Federal government announces $14M investment in Futurpreneur Canada

February 5, 2015

New investment will help non-profit organization support 2,700 new entrepreneurs 

TORONTO – (February 5, 2015) – Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that the Government of Canada will support the success of young Canadian entrepreneurs through a $14 million dollar investment in Futurpreneur Canada over two years. This investment, along with the generous contributions of corporate, government and other partners, will help an estimated 2,700 young entrepreneurs access the financing and proven programs they need to build businesses, jobs and a stronger, more competitive Canadian economy. These entrepreneurs have the potential to create 2,250 new businesses and 10,800 jobs[1].

“Young entrepreneurs have the desire and potential to fuel the job creation and growth Canada’s economy needs,” said Julia Deans, CEO, Futurpreneur Canada. “With this support we will equip thousands of young people with the skills, resources and confidence they need to launch and grow their own businesses. We’re encouraged by this investment and look forward to working with our other partners to help even more entrepreneurs.”

“Getting young entrepreneurs the learning and support they need to move forward has never been more important,” said John Risley, Chair, Board of Directors, Futurpreneur Canada and President and CEO, Clearwater Fine Foods Inc., “They are job creators, community builders, and absolutely critical to Canada’s economic future.”

Since its inception in 1996, Futurpreneur Canada has collaborated with all levels of government, corporate supporters and community partners to advance youth entrepreneurship in Canada. As a result, the organization has invested in 7,500 entrepreneurs[2], who have created an estimated 29,800 jobs and an estimated $217,000,000 in tax revenue[3].

“Today’s young entrepreneurs are essential to tomorrow’s economy,” said Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) (Agriculture). “This investment will help Futurpreneur build on their enviable record of providing mentorship and business support to Canada’s young entrepreneurs.”

“The support I have received from Futurpreneur Canada both financially and through mentoring has been instrumental in helping me build Knix Wear. Futurpreneur was there in the beginning and believed in me before banks and external investors did,” said Joanna Griffiths, founder and CEO of Knix Wear and Futurpreneur Canada entrepreneur. “Futurpreneur has connected me to a network of like-minded entrepreneurs and experienced mentors from the public and private sector. I am honoured to be called a Futurpreneur.”

“I’m proud to be one of almost 3,000 volunteer Futurpreneur Canada mentors and I am absolutely thrilled to see the government investing in Futurpreneur Canada’s mentoring, and other programs to help more young entrepreneurs launch and succeed,” said Devon Brooks, Co-Founder of Blo, and Futurpreneur Canada mentor. “As a young entrepreneur, I love being able to help other young people build successful businesses in Canada. Futurpreneur has been an incredible vessel for me to give back to the entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

Today’s announcement was made at an event in Brampton, Ontario, which was hosted by Spin Master, a long-time partner of Futurpreneur Canada, in collaboration with UTi.

For more information about Futurpreneur Canada, please visit staging.futurpreneur.ca, like Futurpreneur on Facebook and follow @Futurpreneur on Twitter.

To see the impact of Futurpreneur Canada’s programs on young entrepreneurs, read the real stories of small business success at Futurpreneur.ca/getinspired

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About Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, or CYBF) has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for nearly two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of The Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. staging.futurpreneur.ca. Facebook: Futurpreneur Twitter: @Futurpreneur

For interview opportunities and media inquiries, please contact:

Meghan Paton

Futurpreneur Canada

416-408-2923 x 2207


[1] Based on Futurpreneur Canada surveys conducted in 2009 and 2012

[2] From inception in 1996 to December 31, 2014

[3] Based on Futurpreneur Canada surveys conducted in 2009 and 2012