Funding: $1.5M for Innovate Calgary to support entrepreneurs

Funding: $1.5M for Innovate Calgary to support entrepreneurs

By Kenya Kondo

Dec 17, 2017 - The government of Alberta is making it easier for entrepreneurs in Calgary and across the province to start their own business.

It said in a statement Friday that it will give $1.5 million to Innovate Calgary, a small business incubator.

“Small businesses bring exciting new ideas into our economy and create jobs and opportunities for Albertans,” said Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous.

Innovate Calgary is meant to connect entrepreneurs with mentors and experts who can help them “navigate the early stages of starting and growing a business.”

The province expects businesses that have the support of the incubator should have an average growth rate of up to 25 per cent, according to recent statistics. That’s compared to less than five per cent without that support.

The province said it will also launch a separate support program to help offset “a variety of startup costs” for entrepreneurs across the province – committing $3 million to the cause.

“This initiative demonstrates an intentional drive toward an entrepreneurial culture in the province, creates new firms which generate new jobs and develops new technologies and support mechanisms for

the diversification and growth of our economy,” Alberta Innovates CEO Laura Kilcrease said about the program.

The province said entrepreneurs will be referred by small business incubators across the province.