FedDev Ontario has announced an investment of $750,000 towards the Parkdale Centre for Innovation (PCI), a not-for-profit business accelerator, to expand its entrepreneurship program and support options for less represented groups. PCI plans to use this funding to provide more underrepresented entrepreneurs with tailored support to help the economic growth of new technology businesses so that they may compete fairly in Canada’s innovation economy.
“For too long, underrepresented entrepreneurs, including women, visible minorities and newcomers, have faced unique and systemic hurdles to their success. Now, as they have been particularity hard hit by the impacts of COVID-19, these entrepreneurs need support more than ever.”
– Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario
Selected participants will have access to PCI’s specialized training through their incubator program, mentorship, peer support networks, and pathways to more business opportunities.
With FedDev Ontario funding support, PCI expects to support 210 businesses located in Ontario, and forecasts that their programming will help to create 210 skilled jobs over the allocated four-year funding timeline.
“This marks an unprecedented investment into Parkdale by the federal government to model a new ecosystem of opportunities through entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities. It is critical for Parkdale to have a voice in the innovation economy and not be left behind. With this funding, FedDev Ontario and Parkdale Centre make a commitment to bridge the accessibility gap by breaking barriers for woman, newcomers, Black and Indigenous peoples in this city seeking to build their futures through entrepreneurship.”
– Rusul Alrubail, Executive Director, Parkdale Centre for Innovation
Parkdale Centre for Innovation: Promoting Inclusion and Equity for Toronto-based Entrepreneurs
The Parkdale Centre for Innovation is a public organization that was established in 2017 to work towards closing the accessibility gap for underrepresented entrepreneurs, such as women, immigrants, low-income individuals, and minorities in the innovation sector.
Their services provide eligible entrepreneurs with personalized support programs with the goal of helping them succeed in Ontario’s competitive and everchanging business landscape.
“This significant FedDev Ontario investment expands their programming to benefit more promising young companies, while creating good local jobs and supporting new opportunities for these entrepreneurs to participate in, and benefit from, the innovation economy.”
– Arif Virani, Member of Parliament for Parkdale–High Park
PCI’s entrepreneurship group-based programming provides support across three focus areas:
- Fundamentals for starting a business.
- Developing entrepreneurship skills.
- Scaling businesses through technology validation.
Participant applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for the next available cohort of the program. For more information on how to apply, please visit Parkdale’s website.
FedDev Ontario Government Funding Support
In addition to offering several support options for underrepresented entrepreneurs, FedDev Ontario also provides financial assistance through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) for businesses that are currently unable to qualify for other COVID-19 government funding programs. RRRF provides repayable interest-free loans of up to 50% of fixed operating costs (6-month period) to a max $40k-$1M ($250k grant for not-for-profits).
Furthermore, FedDev Ontario has also invested an additional $50 million into the Digital Main Street Program, which aims to help over 23,000 small businesses located in Ontario to improve their operations and become more technologically competitive as the Canadian economy begins to recover from the global pandemic.
Consider attending an upcoming Mentor Works government funding webinar to learn about the most popular government funding programs and how they may be applied to your business plans. To learn about the latest financial support programs, visit our Government Funding Directory.