This International Women’s Day I have the pleasure of showcasing the great work of G.E. Barbour President, Sylvia MacVey, whom I had the great fortune to meet recently for a site visit of her company’s facility.
Sylvia has been at the helm of G.E. Barbour for six years now. And thanks to her leadership, the company has continued to grow and diversify.
She credits this consistent growth with continuously looking forward, to being on the right market path and to being able to access the financial and human capital necessary to meet opportunities head on.
Working with the Government of Canada has also helped. Thanks to investments from ACOA, Sylvia and her team have been able to take G.E. Barbour to new heights. This is great news for our local community and for the jobs it will create.
As we look to the future, we want to see more of this. This International Women’s Day, let us celebrate how far women have come, and look to what we still need to achieve. Fewer than 16 percent of small businesses in Canada are owned by women and only a handful of those export to growing markets.
As part of our 2018 Budget, our Government has a strategy to fix this. Through our Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, are investing $105 million over the next five years to help give women greater access to training, mentorship, and capital so that they can expand their businesses and create good jobs for Canadians.
This is only part of our work to empower women, too. Through the BDC, Canada’s only bank dedicated to entrepreneurs, we will make available $1.4 billion for women-lead and women-owned businesses over the next three years. Last time the BDC was given a similar goal, it was just $700 million, and they exceeded that demand in just over two years.
We’ve come a long way. But there is still work to do. Thanks to leaders like Sylvia MacVey, we have wonderful examples of what it takes to succeed. I am certain there will be many more women like Sylvia in the years to come!