WEOC National Loan Program


Common questions about accessing a loan through the WEOC National Loan Program.

“I found the process of applying for the WEOC loan to be very smooth and supportive. My advice for those who are considering applying is to prepare a solid business plan that showcases your passion and vision for your business that clearly demonstrates how this loan will help you achieve your goals.”  

– Heidi Penning, Co-owner, Ravens Rest Retreat, Nova Scotia

FAQ for Entrepreneurs:

I am interested in a loan. What do I do first?

Contact the Loan Fund Partner in your region. They will guide you through the next steps and help you prepare all the documents you will need guide you through our online application once you are ready.

What documents will I need to begin?

  • Start-up businesses will need to provide a thorough business plan that includes two years of cash flow projections.
  • Existing businesses will need to provide a business overview and a summary of your expansion/growth plans along, with two years of cash flow projections.

Do I need a business plan?

  • A business plan, including cash flow forecasts for a minimum of two years is required.
  • Once you connect with a loan fund partner in your region, they will help you with your business plan.

What are the application and administration fees?

There is an administration fee of 1% of the total loan amount (up to $500 per loan), which will be deducted from the initial disbursement after approval. No fees are collected if your loan is not approved.

How long will it take to receive funds once I am approved?

Once the loan is approved, documents are signed, and any pre-disbursement conditions are met, the funds will be sent to you by electronic funds transfer within 10 business days.

What will the interest rate be?

Maximum interest rate: up to prime + 4%

What are the terms?

Loan type/length: term loans of up to 5 years

What kinds of support will I receive?

WEOC’s Loan Fund Partners are skilled professionals who work with diverse women entrepreneurs. They are able to provide a variety of resources, including seminars, webinars, mentorship programs, networking opportunities, one-on-one advising, and loan aftercare. Their goal is to answer your questions, provide you with relevant resources, and guide you in the development of a business plan that documents the feasibility and viability of your business idea. They have your best interests in mind so will often ask the tough questions to make sure that you are considering both the opportunities and challenges that could affect the success of your business.

Can I appeal the decision if my loan is declined? 

Yes. Within 15 business days of the decline, please provide, in writing to the CEO, sound business reasons why your application should be reconsidered, and include any relevant information not previously shared.

The initial loan application, assessment, and your appeal will be reviewed by the CEO, and if the CEO feels there are sufficient grounds for the appeal, the material will be forwarded to two WEOC staff members that are independent from the standard loans process to review. A final decision will be made within 2 weeks of receipt of the appeal request. The CEO will contact you directly to explain the decision, which is binding.

How did the WEOC National Loan Program get started?

Access to capital remains a significant barrier for many women entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow their businesses. To help address this barrier, the Government of Canada allocated $55 million in Budget 2021 for the creation of a new national microloans fund, part of its Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). As one of the selected administrators of the funding, WEOC provides loans of up to $50,000 to women entrepreneurs who meet its eligibility requirements.