FAQs

Where has the funding for this Call for Proposals come from?

This initiative is funded by the Ontario Government.

What was the process for developing this call for proposals?

The Call for Proposals results from an innovative, design-led process by the Brookfield Institute. In the summer of 2017, the Brookfield Institute conducted a comprehensive literature review, which it turned into a discussion paper used to frame an in-person design workshop with women entrepreneurs and key supporters within the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Participants generated ideas for interventions that could be funded through a Call for Proposals. The Brookfield Institute further tested and refined these ideas through additional insights interviews, leading to the design of this Call for Proposals.

The challenges identified through these processes can be found in the Brookfield Institute Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Discussion Paper and the Brookfield Institute Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Design Workshop Results Paper.

Why is the Call focused on women growing their businesses?

Our research indicates that while increasing numbers of women are starting new businesses and becoming entrepreneurs, many of those women face barriers to growing their businesses and moving them out of the ‘startup’ stage for a number of reasons. We are targeting this challenge specifically with the goal of piloting new approaches and best practices that can help more women scale their companies. More information on this can be found in our Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Discussion Paper.

Can non-Ontarian entities receive funding through the Call for Proposals?

Applications must be submitted by a single organization, or a consortium of organizations, including:

Charities
Not-for-profits
Indigenous organizations
For-profits
Municipalities
Boards of education
Post-secondary institutions

Applicants must either be Ontario-based or have a major base of operations in Ontario (e.g. a multinational organization incorporated in a separate jurisdiction but with a major office in Ontario). Applications from individual persons will not be accepted.

Can non-Canadian entities receive funding through the Call for Proposals?

Applicants must either be Ontario-based or have a major base of operations in Ontario (e.g. a multinational organization incorporated in a separate jurisdiction but with a major office in Ontario). Applications from individual persons will not be accepted.

Can funding through the Call for Proposals be transferred directly to women entrepreneurs?

No. The funds are to be spent on activities that support women entrepreneurs. They are not intended to be transferred directly to entrepreneurs.

What activities are eligible for funding?

Eligible expenditures under the Call include:
Salaries and benefits of staff;
Expenses related to project administration, up to the maximum amounts specified in the Funding Agreement;
Office lease and maintenance expenses;
Office supplies and services;
Office equipment and software;
Financial and professional services required for the delivery of the project, including audit expenses, if any, incurred in the preparation of the financial statements required under the Funding Agreement;
Professional services required for the development of resources and tools to support women entrepreneurs;
Staff training costs;
Costs associated with the delivery of training, mentorship and/or other new direct supports to entrepreneurs, consistent with the Applicant’s proposed service delivery model;
Telecommunications/courier charges (e.g., telephone, Internet, mail and courier);
Production costs for resource development such as graphic design, printing, translation into other languages, alternative formats;
Expenses associated with outreach to women entrepreneurs, events and training sessions directly related to program activities; and
Travel incurred and reimbursed in accordance with the Ontario Public Service Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive.

Can applications be submitted in French?

Yes.

Is matching funding a requirement?

No, matching funding is not a requirement for submitting your application, however your application will be considered stronger if it includes matching cash or in-kind funding from either your organization or a partner organization.

Is a research project eligible under the call for proposals?

Research projects are technically eligible. The desired outcomes of the call for proposals is to provide a tangible set of tools, resources or information that would have a direct beneficiary effect on women entrepreneurs. Any research projects should be designed to provide these types of outcomes in order to be competitive within the application pool.

How many projects will get funding?

The final number of projects funded will be determined based on the size and quantity of applications received. Funding distribution will be determined based on the need and merit of the applications. We estimate that approximately 2-3 projects will receive funding.

Are timelines adjustable?

No.

How public will the results be?

Once chosen, winners will be announced publicly.

Have a question?

If you have a question that isn't answered on this page, please contact us.