Small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in central Alberta will have new support to start and grow their businesses.
To help entrepreneurs turn their ideas for new products or services into a business, The Red Deer Downtown Business Association will expand its Catapult Entrepreneurs Incubator with $600,000 in funding from the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program.
The incubator will provide business mentorship opportunities, access to startup funding and product commercialization services at its downtown Red Deer location, as well as in Drayton Valley, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler, Ponoka and Olds.
“We know Alberta small businesses with incubator support have an average 25 per cent growth rate, while nationally the average growth rate is less than five per cent. That’s why we will keep working together to create new jobs and grow and diversify our economy.”
The Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program is a two-year $10-million fund, delivered through Alberta Innovates, to increase entrepreneur development programs in new or existing small-business incubators across the province.
“Alberta Innovates is proud to deliver the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator initiative throughout the province. 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.”
Small-business incubators give entrepreneurs access to professional business development advisers who help them move their ideas forward, navigate the innovation and commercialization support system in Alberta and nurture the development of companies during the startup period.
“Central Alberta is a very enterprising region. As part of the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program, we will be able to offer meaningful support to new entrepreneurs and will move the needle on job creation and economic diversification in our region.”