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Fostering Student Entrepreneurship in Eastern Ontario

News Release

Fostering Student Entrepreneurship in Eastern Ontario

Ontario Partnering with Colleges and Universities to Create Innovative Programs

Ontario is helping student entrepreneurs gain business skills, mentorship and hands-on experience to start and grow a business.

The province is investing $2.9 million through the Campus-Linked Accelerators program (CLA) to build on world-class innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives at colleges and universities in eastern Ontario.

  • Queen's University will grow entrepreneurship in the community and on-campus through Queen's Innovation Connector and campus-based accelerator; programs that give young people access to resources, networks, and mentors to help transform their ideas into products and services. Queen's will also help strengthen support for student ventures at Innovation Park, the university's technology development hub.
  • The University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Algonquin College have partnered to create the Capital Entrepreneurs Project, a venture to encourage and cultivate youth entrepreneurship. The program will work to make Ottawa the best place to start and grow a business through a common brand, educational standards, enhanced outreach and continued support of youth-led companies.

The CLA program is part of Ontario's Youth Jobs Strategy and is being launched at universities and colleges across the province.

Helping young people to develop the skills needed to launch rewarding careers is part of the government's plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • Almost all postsecondary institutions across Ontario have on-campus entrepreneurship programs (42 out of 44 institutions).
  • Ontario is investing $20 million over two years in the CLA program.
  • Ontario is also providing more than $5 million over two years through the On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities program to support academic institutions that are committed to entrepreneurship on their campuses.
  • OCEA and CLA programs are managed by Ontario Centres of Excellence.
  • Launch Lab is the partnering Regional Innovation Centres (RIC) for Queen’s University. As a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), it will act as the conduit between Queen’s and the region’s business community.
  • Invest Ottawa is the partnering RIC for the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Algonquin College program.
  • Ontario is investing $295 million over two years in the Youth Jobs Strategy to help 30,000 more young people from across the province connect with the tools, experiences and entrepreneurial support they need to find employment or start their own businesses.
  • More than 20,000 job opportunities have been created under the Youth Jobs Strategy.

Additional Resources


Reza Moridi

“Helping young entrepreneurs is another example of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy at work in eastern Ontario. These programs will help harness their ideas, their vision and their enthusiasm and turn them into jobs for today and for tomorrow. Their innovative spirit will build Ontario’s future.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Research and Innovation

Sophie Kiwala

“The Campus-Linked Accelerator program will help ignite the entrepreneurial spirit among students, developing the skills and talents necessary to start their own business. I’m happy to see that the Ontario government is investing in our youth, a key driver of our economy and our future prosperity.”

Sophie Kiwala

MPP, Kingston and the Islands

“Queen’s has committed to increasing opportunities for experiential and entrepreneurial learning, both on and off campus. This investment supports that commitment – it also acknowledges the strides we have already made, not to mention that great things that can be achieved when government, business and academia come together around a common goal.”

Daniel Woolf

Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen's University

“Ontario Centres of Excellence is pleased to be able to deliver these projects as a trusted partner of the Government of Ontario. I look forward to putting our years of experience in connecting academia and industry, and our on-going support of young entrepreneurs in Ontario to good use in making these initiatives a tremendous success.”

Dr. Tom Corr

President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence

Media Contacts

  • Terry Chemij

    Minister’s Office


  • Brigitte Marleau

    Communications Branch


  • Kimia Ghorban

    Minister’s Office



  • Jessica Hume

    Communications Branch





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