Charlottetown – Premier Wade MacLauchlan today announced a Liberal Government will foster job creation by harnessing the creativity and work ethic of Islanders to grow a culture of entrepreneurship.
“New entrepreneurs and existing small businesses are our most important source of job creation and economic generation,” said the Premier. “Our long term economic growth depends on building, and supporting, a world-class culture of entrepreneurship in our province.”
A New Liberal Government will implement the following plan to help existing and future Island entrepreneurs succeed:
- Work in collaboration with our communities, regional development organizations, federal partners and important organizations, such as Junior Achievement, to implement a comprehensive Entrepreneurship Strategy for the Province of PEI;
- Support small business owners by: reducing red tape, continuing programs focused on marketing and business expansion, and placing greater emphasis on gaining access to capital during critical growth phases;
- Expand the highly successful “Ignition Program,” which provides entrepreneurs with $25,000 in funding to start their businesses;
- Implement an important recommendation of the Island Advance Task Force, which was to improve access to capital during the start-up years as a key way to accelerate entrepreneurial activity. A Liberal Government will work with experienced private sector investors to jointly establish “Start-up PEI”, an investment fund targeted at growth-oriented Island companies. Our goal is to finance Start-up PEI on a cost-shared basis with private sector investors and our Federal Government partners with the fund being managed by a private sector board of directors;
- Work with post-secondary institutions to develop low cost “entrepreneurship spaces” in existing facilities where recent graduates can launch new start-up businesses. Eligible graduates who launch knowledge-based businesses in these spaces will be provided with a rebate of all provincial corporate taxes during the first three years of operation;
- Advance the Self-Employment Program that currently assists approximately 125 Islanders per year in transitioning from unemployment to launching their own small business;
- Build a greater culture of entrepreneurship in our education system;
- Help PEI businesses finance growth and expansion by using our PEI Community Business Development Program which redirects Islanders RRSP contributions, in a tax efficient manner, into PEI businesses; and
- With a focus on engaging our youth, do more to embrace and celebrate small business role models and entrepreneurial success stories.
“This strategy builds on success and incorporates a range of exciting new initiatives to push PEI to the forefront as a place where entrepreneurship is nurtured, valued and celebrated,” said the Premier. “A greater focus on our small and start-up businesses will create long-term economic success for our Province and new job opportunities for Islanders.”
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