GOVERNMENT OF CANADA SUPPORTS START-UP BUSINESSES ACROSS SOUTHERN ONTARIO
Start-up businesses and entrepreneurs are vital to our communities and our economy, yet many find challenges raising the capital they need to grow and scale their businesses. These challenges have only been increased by the economic impact of COVID-19. With many start-ups needing support, angel investor networks work to mobilize angel capital for entrepreneurs and prepare angel investors to help businesses recover, grow and build a profitable future.
That is why today, the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a non-repayable contribution of over $5.4 million for a collaboration between the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) and Angel Investors Ontario (AIO) to support entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses and strengthen angel investment in southern Ontario.
This collaboration will leverage NACO and AIO’s services and resources for angel groups and investors to increase the amount of capital available to the region’s innovative start-up businesses. NACO will provide funding for up to 20 southern Ontario angel groups to support their ability to attract and retain investors. NACO and AIO will also deliver training, workshops and events, aimed at enhancing investment readiness of entrepreneurs.
In addition, they will provide programming to increase the participation of equity seeking groups, including women, newcomers, LGBTQ2 people, Indigenous peoples, and racialized groups both in the angel investor community and for the founders who receive angel support.
This project will help ensure up to 800 early-stage businesses have access to the risk capital they need to unleash their growth potential and scale their businesses in communities across the region. The support provided will also help individual angel groups to grow their membership by at least 30 percent and increase angel investment activity by 30 percent. This, in turn, supports more businesses, grows our economy and creates good jobs for Canadians.
“With this investment, early-stage businesses will be able to access the mentorship and capital they need to grow and succeed. The Government of Canada is committed to helping grow companies that create jobs so that we can continue to foster a strong and inclusive economic recovery.”
– The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“With generous support from the Government of Canada, we are working closely with not-for-profit organizations across southern Ontario to remove barriers for local entrepreneurs and provide them with access to the capital, mentorship and growth networks that drive job creation and inclusive economic prosperity. Leveraging our national platform and local networks, we are creating new pathways to capital for entrepreneurs to build a more equitable innovation ecosystem.”
– Claudio Rojas, CEO, National Angel Capital Organization
“The support from the Government of Canada helps enable angel investors across southern Ontario invest their own funds into start-ups and mentor entrepreneurs in their local communities. This leads directly to job creation and contributes to inclusive growth across the whole region.”
– Jeffrey Steiner, President and Executive Director, Angel Investors Ontario
Southern Ontario is home to more than 400,000 SMEs, accounting for 35% of the Canadian total. The region generates 37% of the national GDP and is home to almost 50% of all employees in high- tech, financial services and other knowledge-intensive industries.
Angel investors are established and experienced entrepreneurs who invest their time and money in high growth companies and start-ups in exchange for an equity position.
Incorporated in 2002, National Angel Capital Organization (NACO)’s national network includes 4,200 angel investors, 50 incubators and accelerators, and 45 angel groups that have invested $1.12 billion into 1,500 entrepreneurial companies. NACO enables the emergence of high-growth companies in Canada by mobilizing angel capital, filling critical gaps in the national funding ecosystem, and working to advance more equitable access to capital for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and communities.
Since 2007, Angel Investors Ontario (AIO) has fostered Angel groups’ success by sharing information and education tools, and transferring best practices across its network of 16 not-for-profit angel groups and 14 investment clubs. This has enabled just over $500 million dollars to be invested into 700 high-potential early-stage ventures, in turn creating and retaining close to 15,000 jobs.
Since November 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $11.6 million into 16 angel networks, which led to nearly 1,000 new angel investments worth more than $225 million into businesses in southern Ontario.
The Government of Canada’s regional development agencies are continuing to deliver targeted support for economic recovery. Application intakes for the Jobs and Growth Fund, Canada Community Revitalization Fund, Tourism Relief Fund, Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative, and Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative are open in southern Ontario through FedDev Ontario.
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