As Futurpreneur grows its loan offering, Ontario cuts funding

futurpreneur

Futurpreneur, a national organization that provides funding, mentorship, and resources to budding entrepreneurs in Canada, has expanded its loan offering in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

“Our team in Ontario is strong and vibrant and hasn’t changed.”
– Karen Greve Young

Futurpreneur will now offer up to $60,000 in financing to aspiring business owners ages 18 to 39. It previously offered up to $45,000 on a 2:1 ratio with BDC, in which BDC offered $30,000 and Futurpreneur offered $15,000. Futurpreneur will now offer up $20,000 to its entrepreneurs to accelerate their businesses, and BDC will provide $40,000 representing a 33 percent increase.

“We know that young entrepreneurs often need a substantial amount of support when opening a business,” said Karen Greve Young, CEO of Futurpreneur. “This loan increase provides aspiring business owners with more financial runway to launch their business. When matched with our mentoring program, entrepreneurs are put in a strong position for success in a highly competitive economy.”

The loan expansion follows new that the organization lost all of its funding from the provincial government of Ontario, as first reported by The Globe and Mail. Ontario contributed $1.2 million to the organization last year.

Futurpreneur is a non-profit, and Greve Young told BetaKit it runs a ‘break-even’ business model. The CEO said that this year’s annual revenue and budget is $13 million, with the $350,000 in provincial funding expected to go to Futurpreneur’s operating budget. These latest cuts are part of a broader round of cutbacks the Ford government has made to a variety of innovation programs in Ontario.

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“We are very diversified in our funding model,” Greve Young noted. “Our funding always comprises a mix of federal funding, provincial funding, and corporate and other partner funding.”

The CEO stated that Futurpreneur is the only organization in Canada BDC has authorized to adjudicate loan decisions on its behalf. The non-profit also has received funding from the federal government since 2006, and in Budget 2019 was granted $38 million over the next five years, most of which, Greve Young said, is going toward its core startup program for entrepreneurs.

She added that these Ontario government cuts will have “no impact” on Futurpreneur’s business operations for this year, stating Futurpreneur will see no layoffs.

One impact that Futurpreneur will experience, however, is the discontinuation of its newcomer workshops. These newcomer workshops were aimed to equip budding entrepreneurs with tools and resources to start a business. The workshops offered one-on-one sessions and detailed information and support on how to build a resilient business plan.

Greve Young said the newcomer workshops were not a part of the organization’s core programming, rather it was a specialty program that the Ontario government had asked for one year ago. Futurpreneur will, however, use new loan capital for its newcomer loans, replacing what was supposed to be coming from Ontario.

“Our team in Ontario is strong and vibrant and hasn’t changed,” Greve Young told BetaKit. “We have had funding from every province in our history. We don’t always have funding from every province every year. We hope this increased loan amount will enable young, aspiring entrepreneurs to spend more time and energy on building their business and less time worrying about paying the bills.”

Image courtesy Futurpreneur

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast