The StartUP Sault column is usually reserved for small business tips and knowledge sharing, but this month I wanted to talk about the launch of some specific investment funds through Startup Canada that could help your business grow and develop, but have a tight deadline to apply.
Startup Canada was founded three years ago with the mission to build an environment for entrepreneurial momentum and success in Canada. Through online platforms, grassroots Startup Communities and cross-sector initiatives, Startup Canada is advancing entrepreneurial momentum and a culture of entrepreneurship, as the voice of Canadian entrepreneurs.
Startup Canada supports 26 startup communities across the country, including StartUP Sault Ste. Marie.
By providing leadership, programming, funding opportunities and leveraging the support of national sponsors such as TruShield Insurance, Telus, Intuit Canada, ScotiaBank and others, startup communities are able to engage, educate and support entrepreneurs at the local level.
Startup Canada continues to evolve, and recently announced four funding opportunities for startup communities and entrepreneurs themselves. The four funds support projects in the categories of retail startups, women entrepreneurs, community-based entrepreneur-drive initiatives, and startup space funding.
StartUP Sault is promoting these programs locally because it believes that they represent an opportunity for entrepreneurs and organizations in our area can benefit and the overall impact of any projects will help strengthen our startup community.
Startup Canada Startup Space Fund
On September 8, 2015 Startup Canada issued a call for proposals to partner with grassroots, entrepreneur-led co-working spaces, incubators, and makerspaces across Canada that will create or provide physical spaces for Startup Canada Members to start and grow their businesses.
The spaces will be made available to entrepreneurs through the Startup Canada Passport, a component of the Startup Canada Membership Program. Recipients of the fund will become official Partners of the Startup Canada Membership Program and be identified as Preferred Partners to help facilitate further lead generation for the spaces.
To be eligible for funding, spaces must be centrally located in the business district of a city or town in Canada and include a desk, chair, Internet access, and access to common areas. Startup Canada will allocate funds based on regional demand, the innovative nature of the space, and additional benefits provided to Startup Canada Members.
The Startup Canada Startup Space Fund is supported by industry leaders TruShield Insurance, Intuit Canada, UPS and TELUS. Grants of up to $2,500 are available.
Startup Canada Community Investment Fund
The Startup Canada Community Investment Fund invests in high-impact, entrepreneur-driven initiatives that foster new opportunities and greater connectivity of entrepreneurs to support, investment, customers and supply chains.
“The Startup Canada Community Investment Fund gives local communities much-needed seed funding to fill gaps in the current support system to help entrepreneurs develop scalable and competitive businesses,” said Victoria Lennox, CEO of Startup Canada.
The Spring 2015 Fund allowed Startup Sault Ste. Marie to spearhead the development of both a Startup Ecosystem Canvas and a shareable infographic for the community. This has helped us to identify all of the resources available locally to entrepreneurs, profile the local startup environment, and help organizations better support it. These products are expected to launch in late October, but this investment has already made a positive impact in the Sault as we continue to build a thriving startup community.
Applications for the second round of investment are due October 7. Successful applicants will be awarded with up to $3,000 per project.
TruShield Retail Startup Fund
To encourage the creation of more high-growth businesses in Canada, Startup Canada and TruShield Insurance launched the TruShield Retail Startup Fund to fuel the development of Canada’s retail sector.
Individuals, businesses, and organizations in Canada with projects aimed at supporting entrepreneurs in the retail sector are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $3,000.
Startup Canada Women Entrepreneurship Fund
Startup Canada and Dell Canada have partnered to present the Startup Canada Women Entrepreneurship Fund, which invests in high-impact, grassroots initiatives across Canada that advance women entrepreneurship through education, investment, mentorship and access to growth opportunity.
This Fund will allow Startup Canada and Dell to join efforts and enable entrepreneurial leaders across Canada to mobilize and create an entrepreneurial environment that encourages and empowers women to be successful entrepreneurs.
Grant funds will be awarded to Startup Canada Communities and other grassroots organizations and groups to increase the level of entrepreneurship activities that support women. Project examples may include a women’s entrepreneurship conference and/or speaker series, mentorship program, a workshop series, and trade missions.
Grants are available up to $3,000.
Startup Canada and StartUP Sault encourage all entrepreneurs and local organizations to consider these funding opportunities in support of applicable projects. And we hope you consider getting involved by attending events, meetups and other opportunities to support and connect with local entrepreneurs.
Visit www.startupcan.ca for more details and remember the deadline is October 7th.
About StartUP Sault:
StartUP Sault connects new entrepreneurs with the small business resources available in the community, and provides the support of existing entrepreneurs who are building successful companies.
Our community enterprise partners include the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC), Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area (CDC), Sault College, Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, Social Entrepreneurship Evolution (SEE) Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Village Media.
For more information about StartUP Sault, visit www.startupsault.ca. Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/startupsault) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/startupsault) to keep up to date on StartUP Sault events, startup tips and other useful information.
About the Author: Nevin Buconjic is an entrepreneur, author, consultant and Strategic Business Advisor with the Ontario government. Nevin is the founder and community lead for StartUP Sault. Find him at www.nevinbuconjic.com