Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi announced the launch of five programs to help young people start companies and create jobs today at Western University.
As part of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, these programs will provide young entrepreneurs with business skills, capital to start and grow a small business and the opportunity to gain experience and expertise through R&D internships.
The strategy will mean an investment of $295 million over two years and aims to create 30,000 jobs for Ontario Youth. Minister Moridi stated that 10,000 of these jobs have already been realized.
The announcement includes:
- $5 million for On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) programs
- $20 million for Campus Linked Accelerators (CLA) programs to help students develop entrepreneurial skills and transfer academic expertise and knowledge to the marketplace.
- $9 million in the SmartStart Seed Fund to help young entrepreneurs build technology companies. The fund is open to 18 to 29 year olds affiliated with a CLA or OCEA program, as well as start-ups linked either to an Ontario campus or Ontario’s network of Regional Innovation Centres.
- $7 million to the Youth Business Acceleration Program to equip young entrepreneurs with skills needed to start and grow successful technology businesses, including entrepreneurship education, market intelligence services and mentorship.
- $10 million in Talent Edge, a program that bridges the gap between academia and the workforce. It provides opportunities for post-secondary students, PhD fellows and recent graduates to work on collaborative R&D projects between their academic institution and industry.
Locally, Fanshawe College and Western University have partnered to deliver a Campus Linked Accelerator program for London students.
“Helping young entrepreneurs and those seeking rewarding careers in R&D is another example of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy at work,” said Minister Moridi. “These programs will help harness their ideas, their vision and enthusiasm and turn them into jobs for today and for tomorrow. It is their ideas, courage and drive that will build Ontario’s future.”
Western University and Fanshawe College will be announcing further details around their partnership to implement the CLA as they are available.