Today in government funding: Yukon and Francophone Ontario Entrepreneurs

Today in government funding, seven projects in the northern territory of Yukon have received $2.2 million, and Ontario’s regional development agency FedDev Ontario is making a $1.35 million investment in a new program for Francophone entrepreneurs.

Yukon receives $2.2 million for seven projects

Seven development projects in the territory of Yukon are receiving a cumulative $2.2 million investment from the Government of Canada. The funding is being made through CanNor, the regional development agency that serves Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories.

Funding will go to Yukon College’s Cold Climate Innovation (CCI), which is comprised of five Yukon-based SME’s, as well as Yukonstruct Makerspace Society. The funding will be used to support entrepreneurs, new product development and SMEs.

“Yukon has a strong track record of bringing new and products to the global market.”

CCI is focused on the development, commercialization, and export of sustainable cold climate technology and solutions for subarctic regions across the globe. It supports partnerships between applied scientific researchers, industry, and government looking to address cold climate issues affecting northerners.

“This funding ensures that CCI continues to be a foundational resource for Yukon innovators seeking to develop their ideas into commercial successes. We also applaud the investments in these five Yukon small businesses,” said Shelagh Rowles, executive director of Communities, Innovation and Development at Yukon College. “Each has made impressive strides forward over the past year, and this funding supports product development and the strategic growth of these impressive entrepreneurs.”

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Yukonstruct, founded in 2014, is a non-profit that offers entrepreneurs affordable access to workspace, equipment, and expertise. It opened the 24,000-square foot NorthLight Innovation in 2018, offering community workshops through its Makerspace program, a co-working initiative called Cospace in Downtown Whitehorse, and a Launchspace program, which organizes conferences, programs, and business services through the Canada Business Network.

“Yukon has a strong track record of bringing new and products to the global market,” said Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament, Yukon. “By building on that success and putting more supports in place for small businesses to develop new products, we are helping to create a stronger, more diversified economy as well as new jobs for the territory.”

Francophone entrepreneurship receives $1.35 million

FedDev Ontario is investing $1.35 million in Toronto and Ottawa-based Collège La Cité, which is launching a new entrepreneurial program for Francophone Ontarians.

Funding for Collège La Cité will be used to offer personalized coaching to Francophone entrepreneurs, with a focus on women, youth, and immigrants, through the college’s accelerator for established Francophone businesses.

“Our Francophone communities are a powerful engine for economic growth within southern Ontario.”

“Our Francophone communities are a powerful engine for economic growth within southern Ontario and across the country. This funding will help up-and-coming entrepreneurs, in particular women, youth and immigrants, bring their ideas to life and create new opportunities for official language minority communities to continue to grow and thrive.”

Founded in Ottawa in 1989, Collège La Cité is a French-language college of applied arts and technology. The new programming will be delivered through La Factorie Desjardins, a co-creation space located at its Ottawa campus. It will focus on a combination of corporate support and immersive co-creation, aiming to allow entrepreneurs to be an integral part of project development, through trials and demonstrations.

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“This funding will foster economic growth here in Ottawa and across the region by responding to the unique needs of Francophone entrepreneurs,” said Mona Fortier, member of parliament for Ottawa Vanier. “By offering targeted coaching, this project also aims to promote the French language in a minority language setting as an asset for economic development and diversification.”

La Factorie Desjardins is expected to help bring ideas for new products and services to market, specifically in the areas of intelligent prototyping, bio-innovation, and agri-food. Partners include Desjardins, the Prescott–Russell Community Development Corporation, and several local school boards.

“La Cité is proposing a novel approach adapted to the reality of Francophone small and medium-sized enterprises,” said Lise Bourgeois, president and CEO of Collège La Cité.

Image courtesy Unsplash.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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