Government of Canada celebrates International Women’s Day in southern Ontario

Government of Canada celebrates International Women’s Day in southern Ontario

As part of Innovation Factory’s ongoing commitment to fostering innovation and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, we are pleased to feature select posts originally published by Haltech, which amalgamated with Innovation Factory on April 1st, 2024.

Please note that posts published prior to this amalgamation contain references to Haltech, reflecting its historical presence and contributions to the innovation community.

This release was originally published by Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario on March 8, 2024. Read the original release here.

FedDev Ontario invests in and highlights women-led projects

March 8, 2024 – Stratford, Ontario

International Women’s Day is a globally recognized day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and girls. In honour of International Women’s Day, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), celebrated the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs across the region.

Today, Minister Tassi and Valerie Bradford, Member of Parliament for Kitchener South–Hespeler, announced a $525,000-Government of Canada investment for woman-owned and-led Spa Dent Inc. This investment will help the company to expand production of its eco-friendly oral care products, reach new markets and create 10 jobs. In 2023, Spa Dent was named one of 100 “Game Changers: Leading Companies. Powered by Women,” in the Game Changers report.

Minister Tassi also spoke at the 2024 International Women’s Day Symposium, hosted by Community Futures Middlesex. She talked about the importance of empowering women entrepreneurs through the Government of Canada’s partnership with the region’s 36 Community Futures Development Corporations, which are delivering targeted services and financial support for businesses in rural communities across southern Ontario.

In Downtown Stratford, the Minister alongside representatives from the Downtown Stratford Business Improvement Association visited women-led main street businesses: Wills & PriorÅnde and El Cactus Taco Shop, which received funding through the My Main Street program. With a $15-million investment by FedDev Ontario in the Canadian Urban Institute, additional support through My Main Street is now available for eligible businesses and organizations in southern Ontario. The deadline for My Main Street program applications is March 31, 2024.

Yesterday, Minister Tassi and the Honourable Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Oakville, visited Dough Parlour, a women-led manufacturer of natural play dough. Minister Tassi and the Honourable Karina Gould, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Burlington, then visited Foli, a women-led direct-to-consumer plant delivery service. During the visits, they learned about the experiences of local women entrepreneurs while celebrating the recent growth of both companies.

Minister Tassi also visited the Haltech Regional Innovation Centre to meet with young women entrepreneurs. They shared their unique experiences as well as the advantages and challenges they face as women entrepreneurs. The Minister also celebrated the achievements of women in the region at the Hamilton YWCA’s Women of Distinction event.

The Government of Canada knows that by supporting and empowering women to pursue entrepreneurship, we can unlock their full potential and create a more inclusive, equitable, and prosperous world for everyone.


“On International Women’s Day, we recognize the women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses that are creating economic growth across Canada. It is fantastic to see first-hand the businesses and organizations that are supporting the important work they do to create jobs and grow an economy that works for everyone.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

“International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the contributions of women-led businesses and women entrepreneurs to our nation’s economy. Our Government is proud to support the advancement of women leaders in business, industry and economic development.”
– The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024 is “Invest in women: Accelerate progress.” This is a call to action and a reminder that gender equality is one of the most effective ways to build healthier, more prosperous, and more inclusive communities.
  • My Main Street is being delivered through the Canadian Urban Institute with two streams: The Business Sustainability Stream which will assist brick-and-mortar businesses located on main streets across southern Ontario and the Community Activator stream which will assist community not-for-profit projects focused on high-impact placemaking activities.
  • Since 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $900 million in more than 2,200 women-led projects/businesses.

Associated links


Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
[email protected]

FedDev Ontario
Media Relations
[email protected]

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