Call for Applications: RE3 Southern Ontario Women-Led SMEs
Eligible activities should support the reopening, rebuilding and revival of the business, such as: Acquisition of required/mandated Personal...

Eligible activities should support the reopening, rebuilding and revival of the business, such as:

  • Acquisition of required/mandated Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
  • Workspace reconfiguration to accommodate physical distancing
  • Hardware/software upgrades to enhance online capacity, client servicing and accessibility

Selected projects will be eligible for a one-time non-repayable performance-based contribution up to $5,000 on eligible expenses net of HST. The minimum supported project will not normally be less than $3,000. Upon request, an initial contribution advance will be considered to support eligible activity and pending the execution of an approved project Contribution Agreement. All projects will be subject to a 20% hold back until completion of the project and all Contribution Agreement requirements are met.

The WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation is delivering the program across the Western Ontario region. Northumberland CFDC is delivering the program across the Eastern Ontario region. Please visit their website to apply if your business is located in a municipality outside of the Western Ontario region.

Western Ontario applicants must operate a business located in the following Census Divisions and Regional Municipalities: Halton; Hamilton; Niagara; Dufferin; Brant; Chatham-Kent; Wellington; Waterloo; Middlesex; Grey; Bruce; Lambton; Huron; Essex; Oxford; Perth; Elgin; Haldimond-Norfolk; Simcoe; Peel; York; Durham; Muskoka; and Toronto.

Eligible recipients include private, for profit Women-led SMEs located in Southern Ontario.


A woman is, or women are, driving the direction of the business (for a minimum of one year) as Founder, Co-Founder, CEO or C-Suite Executive (e.g. CTO, CFO, COO, etc.); and/or the business is owned by a woman or women (combined) that have majority ownership (a minimum of 51% equity stake).


Projects in the following priority segments will be considered:

  • Small retail
  • Sole proprietor
  • Personal service industry


Eligible costs for project activities may include:

  • Capital
  • Non-Capital
  • Expertise

All costs must be reasonable and directly related to the eligible project activities.

Ineligible and/or unsupported costs include, but are not limited to:

  • Any costs deemed not reasonable and/or not directly related to the eligible project activities
  • Cost incurred prior to the eligibility date or after the project end date as defined in the Project Contribution Agreement
  • Labour
  • Acquisition of land or buildings
  • Acquisition of vehicles
  • Cost associated with entertainment
  • Disposable masks and gloves
  • Mortgage and loan payments
  • Refinancing an existing debt
  • Franchise fees and license costs
  • Costs of intangible assets such as goodwill, whether capitalized or expensed
  • Depreciation or amortization expenses
  • Interest on invested capital, bonds, or debentures
  • Bond discount
  • Losses on investments, bad debts and any other debts
  • Fines or penalties
  • Costs related to litigation
  • Fees for administrators, including payments to any member or officer of the Recipient’s Board of Directors
  • Opportunity costs
  • Lobbyist fees
  • New capital expenditures

The costs of all goods and services acquired from an entity which, in the opinion of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WE EDC), is not at arm’s length from the Recipient, shall be valued at the cost which, in the opinion of WE EDC, represents the fair market value of such goods or services, which cost shall not include any mark up for profit or return on investment.


Eligible recipients will be required to provide Progress/Activity Reports on a monthly basis, and a Final Project Report and financial claim at project end or as required and outlined in the Contribution Agreement with WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation or projects within the Western Ontario region and to the Northumberland CFDC for projects within the Eastern Ontario region.


Proposed projects will be scored based on a common set of criteria. Each criterion is applied with a weight for a total possible score of 100 as follows:


Project Evaluation Criteria Points
Removing Barriers: project activity aligns with the objectives of the initiative, supporting or expediting the reopening or rebuilding the business. 50
Business Recovery: project activity supports sustainability and strengthened competitiveness of business. 20
Innovating: adapting innovative products / technology (e.g. enhancing online capacity, updating software or other devices to support reopening, rebuilding or reconfiguring work/customer space within the business). 20
Job Maintenance/Creation: job impacts 10



Online application intake opens July 13, 2020 and will remain open pending the availability of funding. For eligible applicants located in Western Ontario Region:

1. Submission – submit your application online here 
2. Due Diligence – WindsorEssex Economic Development will carry out review and due diligence.
3. Panel Evaluation – Evaluation by a panel of Western Ontario Eco-System Partners.
4. Committee Review – WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation Committee review and recommendation to the Board of Directors.
5. Project Selection – Decision by Board of Directors, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (Accept or Decline).

Decisions are typically made within 1 week after the date of submission of a complete application. WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation reserves the right to extend the review and due diligence period where applicable in order to receive and evaluate any additional documentation and substantiation.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. No project will extend past January 29, 2021.

Questions? Contact a program officer at 519-253-6900 or fill out our contact form.