Women in remote communities in northwestern Ontario will have more access to small business loans.
Thunder Bay's PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise is receiving $178,500 from the province to expand its small business loan program in northwestern Ontario.
The money is coming from the Microlending for Women in Ontario program.
PARO is one of six not-for-profit organizations to receive funding to support low-income women seeking to start their own business.
“Getting a loan can help start new businesses that will contribute to Ontario’s economy,” said Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan in a Jan. 23 statement.
Organizations like PARO provide financial literacy training, entrepreneurial mentoring, skills development, and life skills support for women entrepreneurs.
The funding allows PARO to expand its microlending program into more remote communities.
Women who become business-ready through these programs will be eligible to receive small loans, or microloans, to start their own business.
“Finding the financing to start a business in remote communities is challenging to say the least,” said Rosalind Lockyer, PARO's executive director. “This new Ontario funding allows us to extend our successful women’s peer lending circle model to remote communities to help meet these challenges. Because we know and understand the realities of starting a business in remote communities, PARO is raising money from investors and donors to add a small grant component to make this initiative even more valuable to women in the North.”