Natural Resources Canada

Women in Cleantech Challenge

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As we know, women are a powerful force in the world of Canadian innovation, but are significantly underrepresented in the development of clean technologies. Surpassing all expectations, close to 150 women across Canada applied to participate in the Women in Cleantech Challenge. This challenge will help five women entrepreneurs advance their breakthrough ideas and grow their businesses.

Learn more about the applicants:

How did they hear about the challenge?

Social Media and referrals from friends or colleagues are the most popular channels by which applicants heard about the challenge.

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This pie chart shows how the applicants heard about the challenge:

22% from Social Media, 21% from friends or colleagues, 18% from MaRS, 12% from the Government, 11% from Media Reports, 10% from Incubator/accelerator, 5% from University/college and 1% from the Employer.

Where are they from?

The majority of applicants are from Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

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This map of Canada shows the percentage of applications received by province: 55% from Ontario, 17% from Quebec, 16% from Alberta, 5% from British Columbia, 3% from Saskatchewan, 2% from Nova Scotia, 1% from Newfoundland and Labrador, 1% from New Brunswick. The provinces and territories shaded in grey on the map have no applicants.

Which sector do they want to innovate in?

The innovation mix is impressive, with 38% of applications related to energy technologies, 20% to water solutions and about a third addressing challenges in mining, agriculture and other sectors. .

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This bar chart shows the technology sector where applicants want to innovate: 38% in Energy, 20% in Water, 27% in Other sectors, 6% in Land, 6% Unspecified and 1% in Forestry.

Find out more on the MaRS website.

Challenge details

To apply you must be

  • A woman
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • The main innovator/individual leading the project

Key dates

  • Deadline to apply: July 13, 2018
  • Grand Prize Winner announced: March 2021


  • Five Winners will receive $115,000 a year for 2.5 years for living and travel expenses
  • One Grand Prize Winner will receive $1 million to continue building her business

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