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Frequently asked questions: WES Ecosystem Fund

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada


This call for proposals is closed - we are no longer accepting applications.

Over 50 applications were approved for funding.

About eligibility

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants must be non-profit organizations such as:

  • Business and entrepreneur support organizations;
  • Innovation hubs;
  • Organizations that certify diverse suppliers in Canada;
  • Indigenous organizations;
  • Accelerators;
  • Organizations that support social enterprises or cooperatives; and
  • Post-secondary institutions.

Applicants may apply independently or as a partnership with other organizations to deliver project activities. For further details please consult the Application guide.

Are non-profit social enterprises and cooperatives eligible to apply?

Yes, these organization types are eligible to apply under the WES Ecosystem Fund.

Who is ineligible to apply?

For-profit organizations are ineligible to apply as a lead or partner applicant.

What projects are eligible under the Ecosystem Fund?

Eligible projects are those that address a gap and/or build capacity in the entrepreneurship ecosystem for women. To view the project eligibility criteria please consult the Application guide.

What are the eligible costs under the Ecosystem Fund?

Eligible costs include all costs necessary to carry out the project which are deemed reasonable under the Ecosystem Fund. For a list of examples, please consult the Application guide.

What costs are ineligible?

For a list of examples, please consult the Application guide.

Are microloans, scholarships, sub agreements or any other direct disbursement of funds to third parties eligible costs?

No, these costs are not eligible.

About the application process

How can I submit my application?

Please see the Application guide for details.

Why do I get an error when I attempt to request more than $100,000 in funding in the application form?

This was an identified technical error in the form. Please download the revised PDF application form (ZIP, 110 Kb) to resolve this issue.

What documents do I need to submit as part of my application?

The following documents are required to include in your application:

  • A scanned copy of the application package signed by an authorized official of your organization.
  • Annual financial statements for the past two years. Acceptable financial statement standards include:
    • audited
    • review engagement, or
    • notice to reader.
  • Incorporation document.
  • Letters of support (a letter of support is required from each key partner and/or partner applicants (if applicable)).

Please see the Application guide for details.

How do I apply as a member of a partnership?

A partnership consists of a Canadian non-profit organization lead applicant and one or more partner organization(s). Particularly for national/multi-regional projects, collaboration will help build the capacity needed to undertake all the required activities, ensure a national reach and provide products in both official languages.

Both the lead organization and partner organizations must meet the eligibility requirements and submit the mandatory documentation. Please see the Application guide for details.

What form of funding is available?

This Initiative will fund projects through non-repayable contribution agreements. Typically through this type of funding, recipients incur costs, and submit claims for reimbursement. To be reimbursed, costs must be incurred, eligible, related to work in the approved budget and work plan, and fall within the start and end date of the project.

Can I submit more than one application package?

Applicants may only submit one application package.

How long is the application process?

The application process will last five weeks and closes on November 22, 2018 at 23:59 PST.

What are your service standards?

Once you submit an application, our goal is to acknowledge the receipt of a completed and signed application package within 48 hours of receiving it (during working days). We will respond to general inquiries within 48 hours (during working days).

Can applicants select which official language they wish to submit their application in?

Yes. Applicants may submit their application documents in either English or French.

About the assessment process

When will decisions be made about the applications and how will applicants be notified?

Funding decisions are expected to be announced in Spring 2019. All applicants will be notified in writing if their application has been approved or rejected.

How many applications were received?

More than 300 applications were received under this program. The demand for funding greatly exceeded available funds.

How are applications assessed?

Projects will be assessed on a competitive basis to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria. Further guidance is provided in the Application guide.

About funding

Can we start working on our project and incur expenses before hearing about the approval?

Any costs incurred before an application is approved and a contribution agreement is signed are not eligible.

Can we change the start date of our application if we put a start date before April 1, 2019?

All applicants whose applications have been approved will have the opportunity to adjust the project start and end dates.

What is the minimum amount of funding I can request in my proposal?

The minimum amount that you may request for a National/multi-regional project is $1 million. There is no minimum threshold for the Regional stream.

Will funding be available for long-term projects?

The WES Ecosystem Fund is intended to support projects up to five years in duration.

How many organizations will receive funding?

The number of successful applicants will be determined by the availability of funding.

About reporting requirements

How will this initiative be monitored? What are the reporting requirements?

Financial reporting will be needed with each request for reimbursement of expenditures, in addition to year-end accounting and other financial information, as requested at Government of Canada's discretion.

In addition, progress and performance reports to track progress outlined in the Contribution Agreement will also be required.

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