Minister of State Bernier Announces Funding to Support Young Entrepreneurs

October 20, 2011

Montréal, Quebec, October 18, 2011—The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), today announced that the Government of Canada is investing $20 million in funding over two years to enable the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) to continue its important support to young entrepreneurs.

“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting young entrepreneurs as they are vital to Canada’s economic growth,” said Minister of State Bernier. “This investment will help kick-start an estimated 1,000 new businesses in Canada over the next two years.”

The $20-million investment was provided through Budget 2011, The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan—A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth. Small businesses are a key driver of Canada’s economy, accounting for about 98 percent of all business establishments in the country and about two-thirds of the private sector workforce. Small and medium-sized businesses have continued to create jobs while strengthening our economic recovery.

“The Canadian Youth Business Foundation is grateful to the Government of Canada for its ongoing commitment to young entrepreneurs,” said Vivian Prokop, Chief Executive Officer of CYBF, widely considered the go-to organization driving youth entrepreneurship in Canada. “This contribution will help CYBF to continue to support the ideas, the innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit of Canada’s youth and enable us to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of young people to generate ideas, expand innovation and create jobs and wealth in communities from coast to coast to coast.”

CYBF provides financial support and mentorship to young Canadians who want to start their own business. The combination of access to capital and the support of a mentor are key to the success of the entrepreneur. As a national charity established in 1996, CYBF has invested in approximately 4,500 young Canadians who have established successful businesses and created some 17,850 new jobs.

For more information on the CYBF, visit the CYBF website (

For further information (media only), please contact:

Scott French
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Media Relations
Industry Canada