Two out of the five sections of the Federal Budget released yesterday increase provisions for innovative Canadian start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs. In fact, Chapter 3.1 is titled: “Supporting Entrepreneurs, Innovation and World-Class Research”
In addition to significant investment into skills; plans to open up trade and enhance global market and skills connectivity; investments in major industry and infrastructure development projects; and, incentives to encourage commercialization of R&D and build university / industry linkages, the Budget also commits to strengthening and giving permanence to centres that work (i.e. Centres of Excellence Network) and revisiting the delivery model, programs and mandate of Regional Development Agencies.
So what exactly is in the budget for entrepreneurs?
- $400m to help increase private sector investment in early-stage risk capital
- $100m to the BDC to support VC and the growth of Canadian high-growth firms
- $110m / year to double support for innovative small businesses through IRAP
- $14m over 2 years to double the Industrial Research Development Internship Program delivered through Mitacs
- A series of reductions to SR&ED tax credits totally $1.3B over four years
- $205m to extend the temporary hiring credit for Small Business
- $95 million over 3 years, starting in 2013-14, and $40m / year thereafter for the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program to connect innovative SMEs to federal departments through procurement
- $50m over 2 years to the Youth Employment Strategy to assist more young people to get skills and experience
- Announcement of a new Business Immigration Vision to attract innovative entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Canada
Without raising taxes, the Budget commits to supporting small businesses while the Government itself works to become more efficient by modernizing and streamlining processes, eliminating programs that are no longer needed or which do not work, and by being entrepreneurial.
During the Startup Canada Town Hall Kick Off in Halifax last Monday, one participant said that “Organizations that support small businesses should function as businesses”, in being innovative, efficient and committed to ROI and customer satisfaction. At a local meet up with Ottawa entrepreneurs in the Market district last night, entrepreneurs across Ottawa were positive about the budget and its focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.
Startup Canada welcomes the March 2012 Budgets and looks forward to continuing to inspire, support and celebrate Canadian entrepreneurship as we move across Canada over the next eight months to engage 25,000 Canadians in developing a collective vision and strategy to drive forward Canadian entrepreneurship. In working with our partners across sectors, industries, regions and generation, our hope is that Canada will soon own the global podium for entrepreneurs.
Startup Canada is about fostering a more entrepreneurial culture from our very foundation – making entrepreneurship and innovation an undeniable part of the Canadian DNA. We need our entrepreneurs to know that their country is behind them so that they can move forward with greater confidence and vision – we need our entrepreneurs to THINK BIGGER.
While there will be sizeable cuts to Government, particularly in the National Capital Region – Entrepreneurship provides an uplifting message for the future.
eThor, a Calgary-based start-up was named the most innovative start-up on the planet at the Global Technology Symposium in Silicon Valley on Wednesday. eThor Founder Gary Zeigler noted that “Starting a company is not for the faint of heart…You need persistence to keep moving toward your goal…Entrepreneurs need to be flexible, fearless and nimble”.
Our hope is that the 2012 Budget will support innovative Canadian start-ups like eThor to grow and remain anchored in Canada whilst they grow their global market.
A good budget for Canadian entrepreneurs. Congratulations eThor, Canada is proud of you!
“Over $400M for early stage funding in federal budget” – ITBusiness.ca, March 29, 2012
“Federal Budget diverts research funding to commercial innovation” – ITBusiness.ca , March 29, 2012