Before proceeding to the application please review the eligibility requirements.
If you currently do not meet all the eligible requirements, your PARO Representative will assist you with either:
becoming eligible for the WEOC program
or access other funding opportunities
About PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise
PARO is the official representative/Loan Fund Partner for Ontario for the WEOC Women Entrepreneur’s Loan Fund, which supports women and non-binary entrepreneurs from launch to scaling their businesses. The maximum amount per loan is up to $50,000.
As the Loan Fund Partner for Ontario, PARO will work with each Loan applicant through the PAROProsper BIZCAMP, which includes: four (4) compulsory webinars and one-on-one work with a PARO Business Counsellor or Business Growth Advisor to develop a business plan describing the viability and feasibility of the applicant’s business. The business plan, which includes cash flow forecasts for a minimum of two years, is a requirement for applying to the Loan Fund.
The completion of the WEOC Application for the Women’s Loan Fund will be required along with their business plan, and Assessment and Recommendation of their PARO Counsellor. The PAROProsper BIZCAMP will guide applicants through this process.
Eligible Loan Fund applicants must meet all of the following criteria, as listed below.
UPDATED MARCH 2023
Please confirm your eligibility, you will be required to check off each criterion that applies to you:
Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident 󠄀
Woman or non-binary entrepreneur residing in Ontario
At least 19 years of age
Starting a business or currently own a business
If the business is established, 50.1% of the company must be woman or non-binary owned; and maximum business revenues can be up to $2 million in gross annual revenues
Applicants will be required to provide past financials for your business up to current date.
**NOTE: non-profits are not eligible
About the Business
Eligible businesses are those which are over 50% women-owned
A business plan, including cash flow forecasts for a minimum of two years is required for the business.
Maximum business revenues: up to $2 million in gross annual revenues
About the Loans
Loans are available to all industries/sectors
Maximum loan amount: up to $50,000
Loan type/length: term loans of up to 5 years
Maximum interest rate: up to prime + 4%
Maximum loan management fee: 1% or up to $500 per loan
Loans issued by WEOC to eligible borrowers are not grants, contributions or forgivable loans.
Please review the eligible and ineligible expenses for the Loan Fund, as provided below.
Eligible expenses include:
Capital assets (including machinery/equipment, leasehold/property improvements)
Office and equipment rental
Salaries and benefits (excluding owner's salary)
IT/Software license purchase
Working Capital (e.g. payroll, lease payments, accounts management, rent, overhead costs)
Digital (including website/E-commerce development)
Short term receivable financing (i.e. financing to service a contract)
Business start-up costs (legal fees, business )
Ineligible expenses include:
Capital expenditures on real property (e.g. land/building purchases)
Purchase of assets for more than fair market value
Payment of bonuses
Refinancing existing debt
Purchase of stocks/shares
Research and development
Increase to shareholder
Please note that it is possible that some proposals are turned down by the lender.