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Diverse and sustainable

Federal, provincial governments announce $1.3 million for Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship

By Susan White

New funding from the provincial and federal governments will help foster entrepreneurship at Memorial University.

At an event held today at the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship (MCE), the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) announced it is contributing $1 million over three years for MCE programming that targets students who want to learn about entrepreneurship and start their own businesses.

The provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII) is also contributing $375,000.

‘Foundation and future’

“Memorial University students, with their diverse backgrounds and disciplines, represent the foundation and future of entrepreneurship and innovation in our province, one which will contribute to an economically diverse and sustainable Newfoundland and Labrador,” said President Gary Kachanoski.

A federal and provincial funding announcement for the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship took place Aug. 22.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

“We’re thankful that the federal and provincial governments recognize the importance of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship as a key player in the province’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and we look forward to continuing to play a role in developing entrepreneurs who will contribute to the economic and social development of our province and our country.”

The MCE provides entrepreneurial students with access to foundational entrepreneurship training and startup funding while providing guidance, support and opportunities to engage with the business community.

“This investment supports the excellent work taking place at the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship.” — Nick Whalen

Over the next three years, MCE will work to foster new student startups through workshops and events, mentorship, pitch competitions, entrepreneurial work terms and internships, and through research on topics related to the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Memorial and throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

Since launching in 2016, the centre has grown from an initial intake of 20 students to now providing programming to more than 300 students each year.

To date, MCE has offered 67 entrepreneurial work terms and provided $159,000 in funding to help student entrepreneurs develop new business ideas.

‘Attract, inspire and engage’

Nick Whalen, member of Parliament, St. John’s East, represented Navdeep Bains, minister responsible for ACOA, at the event.

“Navigating the various stages of business development – from idea generation to financing to startup – can be challenging for any new entrepreneur,” said Mr. Whalen. “This investment supports the excellent work taking place at the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship to guide university students through these stages, and to connect them with business mentors and other invaluable resources along the way.”

Christopher Mitchelmore, minister, TCII, also spoke at the event.

“Our Business Innovation Agenda and the Technology Work Plan foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in this province,” he said. “Support for the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship will attract, inspire and engage even more graduate and undergraduate students to experience entrepreneurship, and help ensure that early-stage startups receive the support they need.”

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