Out of Poverty

Like you, we want every woman who is living on a low income to have the chance to move herself and her children out of poverty.

With your support, the Foundation funds 5-year economic development grants for programs that offer women-centred programs in the following areas:

Skilled Trades & Technology

Women learn a skilled trade such as construction work, carpentry, electrical, and auto mechanics, or build skills needed for work in technology—lucrative fields in which women are underrepresented. Participants are often matched with mentors, and many of the programs help women to pay for essential expenses like tools.


Women learn to develop a viable idea for a small business, write a business plan, and build a strong network. They also learn skills like marketing, sales, and product development, as well as essential life skills. Many of the programs help women to find a mentor. Some also include loan funds to help them launch their new businesses.

Social Enterprises

Women learn employment skills and gain work experience in a social business operated by a nonprofit organization. The women receive on-the-job training and coaching. For women who have been out of the workforce or who are new to Canada, these opportunities help them gain experience and confidence to succeed in a permanent job.

Economic Development Donors and Partners

RBC Foundation
TD Bank Group
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Paradigm Quest
Cenovus Energy Inc.
Canadian Progress Club Elevate
Aragon Development Corporation
Roslyn Bern, The Leacross Foundation
The Carrera Foundation… and our many wonderful individual donors across Canada, including:
CWF 100 Donors
Women Moving Women Donors

I left with a critiqued, professional business plan, and so much more. I graduated feeling like I could fly.


46% of women in Foundation-funded economic development programs moved closer to developing a sustainable livelihood after finishing an economic development program. Sector reports and research.