Community Futures works within communities across Canada to support local businesses and business owners.

Community Futures Wildrose (CFWR) is the local branch in Strathmore that is a part of a new provincial initiative working with women entrepreneurs to provide them easier access to capital to help them to start to grow a business within their local communities.

The Alberta Women’s Economic Recovery - Capital Growth Initiative, will offer flexible low-interest small business loans, that will support women entrepreneurs on the road to recovery.

Chantale Sangster Executive Director of (CFWR) is excited to see the partnerships this program is using, “We're really excited at the fact that we are partnering with the Government of Alberta this is the first time that we have partnered with the GOA. We've always partnered with the federal government in the past. We're also partnering with the Alberta Women’s Entrepreneurs and so this is a 3-way partnership that we're really excited about and just being able to have the opportunity to help women entrepreneurs in our region. “

Eligible costs for the loans include operating capital, equipment, leasehold improvements, inventory, non-owner salaries, and professional fees.

Entrepreneurs are able to apply for unsecured conditionally repayable loans ranging from $10,000 to $75,000, and successful applicants will also have access to ongoing small business support, and opportunities to develop their skills, manage their business, and plan for the future.

Sangster believes this will open up a lot of doors for all women entrepreneurs, “It gives them the opportunity to really grow their business, get back on track after the pandemic, it just provides so many opportunities for growth, expansion, even startups, it's really limitless.”

Funded by the Alberta Government, this initiative will provide $3 million in funding to the Community Futures Network of Alberta (CFNA) to increase lending capital and business advisory supports through its network of independent Community Futures locations across rural Alberta. 

The initiative is a collaboration with Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, serving women entrepreneurs in the urban and metropolitan areas of Calgary, Edmonton, St. Albert and Fort Saskatchewan.