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FedNor Provides $8.3 Million To PARO

By Adam Riley Dec 22, 2022 | 6:33 PM

The PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise has been connected with $8.3 million in federal dollars through FedNor for three projects.

The first two are supporting the Women’s Enterprise Centre Northern Ontario for the years of 2019 to 2022 and from 2022 to 2025, and is made up of $6,261,160 or 74% of the overall amount. The funding announcement for the first three years was delayed back in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic according to PARO’s founder and CEO Rosalind Lockyer.

That initiative is geared towards helping women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses or expand their access to other markets.

“All of Canada thrives when we prioritize full and equal participation of women in the economy.” said Indigenous Services Minister and Minister responsible for FedNor Patty Hajdu. “Today’s announcement of $8,385,309 in FedNor funds is part of our government’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which helps women grow their businesses across the country.”

Thunder Bay – Rainy River’s Marcus Powlowski called the announcement a way of getting the economy back in step.

“This FedNor investment will help ensure women-led companies are well prepared to help drive our economy forward as we emerge from these challenging times.”

The remaining $2,124,149 is dedicated to a similar program but geared strictly for Indigenous women led businesses, with a focus on developing skills and knowledge to grow a successful business or social enterprise.

Lockyer says without support like this many women led enterprises wouldn’t succeed.

“It’s hard for them to get money from other sources, but in the peer lending circles they not only get the grants and loans, but they also get the peer support and networking which is really crucial.”

Since its inception 27 years ago, Lockyer says almost 30 thousand women entrepreneurs received assistance from PARO.



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