The Government of Canada is investing over $7.7 million into the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) to deliver thriveFORWARD—a new funding program meant to help southern Ontario tech companies scale-up and transition to greener business processes.
The financing is made through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario) Jobs and Growth Fund.
Participants will be eligible to receive up to $25,000 to help bring their products to market and accelerate their growth. Businesses in the industrial sector can also receive up to $100,000 to support the cost of adopting new digital and clean technologies. According to the Northumberland CFDC, it will focus on the food production, medical supplies, and bio-manufacturing sectors.
In addition, the Northumberland CFDC will align thriveFORWARD to the diversity, equity, and inclusion targets set out by Women and Gender Equality Canada’s 50-30 Challenge.
“We know across the chain of innovation in southern Ontario that there is significant pent-up demand for industrial partnerships like thriveFORWARD,” said Wendy Curtis, executive director of the Northumberland CFDC. “There is an opportunity to provide strategic funding now and work with entrepreneurs to create new economic momentum across the region.”
Upon completion of thriveFORWARD, the federal government estimates that it would have helped 145 companies, as well as create and maintain 500 jobs. The program was initially introduced in June. Applications were opened in the beginning of June with a continuous intake period until the program is fully subscribed, and no later than December 31, 2023.
Founded in 1985, the Northumberland CFDC is a not-for-profit organization that provides financing and strategies for entrepreneurs through different programs. It claims that it has supported over 3,000 businesses to date.
Apart from thriveFORWARD, the Northumberland CFDC’s programs also include DELIA, an ecosystem fund for women entrepreneurs, as well as StrikeUP and the Policetech Accelerator.
The Northumberland CFDC is based at the Venture13 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre in Cobourg. Since 2001, the organization has worked closely with FedDev Ontario through its Community Futures Program to provide loans of up to $250,000 for small and medium-sized enterprises.
In 2019, the Northumberland CFDC also received $4.5 million from FedDev Ontario; in that same year, the CFDC also pledged $952,500 in non-dilutive, performance-based seed funding to a total of 42 startups across Northumberland and rural Eastern Ontario.
Featured image from the Northumberland CFDC.