From Dreams to Reality: Encouraging Women in Business

A special IWD message from Filomena Tassi

Southern Ontario is a thriving hub of innovation, and the impact of women-led enterprises cannot be overstated. Women entrepreneurs create economic growth across our province with a unique perspective and approach to business. Women-owned small businesses contribute to the diversity and inclusivity of our local economy, fostering a rich blend of ideas and services that benefit us all.

I have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the transformative power of women entrepreneurs across southern Ontario. Their businesses create jobs, drive economic growth, and serve as role models for the next generation. The women-led stores, restaurants, boutiques and shops that fill so many of our communities are creating local economic and employment opportunities. When we support women-led enterprises, we invest in the future success of our communities.

As we navigate the challenges of today’s economic landscape, it is crucial that we continue to champion and uplift women in business. The Government of Canada, led by Justin Trudeau, is committed to implementing policies that grow our economy, promote equality, provide access to resources like capital and networking opportunities, and remove barriers for women entrepreneurs. 

Together, we can foster an environment where every woman with a dream can turn a possibility into a reality.


Filomena Tassi

Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

The Honourable Filomena Tassi was first elected as Member of Parliament for the riding of Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas in 2015. She has previously served as Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Minister of Labour, and Minister of Seniors.

Born and raised in Hamilton, Minister Tassi has been the voice of change for families in the city through a lifetime of commitment to her community.

Minister Tassi obtained a Bachelor of Laws from Western University, and also holds a Master of Religious Education from the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto.

Minister Tassi practised law for six years before leaving to raise her family. She later became a high school chaplain for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. As chaplaincy leader, she helped establish the D.R.E.A.M.S. (Dominican Republic Education and Medical Support) program, which has enabled thousands of students to live and work with the materially poor in the Dominican Republic.

Driven by her profound sense of civic duty, Minister Tassi has been highly involved in her community. She is a past board member of both St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Catholic Youth Organization, and has volunteered her time with other local initiatives and organizations. Minister Tassi served as a Catholic school board trustee, and was the recipient of the 2010 Brian J. Halferty Award, presented by the Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario for exemplary service.

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