FedDev Ontario Stream 3: Community Economic Development and Diversification

Rural innovation and growth in Southern Ontario

FedDev Ontario is dedicating $100 million over the next three years, from its funding streams, for projects in rural southern Ontario that:

  • Promote business scale-up and diversification;
  • Lead to increased business, talent and investment attractions
  • Foster innovation, technology adoption and digital connectivity;
  • Leverage local assets;
  • Connect smaller communities to the globally competitive economies.

Support is available to businesses, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous organizations, economic development organizations, including Community Futures Development Corporations that are driving innovation and growth, municipalities and other innovation enablers located in rural southern Ontario.

Scope & Objectives

The Community Economic Development and Diversification Stream aims to develop, diversify and transform local economies by promoting small business development, community innovation and strategic collaborations.

Through this Stream, FedDev Ontario seeks to enable communities to leverage their economic strengths and unique assets to:

  • Enhance business attraction, investment, retention and employment opportunities in southern Ontario communities.
  • Develop and expand collaborative efforts that strengthen regional competitiveness.
  • Support regional businesses, hubs and communities with the goal of economic diversification, integration and transformation.

FedDev Ontario will make targeted investments to support the development and diversification of communities, including those in transition or facing economic hardship and decline. These investments aim to generate sustainable, inclusive growth and help small and rural communities in southern Ontario to fully participate in, and benefit from economic opportunities.

II. Eligible Activities

FedDev Ontario is targeting investments structured around the following activities:

Strengthening Community Ecosystems

Projects will normally enable not-for-profit organizations to improve economic outcomes by addressing gaps or opportunities in the community, and support the advancement of underrepresented groups.

Examples of eligible project activities could include:

  • Developing and/or expanding collaborations that: connect smaller communities with larger firms or supply chains in urban centres, innovation centres, business consortia or other innovation platforms; enable communities or firms to work with post-secondary and research institutions; and/or, support small communities to attract investment to their region.
  • Business attraction, growth and retention programs and services, including supply chain development and succession planning.
  • Business incubators and accelerators addressing needs at a sub-regional or community level.
  • Supporting businesses through programs and services, including training and mentoring.
  • Development of new technologies, processes, prototypes, testbeds and/or commercially relevant technology platforms.
  • Improving the availability of risk capital in the region, including by establishing or capitalizing an investment fund.
  • The implementation of community and/or regional action plans.

Businesses Supporting Resilient Communities

Projects will normally support legally incorporated businesses that foster community economic diversification and transformation. These projects would improve productivity, capacity and competiveness of businesses to increase employment and growth opportunities, as well as enhance the resilience of communities.

Examples of eligible project activities could include:

  • Facilities improvement or expansion to support greater economic diversification.
  • Adoption of new equipment.
  • Market development, diversification and expansion.

Other activities deemed reasonable to support the transformation and diversification for communities facing economic challenges.

We can help with your strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca