Industry Canada

Industry Canada

July 17, 2015 13:00 ET

Government of Canada, Facebook and Vancouver Board of Trade Join Forces to Boost Small Business in British Columbia

Minister Moore champions government support for innovation and digital adoption for British Columbia entrepreneurs

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 17, 2015) - Canada recognizes the limitless potential of its small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are key drivers of British Columbia's and Canada's economic growth. With access to the right tools, advice and support to make the best use of digital technology, companies will thrive in an interconnected global economy, consumers will benefit and jobs will be created.

This was the message the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, delivered during his keynote address at the Facebook Small Business Boost event in Richmond, alongside the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors). He highlighted Government of Canada commitments to providing Canadians with the skills they need to fully embrace the opportunities presented by technology. He also noted steps the Government has taken so far to create the right environment for entrepreneurial success, including reducing red tape, increasing international trade and keeping taxes low.

Minister Moore outlined several new initiatives for British Columbia entrepreneurs under the newly updated Digital Canada 150 strategy, version 2.0, such as mentoring for young entrepreneurs, investments in innovation and in research and development, and securing Canada's networks.

Facebook's Small Business Boost is a series of free networking events for SMEs. The event provides the opportunity for SMEs to get advice and share best practices on understanding, expanding and managing their small businesses' identities on Facebook.

Quick facts

  • In Canada, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) employ 90 percent of the private sector workforce and account for 39 percent of GDP.
  • There were approximately 382,200 small businesses operating in British Columbia in 2013, representing about 98 percent of all businesses in the province. About 81 percent of these small businesses were micro-businesses with fewer than five employees.
  • In 2014, Vancouver was named the most entrepreneurial city in the country by Futurpreneur Canada.
  • Digital Canada 150 sets out clear goals that Canada could achieve by its 150th birthday in 2017, including initiatives to position Canadians for success in the digital economy, provide jobs, spur economic growth, accelerate innovation, access new markets and provide greater choice for consumers.
  • Under Digital Canada 150, SMEs are benefitting from
    • an additional $200-million investment to the Business Development Bank of Canada to help entrepreneurs learn about information and communications technologies and how they apply to their businesses;
    • support for up to 3,000 internships in high-demand fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics and in the skilled trades with a $40-million investment over two years, and reallocation of $15 million annually to support up to 1,000 SME internships; and
    • help for digital entrepreneurs to develop their businesses through the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program, which received $100 million in funding.
  • The new Digital Canada 150 version 2.0 outlines progress since the strategy's initial launch, as well as 31 new initiatives that build on past achievements to help Canada remain connected and competitive and be a leader in the global digital economy. Support for small businesses includes:
    • providing $14 million over two years to Futurpreneur Canada so it can continue to provide young entrepreneurs with access to financing and mentoring that will help them grow their businesses;
    • fostering entrepreneurship by supporting the Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs to help women business owners succeed;
    • aligning post-secondary programs with labour market needs through a one-time investment of $65 million to facilitate partnerships between employers and post-secondary institutions;
    • introducing the Business Number, a common business identifier that will make it easier for businesses to interact with the Government of Canada;
    • improving access to Wi-Fi-like services in rural regions so Canadians living in these areas can better connect to the Internet;
    • opening Canadian markets to new wearable technology by allowing manufacturers of such high-tech devices to use electronic labels for their safety warnings, giving Canadian consumers access to more information. Manufacturers and consumers also benefit because products can be delivered more quickly at no additional cost to manufacturers;
    • enhancing the security and resiliency of Canada's vital and essential cyber security systems to protect against potential cyber-attacks and cyber security threats to our families, companies and country; and
    • enhancing Canada's research capacity through digital research infrastructure by developing a strategy to optimize the various elements of the digital research system.

Quote

"Small and medium-sized enterprises have a big impact, both here in British Columbia and across the country. They strengthen our economy and create jobs, which is why our government is committed to supporting Canadian businesses in several ways. From streamlined regulatory requirements and cutting-edge research into new technologies, to providing opportunities for acquiring on-demand digital knowledge, these ongoing investments will position Canada's businesses among the world's leaders in digital technology adoption."

- James Moore, Minister of Industry

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Contact Information

  • Jake Enwright
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Industry
    343-291-2500

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    343-291-1777
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca