The province of Ontario announced last week that it’s introducing two new programs with the goal of helping small businesses become more globally competitive.
The government is introducing a Small Business Innovation Challenge which will provide small and medium-sized businesses with opportunities to develop and implement technology solutions to public sector challenges. In a statement, the government said that this provides them with the opportunity for more “real-world” testing of products.
The government is also introducing a Scale-Up Voucher program, which will provide high-growth companies with immediate access to specific resources at pivotal moments of company development, and will fund activities like talent development and recruitment, accessing global markets, and IP protection services.
The provincial government seems to be taking a cue from the federal government, which announced a Global Skills Strategy early in November, which is also working on helping scaling companies by giving them easier access to global talent with a fast-track work permit.
Ontario will invest $32.4 million over four years for the Scale-Up Voucher Program, and $28.8 million over five years for the Small Business Innovation Challenge. The government said that the Innovation Challenge is modelled after similar initiatives in the UK and the US.
BetaKit has reached out to Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth Brad Duguid’s office for comment.
Photo credit Dax Melmar/The Windsor Star