A special IWD message from Nancy Gardiner

Small Business Canada

Since joining the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), I have been inspired by stories of women entrepreneurs who lead companies across all sectors of our economy.

Having worked at Women and Gender Equality Canada, I know the importance of advancing gender equality as it relates to economic participation and prosperity.  To that end, FedDev Ontario is proud to support women-led businesses and not-for-profit organizations across southern Ontario so that they have access to the tools they need to succeed.

For example, nearly 17,000 women (from all backgrounds) in southern Ontario have been supported through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund. We will continue to build on these efforts to help achieve an equitable and diverse economic future for all Canadians. 

Watch our social media channels and our website as we highlight women entrepreneurs through the month of March.


Our content acknowledges the strength of the ardent entrepreneurs and their lifelong experiences of the marketplace that help them build successful business empires. Our belief in productive learning and providing inclusive content is why we have plans for a wide spectrum of activities that incorporate everything from reading to prolific networking. 


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Nancy Gardiner

President, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario 

Nancy Gardiner became President of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario on September 1, 2021.

Prior to joining the Agency, Ms. Gardiner was Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs and Operations at Women and Gender Equality Canada, where she was able to advance gender equality through significant investments in key programs, policies and initiatives. Nancy has held several senior leadership positions in the public service including at Service Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada. 

Her extensive experience in delivering complex social and economic programs serves as a great asset to the Agency and its mandate. With over 25 years of progressive achievement, Nancy has garnered a diversified background concentrated in program design, operational delivery, strategic planning and policy development.

Born and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Ms. Gardiner graduated from St. Mary’s University, Halifax, receiving a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology from Acadia University, Wolfville.

Nancy resides in Ottawa with her husband Gary and her two children, Georgia and Garrison.

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