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New tools, support for Lloydminster entrepreneurs

Small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in east central Alberta will have new support to start and grow their businesses.

The East Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network (ECARIN) will receive $250,000 over two years from the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program to increase entrepreneurial capacity in Lloydminster at the “Dreamforest” incubation space.

ECARIN helps entrepreneurs, startups and small and medium-sized businesses grow their idea by offering business and commercialization services, networking and access to funding.

“We know Alberta small businesses with incubator support have an average 25 per cent growth rate, while nationally the average growth rate is less than five per cent. That’s why we will keep working together to create new jobs and grow and diversify our economy.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

The Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program is a two-year, $10-million fund, delivered through Alberta Innovates, to increase entrepreneur development programs in new or existing small business incubators across the province.

“Alberta Innovates is proud to deliver the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator initiative throughout the province. This initiative demonstrates an intentional drive toward an entrepreneurial culture in the province, creates new firms which generate new jobs and develops new technologies and support mechanisms for the diversification and growth of our economy.”

Laura J. Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

Small business incubators give entrepreneurs access to professional business development advisers who help them move their ideas forward, navigate the innovation and commercialization support system in Alberta and nurture the development of companies during the startup period.

“Support from Alberta Innovates and the Regional Business Accelerator have been invaluable to our business. The Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program enables our community to have an incubation space just down the street that will continue to foster the entrepreneurial spirit of our region. With the launch of the AEI program through the RBA, more people will have the support they need to become prosperous business owners and enable our community to thrive.”

Brad Matthews, owner/operator, Endeavor Machining Solutions Inc.

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