Farm Credit Canada has loaned nearly $1 billion under a program aimed at increasing the number of women entrepreneurs in the ag sector — twice what was allocated when the program launched a year and a half ago.
The Women Entrepreneur Program was designed to encourage female farm operators and women in the agri-food sector to start or expand their businesses. Ottawa initially allocated $500 million for the three-year program but as of September, FCC had made 1,391 loans worth $995 million.
In addition to loans, the program also offers “tools, resources and mentorship.” As well, up to $1,000 of the processing fees for the loan will be waived for borrowers “to reinvest into both personal and professional development” such as the cost of tuition for college courses.
The government says there are about 75,000 female farm operators in the country (just under 30 per cent of the total number) and it wants to see that number increasing more quickly.