Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

The J. Armand Bombardier Excellence Grants for the Next Generation of Women Entrepreneurs were designed to promote the role of women in different sectors of economic and community development, and to recognize the excellence of projects led by women in these sectors. 

Who are the winners of the 6th edition? 

Lynn Doughane and Nanette Sene from JUNO

Juno is a start-up innovating in the field of women’s health with its first device to relieve menstrual cramps. This revolutionary solution was designed by two women during their engineering studies. Last autumn, the Quebec-based company completed its first clinical tests and saw impressive results: a 79% reduction in menstrual pain! Juno is now preparing for its commercial launch, scheduled for next year.

Estelle Le Roux Joky from VILLAGE URBAIN

Village Urbain works to develop and promote participative living environments that generate social links: cohabitats. Designed for and in cooperation with the community, cohousing communities take the form of individual housing developments grouped around communal spaces and shared facilities. As a not-for-profit property developer, Village Urbain handles every stage of the project, from land acquisition to construction, including support and training for future residents, all in collaboration with committed partners and professionals.

Lara Emond from IRIS+ARLO

Created by and for menstruating women, Iris+ Arlo is a social and environmental impact company offering 4 ranges of healthy, plastic-free and sustainable menstrual products. Initiator of the “Together, let’s change the rules” movement, Iris + Arlo is the 1st local brand to offer a turnkey solution to employers. Already 200 companies offer its products in their workplaces as a measure of fairness and inclusiveness. Iris+Arlo is keen to contribute to equity and education on the subject. For every product purchased, Iris + Arlo makes a donation to the community to combat menstrual insecurity and is developing an EdTech educational platform.

 

Laureates_6e_edition

Worth $10,00 each, the Excellence Grants for the Next Generation of Québec Women Entrepreneurs recognize annually the work of audacious women entrepreneurs whose business is between 1 to 5 years old. Created in honour of the women founders of the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation, who retired in 2018 after 53 years of engagement, the grants focus on the processing and manufacturing field, the cultural and creative field and the technological innovation field.

Discover “our alumni”, fabulous entrepreneurs who are still making a name for themselves!

Andrée-Anne Adam, Animora
Anne-Catherine Lebeau, Écoscéno
Ashwaq Al-Hashedi, Invicare 
Camille Rouleau, Ballet-Hop! 
Chantal Bernatchez d‘Iso-Protek
Érica Lebrun-Gauvin, Mme L’Ovary
Inara Lalani de FemTherapeutics
Mallory Wilson, 
Entremise 
Marie Delannoy, Cartel 
Marie-Hélène David, Myni
Naysan Saran, CANN Forecast
Pamela Champagne and Marie-Michelle Boulanger, Élite Neurokinétix 
Sara Lambert, Ora Medical

We would like to thank the members of the selection committees of the 6th edition for their precious collaboration: Amélie Saffré (Artopole), Cécile Vincent (ACET), Liette Lamonde (Prompt), Lynn McDonald (EVOL), Julien Valmary (Conseil des arts de Montréal), Marc NisBet (PME-MTL Centre-Est), as well as the members of the families of the founders and the employees of the Foundation.

Application period

Next one will take place from November 1st, 2024 to January 15, 2025
through our digital platform
Consult the application guide here

  • Incorporated private companies: at least 50% of the company must be owned by a woman or a group of women
  • Social economy enterprises (NPOs, General Partners and cooperatives): the entrepreneur must be the founder or co-founder
  • The entity must have been constituted for at least one year with a maximum of 5 years
  • The entity’s head office is in Québec
  • The entrepreneur resides in Québec
  • The entrepreneur is a Canadian or permanent resident
  • Applicants not released from a bankruptcy judgment
  • Projects of a discriminatory nature
  • Projects of a sexual, religious or political nature
  • Ad hoc event projects
  • Projects related to illicit or recreational drugs 
  • Bar or discotheque projects
  • Student projects: internships and university projects
  • Research and development projects
  • Self-employed workers
  • Projects for which the main value-added activities are outside Québec
  • Projects where the main activities are retail sales

JANINE BOMBARDIER GRANT

Intended for women entrepreneurs active in the cultural or creative field.
Eligible sectors: 

  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Digital arts
  • Literature and publishing
  • Museology
  • Theatre arts
  • Visual and audiovisual production 
  • Visual arts

CLAIRE B. BEAUDOIN GRANT

Intended for women entrepreneurs active in the processing and manufacturing field. 
All sectors are eligible.

HUGUETTE B. FONTAINE GRANT

Intended for women entrepreneurs active in the technological innovation field.
Eligible sectors: 

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Biotechnology/health
  • Electronics
  • Engineering
  • Information and communications technology
  • Robotics

The criteria that can shed light on the excellence of the applications submitted pertain to:  

  • The quality and soundness of the business model
  • Viability and coherence
  • Consolidation / growth potential
  • Roots in the community, partnerships 
  • The distinctive and innovative nature of the project 
  • The social impact of the business
  • Demonstration of the grant’s value added in the project

November 1st, 2023 to January 12, 2024 at midnight

Applications are now submitted on the Foundation’s electronic platform.

On your first visit, you will need to create a user account by filling out the registration form. 

You will then be able to fill out the application form.

IMPORTANT: An Electronic Application Guide (pdf) has been developed to assist applicant organizations. We invite you to consult it before beginning any application process. It is also available in a web format here. 

Documents to include in your application:  

  1. The entrepreneur’s CV
  2. The company’s organizational chart
  3. Audited financial statements for the last 2 years, or the last year if the company has only been in operation for 1 year. Review engagements are accepted.
  4. Financial projections for 2 years, including: quarterly cash budget, income statement, balance sheet.
  5. A road map describing the steps you will need to take over the next 18 months (include financial and HR data).
  6. A video clip (4 min. max.) to present the outline of the business plan, the team and the anticipated impact of the grant

Launch: November 1st, 2023

Deadline to fill out the application form: January 12, 2024

Study of applications: January-February, 2024

Deliberations: March-April, 2024

Announcement of the winners: May 2024

Official presentation:  May 2024

Can I have a list of the questions without creating a user account?
Here is a presentation guide with all the questions asked in the application. 

Can I submit my application if I am under 18 years of age?
No. Entrepreneurs who submit their application for the grant must be over 18 years of age at the time their candidacy is evaluated.

What should I do if I reside outside Québec but I intend to establish my business in Québec?
An entrepreneur who submits an application for the grant must meet all the eligibility criteria. She must therefore reside in Québec and her business must be based in Québec at the time her application is submitted. 

What legal forms of business are eligible?
Incorporated companies and social economy enterprises (NPOs, General Partners and cooperatives). 

What legal forms of business are ineligible?
Sole proprietorship (self-employed worker), limited partnership (LP), joint venture, association or group of persons, trust operating a commercial enterprise and co-ownership syndicate, foundations, and insurance mutuals.

I am a woman and my associates are men. Is my business eligible?
Yes. The company, the cooperative, General Partners or the NPO must have at least one woman founder/associate. She files the grant application and will be the recipient of the grant if her application is selected. 

Is a subsidiary, branch or division of a company eligible? 
To be eligible, the company must appear in the Québec Enterprise Register and have a Québec Enterprise Number (NEQ). In addition, it must prove that it has a real activity and generates revenue and expenses. 

I have not obtained my permanent resident status yet. Am I eligible?
No. The entrepreneur must be a Canadian citizen or hold permanent resident status. 

Must I work full time in my business to be eligible for the grant?
There is no eligibility criterion requiring the entrepreneur to work full time in the business. However, she must prove her ability to carry out the project and move it forward.

Must I have sales to be eligible?
No, but the more advanced the project is, the more the perception of the risk is reduced. 

My business was constituted more than 5 years ago. Am I eligible? 
No. The business must have been constituted 5 years ago or less. 

My business was constituted less than 1 year ago. Am I eligible? 
No. The business must have been constituted for at least 1 year. 

What are the eligible sectors of activity?
Please, refer to the information above. 

When can I expect to receive an answer?
Within 3 months of the candidacy submission deadline. 

Can I file again next year if my application has been refused?
Yes, the same application can be submitted more than once, as long as the project fulfills our eligibility requirements.

In what ways must my application stand out to be chosen?
We look at the following criteria:

  • The quality and soundness of the business model
  • Viability and coherence: consolidation/growth potential and partnerships
  • The distinctive and innovative nature of the business
  • The social impact
  • The value added of the grant for your project

Who will evaluate my application?
The first triage is done by the Foundation’s staff who ensures that the application complies with all the criteria. A Grant Award Committee composed of 5 persons analyzes the applications and issues a recommendation. This committee is composed of experts in financial management of companies, women entrepreneurs, and family members. The Board of Directors and the founders of the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation, Janine Bombardier, Claire Beaudoin and Huguette Fontaine, make the final decision.

What documents must be included in the application?

  • The entrepreneur’s CV
  • The company’s organizational chart
  • Audited financial statements for the last 2 years, or the last year if the company has only been in operation for 1 year. Review engagements are accepted.
  • Financial projections for 2 years, including: quarterly cash budget, income statement, balance sheet.
  • A road map describing the steps you will need to take over the next 18 months (include financial and HR data).
  • A video clip (4 min. max.) to present the outline of the business plan, the team and the anticipated impact of the grant.

Do you communicate with the persons who are not selected?
Yes. All the candidates will be informed by email of the status of their application.

Why was my project refused?
Even if you meet all the eligibility criteria, this does not guarantee you will be awarded a grant. There are many applications and 3 grants are awarded annually.  

"The Janine Bombardier grant will support the efforts of Village Urbain democratize cohousing as an innovative and sustainable housing option in Quebec."
Estelle Le Roux Jocky, Village Urbain
"Winning the Claire Beaudoin grant is first and foremost a huge honour for our entire team. This support will enable us to continue developing Iris + Arlo, support our growth and help us accelerate our commercialisation".
Lara Emond, Iris+Arlo
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