Industry Canada

Industry Canada

April 07, 2010 09:00 ET

Government of Canada Launches 2010-11 Small Business Internship Program

Program invests in job creation by supporting small businesses and students

SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - April 7, 2010) - The launch of the Small Business Internship Program (SBIP) for 2010 was announced today by the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), along with Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John. 

The SBIP helps small and medium-sized enterprises across Canada improve their productivity and competitiveness by hiring approximately 400 student interns annually to help with information and communication technology (ICT) projects.

"Our government's Small Business Internship Program will help small businesses grow and create jobs in the information and communications technologies and e-commerce sectors," said Minister of State Moore. "Through this initiative, our government is supporting small businesses, which create so many of our new jobs."

Thanks to the SBIP, Canadian small businesses are able to apply to hire a qualified student intern for a 12-week period to help them with e-commerce ICT projects. The SBIP reimburses up to 75 percent of the eligible salary and benefits costs for each participating small and medium-sized enterprise.

"Canada's small businesses are a major engine of the Canadian and New Brunswick economies," added Mr. Weston. "The government is working hard through Canada's Economic Action Plan, and through programs like SBIP, to provide these businesses with the opportunities they need to succeed."

Industry Canada has selected 14 organizations from across Canada as delivery agencies for the SBIP. The delivery agencies will be responsible for selecting businesses to participate in the program. This is being done in anticipation of the first interns being placed with small businesses this summer. The University of New Brunswick in Saint John will deliver the program in New Brunswick and in Prince Edward Island.

 The SBIP is a collaborative effort of Canadian small businesses, post-secondary institutions and non-government organizations that offers post-secondary students hands-on experience working on e-commerce projects under the mentorship and coaching of entrepreneurs.

The SBIP will receive $17.5 million in funding through 2014 as part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy.

For more information on the SBIP and its delivery agencies, please visit the SBIP website (www.ic.gc.ca/sbip).

BACKGROUNDER

Small Business Internship Program

Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) limit their use of information and communications technologies (ICT) to email capability or having an Internet site. Industry Canada's Small Business Internship Program (SBIP) allows them to go beyond this passive approach and adopt active e-business strategies that will help them prosper.

For qualified SMEs, the program provides financial support so that they can hire student interns for 12-week periods. Each intern helps the hiring business adopt information and communications technologies to increase its productivity and competitiveness. The federal government reimburses a participating SME up to 75 percent of its wage and benefit expenses for the internship.

At the same time the SBIP offers promising post-secondary students valuable, hands-on experience working on e-business and ICT projects under the guidance of entrepreneurs. Student interns gain an appreciation of entrepreneurship and the opportunity to explore career options while earning money to continue their education.

The SBIP is a component of the federal Youth Employment Strategy (YES) and is well positioned to support the strategy. The program contributes to YES by helping young Canadians acquire on-the-job experience while earning funds to continue their post-secondary education. The SBIP supports Industry Canada's mandate by helping Canadian SMEs become more competitive in the knowledge-based economy.

The program receives $3.5 million in yearly funding through YES. Approximately 400 students each benefit from 420 hours of full-time employment annually. Approximately 400 SMEs a year will benefit from improved ICT capacity. The internships may vary based on wage rates in different parts of the country.

The SBIP is just one example of how the Government of Canada is acting on its commitment to SMEs. Year Two of Canada's Economic Action Plan has introduced numerous measures to assist small businesses in the short term, while positioning them for long-term growth. Here are some of these measures:

  • The Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Innovation Commercialization Program will support small business innovation.

  • SMEs will have improved access to financing with the creation of the Vehicle and Equipment Financing Partnership. This expands financing options for small and medium-sized finance and leasing companies, and reduces red tape.

  • A new Red Tape Reduction Commission will review federal regulations in areas where reform is most needed to reduce the compliance burden, especially on small businesses, while safeguarding the health and safety of Canadians.

As set out in the recent Speech from the Throne and Budget 2010, the government is committing to the development of a digital economy strategy that will drive the adoption of new technology across the economy. With the adoption of digital technologies and digital content created by ICT industries, innovation and creativity will be more deeply embedded throughout our economy. If Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are more innovative, they will be able to grow faster and create more high-value jobs.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Rob Moore
    Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    Catherine Godbout
    613-943-7023
    613-668-5406 (cell)
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502