The mission of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy initiative is to double the number of women-owned business in Canada by 2025.
A media release about the investment in Cliona Derma notes that The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) “programs complement our government's broader initiatives to help women, including measures on pay equity, more flexible parental leave and more affordable childcare.” And WES itself “will help women start and grow their businesses by improving access to financing, talent, networks and expertise through an investment of nearly $2 billion.”
The motivation behind these programs seems to be economic: “Advancing gender equality has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP to the Canadian economy by 2026,” according to the release. And apparently beauty has a role to play in boosting Canada’s GDP. Last month the WES initiative funded 2 other women-led beauty ventures, as Cosmetics Design reported. Huna Natural Apothecary and Tiber River Naturals are both based in Manitoba and also received $100,000 through WES.
Building a new brand
As with Huna Natural Apothecary and Tiber River Naturals, the funds given to Cliona Derma will be used to expand upon an existing business. “The funds provided will enable Cliona Derma to launch a project that we have been working on for several years: the creation of our own eco-responsible active private cosmetics line,” Marie Dominique Loignon, CEO of Cliona Derma (Les Crèmes Jovencia), tells the press.
The brand Cliona Derma is on track to create sounds like one that will very much align in with current consumer preferences for green, natural, and conscious brands: Loignon describes it as “a line that will be created in the Outaouais region, and will highlight the talents of local people. A 100% Canadian brand, supported by a solid scientific foundation,” adding that “We want to create products that will be free from compromise in terms of quality, scientific rigour and safety.”
Planning for the future
The WES funding will not only grow a local business, but Loignon believes it will also enable here to reach new markets beyond the region and beyond Canada as well. “We are extremely grateful to Canada Economic Development and the government of the day for this assistance, which will help build the prosperity of the Outaouais region and of Canada. We are committed to make this project a model of both economic success and sustainable development,” says Loignon. “We are confident that our small Outaouais-based company could penetrate international markets within 3 to 5 years with its product line, which already has an agreement with 7 major points of sale outside the Outaouais region.”
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.