7 Reasons Why Start-ups Thrive in Windsor-Essex

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Start-ups thrive in windsor essex
Hishaam Pahary, Managing Director, Cemento Inc. (manufacturer of cement decorative tiles), received a Starter Company Plus grant
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WindsorEssex Small Business Centre offers programs to support entrepreneurs.

Innovation Ecosystem

Windsor and Essex County’s rich ecosystem of resources designed to support new businesses is nurturing a flourishing entrepreneurial spirit in the region, says Shannon Dyck, interim manager of the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre a department of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation.

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“A decade ago entrepreneurs were born out of desperation, out of losing jobs and needing to put food on their table,” said Dyck. “Now, we’re seeing businesses born out of a desire; it’s a career decision to explore entrepreneurship and work for themselves. And we wouldn’t have the extensive ecosystem if there wasn’t such a growing entrepreneurial spirit.”

Young people, in particular, are flocking to Small Business Centre programs and services, adds Dyck. “We’re seeing a lot of youth,” she said. “A summer company program provides a grant for high school, university and college students interested in entrepreneurship. What we’re seeing is a growing number of young entrepreneurs trying to start-up a tech business.”

In addition to the influx of youth looking at entrepreneurship, the Small Business Centre’s Starter Company Plus program is very appealing to residents looking for career changes and considering opening their own business as an option. Starter Company Plus provides training, mentoring and grant funding and in each quarter, we see over 40 people go through the training. In 2017, over $50,000 in Starter Company Plus grant funding was provided to support small business start-ups in the region.

The Small Business Centre’s range of services crosses all sectors and includes everything from one- on-one consultations, developing business plans to workshops and programs on such topics as taxes, sales and marketing. For more information, go to: http://www. windsoressexsmallbusiness.com/.

7 Resources for budding entrepreneurs:

The Accelerator: is an entrepreneurial ecosystem with co- working spaces specifically designed to help accelerate the growth of start-ups and emerging businesses, featuring on- site training and mentoring programs in a truly collaborative environment.

WEtech Alliance: One of eighteen Regional Innovation Centres
in Ontario, and funded by the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs. WEtech provides an extensive roster of programs, advisory services and training to clients and members in the technology and innovation sectors in the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions.

EpiCentre/Epic Genesis: located at the University of Windsor and St. Clair College campuses, provides skills, tools and a network to entrepreneurs and professionals to launch and grow economic and social initiatives. Services include: in-class education, mentorship, workshops and extra-curricular events and activities.This unique partnership between the University and College gives entrepreneurs access to the cutting- edge expertise from both institutions.

Windsor Essex Capital Angel Network: WECAN is a not for profit corporation focused on business funding opportunities with the goal of sourcing quality early stage investment opportunities and presenting them to a like-minded community of angel investors.

Business Resource Centre of Essex County: is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing business financing and counseling to entrepreneurs in rural Essex County.

Workforce WindsorEssex: Their mandate is to plan, facilitate and advocate for regional workforce development, defined as the development, retention, and recruitment of a wide range of skilled workers to meet the current and future economic and social development needs of Windsor-Essex.

Hackforge: A non-profit organization focused on technology. A member-driven organization,
who hosts events and programming for beginners, professionals, and hobbyists. It operates as an event space, community workshop, and co- working space.

If you require more information about this story or the Windsor-Essex Region, please connect with one of the business professionals at Windsor-Essex Economic Development Department who will assist you with location and investment decisions – please email info@choosewindsoressex.com or visit Choose Windsor Essex