Alberta Women Entrepreneurs wants to help you start, enhance, and grow your business.

Business Loans for Women

AWE offers loans for women-owned businesses in Alberta. We can help provide the financing you need to start or grow your business, and we have a community to support you along the way.

What makes an AWE loan unique?

We provide:

  • The capital you need to start or grow your business. AWE provides repayable loans between $30,000 - $150,000* to women-owned businesses in Alberta. We offer a competitive interest rate of Prime +3%.

  • Flexibility and clarity. We offer flexible repayment options and terms of up to five years. There’s no penalty for early repayment and no hidden fees.

  • Access to personalized advice and resources.  We know that your business is more than just dollars and cents. You’ll have access to ongoing business advising and support from the AWE team.

  • A community of like-minded women. AWE loan clients receive complimentary tickets to select AWE events. You will have the opportunity to meet other women entrepreneurs while learning from subject-matter experts.

*If you require funding of more than $150,000, we attempt to partner with other lenders to meet your full borrowing requirements.

Our loan administration fee is 1% of the amount loaned to a maximum of $500.

Please note, we do not have a grant program, and grants for business start-ups tend to be limited. If you are interested in exploring grant funding, check out Canada Business Network and Fundica for more information.

How do I apply?

Our loan application process is broken down into three stages: Pre-Application, Application, and Loan Committee Review. To learn more about each of these stages, click here.

Our application process is designed to help you clarify your goals, your business model, and financial projections so that your business has a solid foundation. It also determines if an AWE loan is a good fit for you and your business.

Ready to start your pre-application? Contact us today.

Learn more:

+How do I qualify?

To be eligible applicants must:

  • Be a 51% women-owned business that is registered and located in Alberta
  • Reside in the province of Alberta
  • Have a minimum credit score of 650
  • Contribute a minimum or have contributed a minimum of 25% owner equity on total project costs
  • Contribute a minimum of 30% security on the loan. This amount differs depending on the size, risk, and purpose of the loan.

+What can/can’t an AWE loan be used for?

Loans can be used for market-ready start-ups, business expansion projects, and business purchases. Loans can be used for a variety of expenses, including:

  • Leasehold improvements
  • Equipment purchases
  • Operating capital
  • Advertising and marketing costs
  • Purchase of inventory

Loans cannot be used for:

  • Owner’s salary
  • Re-financing existing debt
  • Franchise fees
  • Speculative ventures (e.g. Purchase of land for resale)
  • Intangible goodwill (i.e. business name or reputation)
  • Research and development
  • Purchase of stocks, shares, or other non-productive investment

+Where can I find more information?

AWE offers monthly Loan Info Session webinars where we walk through:

  • What is the AWE Loan Program
  • Basic eligibility to apply
  • What kind of businesses can apply for an AWE loan
  • What expenses AWE can and cannot finance
  • How AWE’s loan program differs from other lenders
  • Application process

Have questions? Your question may be answered in our FAQ page or feel free to contact us and we'd be happy to provide more information.