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Innovation centre gets business funding

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre will launch pilot programs to help small enterprises.
The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre is excited to receive a nearly $700,000 investment from FedNor to assist two new pilot projects for youth in business. Supplied photo

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NOIC) has received close to $700,000 in funding to support innovative, small and medium sized businesses, and youth recruitment and retention.

Of the $698,400 in funding, $499,000 will support the launch of the Business Growth and Talent Development project. Through this initiative, innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in northwestern Ontario will have access to funding to help them hire young professional employees for 15-month placements.

The goal of the project is to assist companies with business growth and market development.

The remaining $199,400 will enable the innovation centre to introduce its Youth Effect project that will provide entrepreneurial, innovative youth (aged 18-29) with experiential learning and training through 15-week placements with innovative small and medium-sized enterprises.

Under this program, SMEs that identify a need for support with a specific project will be matched with qualified youth based on their skills, interest, and need. The project is expected to lead to full-time employment for many of the participants.

"At the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre, we like to develop and lead new projects, cool ideas, and activities that can positively impact our region and its people,” said Brian Ktytor, the innovation centre’s president, in a release.

“We are thrilled that the Government of Canada, through FedNor, is helping us deliver on our mission to create jobs by supporting innovative entrepreneurs, and contribute to the long-term economic growth of Northwestern Ontario."

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre is located on the Confederation College campus in Thunder Bay.