Ontario Supporting Francophone Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs
Updated: Dec 2, 2022
TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing $500,000 to help Francophone entrepreneurs participate in the province’s economic prosperity. The funding will support four projects and is being delivered through the Francophone Economic Development Strategy.
The following organizations will share a combined $400,000:
The Cooperation Council of Ontario (CCO) will provide training to a group of entrepreneurs, guiding them through the incubation and implementation phases of their businesses. This training will be offered in Toronto and Sudbury.
The college La Cité will develop three audiovisual modules and complementary resource kits as part of its programming for young entrepreneurs. These “reality show”-style modules will be shared with other organizations to maximize the reach of this new tool.
The Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario (AFESEO) will create a recruitment and professional integration tool for newcomers. This tool will allow childcare operators to expand staffing at their centres and increase the availability of Francophone childcare spots.
“Support services for new businesses help ensure the prosperity of our Francophone communities,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Francophone Affairs. “The projects selected will be used to support Francophone entrepreneurs, thereby promoting the start-up of their businesses. This investment will strengthen a growing ecosystem and showcase the expertise of Ontario’s economic Francophonie.”
The Ontario government will also provide $100,000 to the Fédération des gens d’affaires francophones de l’Ontario (FGA) to ensure the continuity of its concierge services and its Quartier d’affaires and inkubo.ca portals, as well as to support the continuation of its work connecting Francophone businesses and entrepreneurs.
"Ontario’s strong community of Francophone entrepreneurs continues to grow every day," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "The Francophone Economic Development Strategy will help ensure that they continue to prosper now and in the future. We are proud to support Francophone entrepreneurship across the province as part of our plan to build Ontario.”
The selected projects are the result of a call for projects issued in September 2022 to organizations that promote Francophone economic development and service delivery.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2017, 4.3% of businesses incorporated in Ontario were owned by at least one Francophone. This represents a total of 30,150 businesses, or nearly 50% of Francophone businesses outside of Quebec. (Source: Fédération des gens d’affaires francophones de l’Ontario, June 2022)
The Ontario government’s approach to Francophone Affairs is based on two complementary strategies. The French Language Services Strategy and the Francophone Economic Development Strategy aim to recruit and train a skilled bilingual workforce, increasing the availability of front-line services in French and supporting Francophone and bilingual businesses to participate fully in the province’s economic development.