Business Growth Initiative
Rapid changes in technology and globalization are reshaping Ontario’s economy. The Business Growth Initiative is the government’s new economic strategy to fast-track Ontario’s knowledge-based economy by tapping into the creativity, education and skills of our people.
The strategy will commit $650 million over the next five years and leverage Ontario’s highly skilled workforce to compete through innovation.
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The Business Growth Initiative will focus on:
- Growing business: helping small and medium-sized businesses grow and expand to compete in international markets
- Creating an innovation-driven economy: accelerating Ontario’s transition to the 21st century, innovation-driven economy that thrives on the initiative, creativity, education and skills of its people
- Modernizing Ontario’s regulatory system: removing regulatory barriers to growth and establishing new, modern regulatory practices
Modernizing Ontario’s regulatory system
To help build a smarter regulatory environment for businesses we are updating our Open for Business strategy to include:
- a Red Tape Challenge — a public consultation for Ontarians to identify and work with the government to reduce regulatory burdens while protecting public interest
- a Regulatory Centre of Excellence to identify regulatory best practices from around the globe and promote them in the province
- a Regulatory Modernization Committee to oversee the review of our existing regulatory environment
- a Government Modernization Fund that will help improve service delivery and regulatory processes for businesses owners
- a Regulatory Burden Reduction Team to address regulatory bottlenecks
Supporting business growth
Small and medium-sized businesses are an important part of Ontario’s business landscape, but often face challenges as they look to expand into new markets and grow. The Business Growth Initiative will:
- help businesses develop, test and model innovative solutions for government
- support businesses’ competitiveness by increasing access to the capital, resources and expertise they need to grow
Ontario Tech Opportunities Platform
Selling your products and services to the public sector is an excellent way to grow your business. The Government of Ontario is seeking to benefit from the talent available in the province’s small- and medium-sized tech-focused companies.
The Ontario Tech Opportunities Platform on Magnet can provide your technology-focused small or medium business with government resources, tailored to meet your company’s needs. Answer a few questions to create your company’s profile and receive customized information about procurement opportunities, networking events and conferences.
Small business innovation challenge
Develop an innovative solution to a public-sector challenge through the new small business innovation challenge (SBIC) program.
If you run a small- or medium-sized company in Ontario, you can submit a proposal to develop, test and demonstrate technology that helps us deliver better services and programs.
In partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence, the program will have two phases:
- Phase 1 – feasibility and merit (up to $100,000 in funding)
- Phase 2 – product development and demonstration (up to $1,000,000 in funding)
The total amount of funding available through the SBIC is $28.8 million.
Read about the current challenges and apply through the SBIC Expression of Interest.
Companies that successfully complete phase 2 may be invited to test their solutions in a real-world setting through an optional prototype procurement phase. Information on prototype procurement will be available after phase 2.
Ontario scale-up voucher program (OSVP)
Eligible companies can get:
- specialized scale-up advisory help to develop and execute a tailored growth plan
- some companies may also be eligible for a voucher (grant) of up to $250,000 to overcome specific scale-up challenges
To be eligible for the program companies must generate between $1 million and $50 million in revenue, and be in the following sectors:
- clean technology
- internet and communications technology (ICT)
- advanced materials and manufacturing
- life science
The OSVP is delivered by MaRS Discovery District, in partnership with Invest Ottawa and Communitech.
Apply for the Ontario scale-up vouchers program.
Creating an innovation-driven economy
The Business Growth Initiative will make significant investments in innovation and research and development (R&D), including the commercialization and adoption of new disruptive technologies (e.g artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and the Internet of things). Initiatives include:
- technology hubs within existing industrial clusters (e.g., biochemical, auto sector, clean technology and mining) where we already have a competitive advantage
- partnerships among businesses, universities and colleges that promote, nurture and reward innovation, new technologies, products and services
- a one-window point of entry or strategic investment office to attract investment, improve licences and permits, better coordinate services and expand site-selection services