India-Canada to Start Program for Women Entrepreneurs

Canadian government has set aside $500,000 for the Zone Startups India program. 


India and Canada will start an initiative called Zone Startups India program to help women entrepreneurs from the two countries expand into new markets through a partnership between Ryerson Futures and Bombay Stock Exchange. The Canadian government has dedicated $500,00 for this program.

Ten women-led startups from India and Canada each will be selected to participate in the initiative. Indian startups will work from Toronto while Canadian firms will come to Mumbai. In all, a total of 100 startups — 50 from each country — will be selected, of which 10 will be women-led.

“Innovation is about finding solutions, and great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. We cannot ignore half of our world’s population as we strive to find solutions to the problems of today and create the jobs of tomorrow,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, according to BetaKit.

“Canadian companies are increasingly exploring India as a destination for investment, and we are proud to participate in a partnership that will help even more startups expand beyond Canada’s borders,” he said.

“Women entrepreneurs and business owners represent a significant source of untapped talent and potential for greater economic growth and new jobs in Canada and abroad,” said Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism. “Unlocking this potential is a priority of our government. That is why we are supporting this program and helping women start and grow businesses by improving access to financing and promoting women in international trade.”

Zone Startups will offer two-day seminars in Canada and India for 30 additional firms that are interested in collaboration between the two countries.

The announcement was made during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to India. At least 66 new agreements worth $1 billion were signed during the occasion. Canadian companies will invest $750 million in India, while Indian companies will invest $250 million in Canada, creating almost 5,800 jobs in sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals to the IT sector.

“This was really a win-win morning, a win-win day for all of us and I’m excited for the opportunities in the Canada-India friendship,” Trudeau said during an armchair conversation with Chanda Kochhar, the CEO of the Industrial Credit and Investment Corp. of India.

A part of the Canadian investment in India is Toronto’s Brookfield Asset Management’s purchase of a 1.25 million-square foot office complex in Mumbai. The deal is worth $480 million in which $200 million spending is from Fairfax India Holdings Corp. of Canada, which acquired a 51 per cent stake in the Catholic Syrian Bank in Kerala, India.

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