The mission of the NOW program is to stimulate the start-up and growth of women-owned and -led businesses, by increasing access to business development supports, across Northern Ontario.


Welcome to the NOW program! Our goal is to foster the growth and success of women-owned and women-led businesses across Northern Ontario. Whether you are a startup founder looking to launch your business or an established entrepreneur looking to grow, the NOW program is here to help you achieve your goals.

Since March 8, 2024 (International Women's Day!!), the NOW program has implemented two funding initiatives which you can discover by clicking on the appropriate tabs above. Our SME initiative allows women entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario to apply for funding to help cover the cost of one-time professional services, the cost of establishing mentoring/coaching relationships and the cost of deepening their business knowledge through training courses. The HRdownloads subscription initiative allows women entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario to request a subscription that will help them and their business meet all of their human resources needs.

History of the NOW program

The NOW program opened in November 2019 with the goal of supporting women entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario. By the end of 2023, we had completed our 4-year pilot initiative for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and thanks to the generosity of FedNor, we were able to award over $1,700,000.00 to over 400 women across the Northern Ontario who were looking for financial services. assistance in accessing timely professional services and mentoring. /coaching assistance.

When COVID hit (just 5 months after opening our doors), we had the opportunity to adapt and offer financial assistance to women in Northern Ontario who were looking to take a training course which would help them either start a business or become a part owner. of their activity which they had previously outsourced. For many, the closure of their brick-and-mortar business necessitated a move to an online platform. Many business owners have had to learn a lot. Ultimately, the Education component of the NOW program was able to reimburse 117 clients who successfully completed the chosen training, based on the one that best suited their needs, to the amount of $189,000.

Also in the midst of the pandemic, in November 2020, the NOW program partnered with HRdownloads (a company whose sole focus is helping small businesses with all their human resource needs) so that we could offer Northern women Ontario the opportunity to apply. for a free one-year subscription. 42 clients accepted this offer and after a year many of them asked if we could not offer this HR support again as they found it invaluable in running their business. So, in mid-2023, the NOW program partnered with HRdownloads again and this time we were (and are) able to offer eligible and interested customers an HR subscription that lasts until July 2026. Add to This our SME initiative has been revamped and rebooted and there is only one question worth asking. What are you waiting for?

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LAMBAC (LaCloche Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation), located on Manitoulin Island, is the host CFDC for the NOW program, and all Community Futures Development Corporations located in Northwestern and Northeastern Ontario are involved as SADC partners. You can complete an application NOW in a variety of ways - online through this website, by contacting your local CFDC (Community Futures Development Corporation) to obtain an application, or by emailing Susan Whynott (n ow@lambac .org) to obtain a request. . .

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