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Women’s Economic Security Program


The Women’s Economic Security Program (WESP) was established for the purpose of increasing incomes and labour force attachment of low-income women in Ontario. MSW is seeking to achieve this by providing grants to eligible organizations that will provide employment, pre-employment apprenticeship and entrepreneurship training specifically for low-income women so that they are equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience to secure employment and increase their income and economic security.

The WESP aims to strengthen organisations’ capacity to deliver on their mandates in innovative ways that encourage partnerships between women-centered community based organisations, educational institutions and businesses.

Your organization may apply to one or more of the following funding Streams:

1. Women in Skilled Trades

2. Women in Information Technology

3. General Employment Training for Women

4. Entrepreneurship for Women’s Self Employment


The application period is now closed.

Eligibility Requirements

Organizations eligible to apply to this program include broader public sector organizations, publicly-funded post-secondary institutions, not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous organizations based in Ontario. Organizations must be legal entities and meet the following criteria:

• Have been incorporated in Ontario for at least two (2) years;

• Have an elected governing Board of Directors or equivalent;

• Have bylaws that outline procedures for reporting and accounting to their membership or the public for the organization’s operations and performance;

• Satisfy the Ministry that it has adequate governance structures and accountability processes to properly administer and manage public funds and to carry out the project consistent with the terms of the Transfer Payment Grant Agreement;

• Satisfy the Ministry that it has relevant, accurate, and timely financial reporting and audited financial statements;

• Provide a valid Commercial General Liability Insurance; and

• Operate in compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

All programs must offer wraparound support to participants that may include food, transportation, childcare assistance, service referrals (i.e. counselling, medical, legal, housing etc.). Organizations must engage industry or education partners in the delivery of their programs.

Program Guidelines

WESP applicants may apply to more than one funding stream (i.e. Women in Skilled Trades and Women in Information Technology). However, they must submit a set of Evaluation Questions, Budget, Work Plan and Partner Support Letters for each Stream.

Program Guidelines and Application Instructions

Stream 1: Women in Skilled Trades Evaluation Questions

Stream 2: Women in Information Technology Evaluation Questions

Stream 3: General Employment for Women Evaluation Questions

Stream 4: Entrepreneurship for Women’s Self-Employment Evaluation Questions

Budget/Work Plan

Additional Resources

WESP Program Application FAQs (updated)


Telephone: 416-314-0300
Email: mswcontact@ontario.ca

Last updated: November 20, 2018