC to deliver inclusinve programs in order to support all groups.  Priority may be given to applicants that can demonstrate how they support inclusive growth of the following groups:
  • Divers women entrepreneurs, such as women with disabilities, Indigenous women, black women, women in rural regions, recent immigrants, visible minority women, women from Offical Language Minority Communities;
  • Women entrepreneurs with projects seeking to pursue market opportunities abroad (commercialization).

Please refer to the french page on the website for information.