More Support to Start or Grow a Business

The Government of Alberta is investing in Innovate Calgary to help more small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs grow or get their ideas off the ground.

Innovate Calgary will use $1.5 million to expand its small business incubator. Small business incubators connect entrepreneurs with mentors and experts who help them navigate the early stages of starting and growing a business.

Statistics show that Alberta small businesses with incubator support have an average growth rate of 25 per cent, while nationally the average is less than five per cent.

“Small businesses bring exciting new ideas into our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Albertans. That’s why we are providing this support to help more entrepreneurs turn their ideas into new businesses with products and services that are ready for market.”

~Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

The government is also launching a $3-million Entrepreneur Support program under the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator initiative to help Alberta entrepreneurs offset a variety of business startup costs. Small business incubators around the province will refer eligible entrepreneurs to the funding program. Alberta Innovates will administer the funding on behalf of 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.”

~Laura J.Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

Quick facts

  • Program funding comes from Economic Development and Trade’s Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator program (AEI).
  • The AEI program is a $10-million, two-year pilot, delivered through Alberta Innovates, to fund entrepreneur development and mentor support programs across Alberta.
  • This year, seven regional incubators have received AEI funding to support startup businesses across the province.
  • The AEI program has two streams:
  • The Accelerator Expansion Support stream, with funding of $7 million, supports entrepreneurial incubation capacity.
  • The Entrepreneurship Support stream, with funding of $3 million, supports entrepreneurial projects.