The NOW Program's mission is to stimulate women-owned and women-led business start-ups and scale-ups, by increasing access to business development supports, throughout the Northern Ontario region.


Welcome

Welcome to the NOW Program! Our goal is to foster the growth and success of women-owned/women-led businesses throughout Northern Ontario. Whether you're a startup founder looking to launch your business or an established entrepreneur seeking to scale up, the NOW Program is here to help you achieve your goals.


As of March 8, 2024 (International Women's Day!!) the NOW Program has two funding initiatives in place which you can learn all about by clicking on the appropriate tabs above. Our SME Initiative allows Northern Ontario women entrepreneurs the chance to apply for funding to assist with the cost of one-time professional services, the cost of setting up mentoring/coaching relationships and the cost of furthering their business knowledge via education courses. The HRdownoads Subscription Initiative allows Northern Ontario women entrepreneurs the opportunity to apply for a subscription that will assist them and their business will all of their HR needs. 

History of the NOW Program

The NOW Program opened its doors in November 2019 with the goal of assisting women entrepreneurs throughout Northern Ontario. By the end of 2023 we had completed our 4 year pilot SME (Small-Medium Enterprise) Initiative and thanks to FedNor’s generosity we were able to award over $1,700,000.00 to over 400 Northern Ontario women who sought financial assistance with accessing one time professional services and mentoring/coaching assistance.


When COVID arrived in full force (just 5 months after we opened our doors) we were given the opportunity to pivot and offer funding assistance to Northern Ontario women who were looking to take an education course that would either help them start a business or help them to take ownership of a component of their business that they had previously outsourced. For many, the closing of their brick and mortar business necessitated moving to an online platform so there was a whole lot of learning that needed to happen for a whole lot of business owners. When all was said and done, the Education component of the NOW Program was able to reimburse 117 clients who successfully completed the education course they chose, based on what best suited their needs, to the tune of $189,000.


Still in the midst of the pandemic, in November of 2020 the NOW Program partnered with HRdownloads (a company whose sole purpose is to assist small businesses with all of their HR needs) so that we were able to offer Northern Ontario women the opportunity to apply for a free one year subscription. 42 clients took us up on this offer and after the one year was up, many of them asked if we couldn’t offer this HR assistance again as they found it invaluable in running their business. As a result, mid-way through 2023, the NOW Program once again partnered with HRdownloads and this time we were (and are) able to offer eligible and interested clients an HR subscription that lasts until July of 2026. Add to this that our SME Initiative has been revamped and restarted and there's only one question that bears asking. What are you waiting for? 



Open for Business


Don't let the entire staircase overwhelm you. Just focus on that first step.

Unlock Your Entrepreneurial Potential


Sign up for our NOW Program newsletter today and gain exclusive access to resources designed to empower women entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario. Join our supportive community and take your business to new heights. 

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LAMBAC Logo

LAMBAC (LaCloche Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation) located on Manitoulin Island, is the Host CFDC for the NOW Program, and all Community Future Development Corporations located throughout Northwest and Northeast Ontario are involved as Partner CFDCs. You can complete a NOW application in a variety of ways - online via this website, by contacting your local CFDC (Community Futures Development Corporation) to obtain an application, or by emailing Susan Whynott (now@lambac.org) to obtain an application. 

Kickstart your entrepreneurial dreams and make them a reality today.