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Ontario Invests $27M in Youth Entrepreneurship

News Release

Ontario Invests $27M in Youth Entrepreneurship

Province Extends Youth Jobs Strategy to Help Youth Launch Businesses, Gain Skills

Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science

Ontario is helping young people across the province create the next wave of highly skilled jobs and innovative products.

The province is building on its support of young innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs by investing more than $27 million over two years in a number of initiatives:

  • Youth Business Accelerator Program: to provide training, mentorship and market intelligence for youth starting new technology enterprises
  • Youth Investment Accelerator Fund and SmartStart Seed Fund: to help Ontario-based, youth-led start-ups get off the ground by providing different levels of financing and business skills training
  • Campus-Linked Accelerators and On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities: to help Ontario's colleges and universities provide entrepreneurship resources for students and youth in their regions 
  • TalentEdge Internship Program: to provide opportunities for postsecondary students, PhD fellows and recent graduates to work on collaborative research and development projects between their academic institution and industry. 

The programs are all part of Ontario's renewed Youth Jobs Strategy, which offers a comprehensive suite of youth employment and training programs, including mentorship opportunities, entrepreneurial experience and start-up support. Fostering partnerships is a key focus of the strategy and postsecondary institutions are working closely with regional Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs partners to deliver seamless support to young entrepreneurs. 

Investing in programs that help young people create innovative, highly skilled jobs is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • Campus-Linked Accelerator and On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities initiatives at 42 institutions across Ontario have supported more than 1,700 youth-led businesses.
  • More than 440 graduates and PhD placements have been provided to date through the TalentEdge Internships and Fellowship Program.
  • This funding is part of the province’s renewed $250 million investment in the Youth Jobs Strategy announced in the 2015 Budget. The additional $250 million in funding will bring Ontario’s total investment in the Youth Jobs Strategy to $565 million.
  • Since its launch in 2013, the Youth Jobs Strategy has created more than 30,000 job opportunities for young people across the province.

Additional Resources

Quotes

Reza Moridi

“In today’s global economy, it is critical that we provide our young people with access to the right mix of innovative programs at our colleges and universities, as well as the opportunity to connect and collaborate with local mentors and businesses. I’m proud that our renewed Youth Jobs Strategy is providing a collection of programs that will help sustain a culture of entrepreneurship among students and youth. By connecting them with training opportunities and regional business support services, these programs are encouraging the next generation of innovators.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Research and Innovation

“We are living in a time of significant and exponential change where new business models and technologies are creating enormous opportunities for bright, young innovators to build successful businesses. Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy has been critical to a network of organizations that collaborate together to provide the essential support to youth entrepreneurs seeking to make the world a better place through innovation and entrepreneurship. By working closely with college and university campus accelerators, small business enterprise centres and other key community stakeholders across the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), the Youth Jobs Strategy has helped to create a rich environment for young innovators to thrive. It truly takes an ecosystem to raise an entrepreneur and we are proud to be a partner in implementing the Youth Jobs Strategy in York Region, Simcoe County and Muskoka District.”

Jeremy Laurin

President and CEO, ventureLAB

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