Capital entrepreneurs program receives $2 million from province

Posted on Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A $2 million investment by the Government of Ontario's Campus-Linked Accelerators (CLA) program will support a new Capital Entrepreneurs program that will strengthen the capacity of local postsecondary institutions to support entrepreneurial youth.

Capital Entrepreneurs is a partnership among Carleton University, the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College dedicated to making Ottawa the best place to start and grow a business in Canada. The program, which is supported by Invest Ottawa, builds on the strengths of the three institutions, their alumni and their experienced entrepreneurs working in the community.

The collaboration is one of 10 approved CLAs in Ontario, which support entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems.

"Helping young entrepreneurs is another example of Ontario's Youth Jobs Strategy at work,” said the Honourable Reza Moridi, minister of research and innovation. “These programs will help harness their ideas, their vision and their enthusiasm and turn them into jobs for today and for tomorrow. Their innovative spirit will build Ontario's future.”

A goal of the program is to provide youth aged 19 to 29 with broader access to entrepreneurial supports in the community. The educational outcomes will focus on mentorship and moving youths' concepts from acceleration and incubation to creating institution-based, youth-driven and community-based startups in Ottawa.

The CLA program is an initiative of the Government of Ontario under the Youth Jobs Strategy and is managed by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). CLAs are partnerships between universities and colleges and the province's Regional Innovation Centres. OCE is a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE).

“The support of the CLA program to the Capital Entrepreneurs program enhances the uOttawa investment in our Entrepreneurship Hub programs. This regional partnership complements the entrepreneurship strengths of three postsecondary institutions. Together with Invest Ottawa, we are committed to driving creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and community engagement for our youth, our students and our region,” said University of Ottawa President Allan Rock.

“The $2 million dollar grant to Carleton University, the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College places students first. It will provide support to launch and grow youth-led businesses, strengthen Ontario's ecosystem for young entrepreneurs and enhance the educational and training experiences of our students. We expect the main outcomes to be more jobs for youth and a more competitive Ontario,” said Carleton President Roseann O'Reilly Runte.

“With these resources, we can engage more students and youth in hands-on entrepreneurial opportunities,” says Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen. “Algonquin is proud of the way we open our doors to the Ottawa community and we thank the government for supporting our efforts. We look forward to working with Carleton University and the University of Ottawa through Capital Entrepreneurs to grow the innovative spirit and mindset within our community.”

Ontario is investing $295 million over two years in the Youth Jobs Strategy to help 30,000 more young people from across the province connect with the tools, experience and entrepreneurial support they need to find employment or start their own businesses. More than 20,000 job opportunities have already been created to date under the Youth Jobs Strategy.

“Ontario Centres of Excellence is pleased to be able to deliver this project as a trusted partner of the Government of Ontario. I look forward to putting our years of experience in connecting academia and industry, and our ongoing support of young entrepreneurs to good use in making this initiative a tremendous success,” said Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO of OCE.

Funded by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs is Ontario's innovation system. The ONE is made up of regional and sector focused organizations designed to help Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their companies and create jobs. For more information, visit

Media inquiries

Caroline Milliard
Manager, Media Relations
613-562-5800 ext. 3087

Chris Cline
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600 ext. 1391

Phil Gaudreau
Communications Officer
Algonquin College
613-727-4723 ext. 2091

Back to top