Financing

Loans for start-up, expansion and the purchase of an existing business are available from the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba. Loan applications are evaluated not only on the business concept but also the assets that you are contributing to the project, your credit, personal character, competencies and commitment. Female/male partnerships are encouraged to apply, provided the woman owns at least 50% of the business and is actively involved in its operation and management.

  • Loans are available in any amount up to $150,000. Clients with existing loans may apply for additional funds, but the total amount owing cannot exceed $150,000.
  • Start-up interest rate is prime + 3%
  • Expansion interest rate is prime + 1%
  • No monthly fees
  • No costs or penalties for early repayment
  • Terms up to five years
  • Applicants can be sole proprietors, partnerships or corporations
  • Equity and collateral requirements are flexible

What Can/Can’t a Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba Loan Be Used For?

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Loans can be used for a variety of expenses, some of which may not be covered by other lending institutions:

  • Leasehold improvements
  • Advertising and marketing costs
  • Purchase of an existing business
  • Purchase of inventory
  • Purchase of equipment
  • One-time or part-time projects will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis

 

Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba loans cannot be used for:

  • Purchase of goodwill
  • Owner’s draw or salary
  • Investments in real estate for speculative purposes
  • Financial consolidations, debt re-financing, and bail-outs
  • Illegal or immoral activities

Is a Business Plan Required to Apply for a Loan?

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A comprehensive business plan is required to apply for a Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba start-up loan. We offer both classroom and online seminars to help you write your plan, and our business advisors are available to guide you along the way. You will also need to complete a loan application and personal statement of affairs documents. A normal credit investigation will be completed.

Expansion loan applications require an overview of the existing business, particulars of the expansion and a viability analysis.

Who Qualifies for an Expansion Loan?

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You do not need to be existing Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba clients but you will need to provide or demonstrate the following:

  • A minimum of three years of profitable operation. This must be verified through professionally prepared financial statements from an accountant.
  • One year of projected monthly cash flow and profit/loss statements. Additional projections may be requested if the expansion is a long-term project.
  • A business case that provides an overview of the existing business, particulars of the expansion and a viability analysis.
  • Complete loan application and personal statement of affairs documents. A normal credit investigation will be completed.
  • Detailed listing of aged accounts receivable, accounts payable and inventory may also be requested.

How Are Loan Applications Evaluated?

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Every situation is different so every loan application is evaluated on its own merits. The applicant must be:

  • A legal entity; and
  • A woman or an operation owned and controlled by a woman or women; and
  • A Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, or a legal entity owned and controlled by a Canadian citizen(s) or landed immigrant(s);
  • Operating or about to operate in Manitoba; and
  • In good standing with WECM if there was pre-existing financing.

In addition:

  • Your business plan must demonstrate potential for commercial viability and loan repayment capacity;
  • You must demonstrate a reasonable personal history of credit-worthiness and stability or be able to provide an adequate explanation why an exception should be made;
  • Cash or other equity contributions and security requirements are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

How Do You Apply for a Loan?

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Step 1: Submit your business plan (electronically, by mail or drop it off at the Centre).

If you aren’t already working with one a Business Advisor (BA), it will be assigned to one. Once the BA has reviewed it (usually within five business days), she/he will contact you to arrange an in-person or telephone meeting. In most cases, the BA will have questions, require clarification or request additional market research.

Step 2: Complete the Loan Application Form and Personal Statement of Affairs.

These documents will be provided by the Business Advisor. The Personal Statement of Affairs provides us with permission to carry out a credit check.

Step 3: The Business Advisor will take the application to the Loan Committee.

Once you have supplied all the necessary information, your application will be reviewed and a decision will be made.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Decision on a Loan Application?

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There are three factors that affect the length of time required for a lending decision:

  1. The completeness of the business plan that you submit to the Centre;
  2. The time it takes for you to provide required information and answer questions that arise;
  3. The complexity of your business concept. We carefully review every application in order to provide you with a professional and competent assessment.

Loan Appeal Policy

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If an applicant is declined and has asked for an appeal, the applicant must provide, in writing to the Loans Manager, sound business reasons specifying why their application should be reconsidered, and also include any new information not previously received for consideration. This appeal must be received into the WECM office within 15 business days of the date of the sent decline letter.

If the loan application is over $10,000, the original loan application, assessment, and appeal letter will be given to the Loan Appeal Committee, which consists of the Director of Communications and Client Services; the Manager, Finance and Operations; and a Board Member. The Board Member will be assigned by the Chair of the Board. The review will include additional input from the client and/or staff involved as deemed necessary by the Loan Appeal Committee.

If the loan application is less than $10,000, or if the loan was declined by the Loans Manager and Business Analyst, the original loan application, assessment, and appeal letter will be given to the CEO. The review will include additional input from the client and/or staff involved as deemed necessary by the CEO.

The Loan Appeal Committee has 30 business days to meet, review and provide their recommendation regarding the appeal.

If the appeal is approved, the Loans Manager will contact the applicant to explain the decision.

If the appeal is declined, the Loans Manager will contact the applicant to explain the decision and the applicant is provided with a letter confirming the rationale.

Recommendations made by the Loan Appeal Committee will be non-binding. They will provide their feedback and recommendations back to the Loans Manager for her consideration