Million-dollar grant to fund EPICentre support for youth entrepreneurship

A multi-disciplinary UWindsor program to support young people in the early years of their entrepreneurial careers has received a $1.1 million grant from the Government of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy.

The Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) received the monies through the $20 million campus-linked acceleration program, fostering partnerships between Ontario universities and local regional innovation centres. In Windsor, EPICentre will partner with the WETech Alliance to expand the regional capacity to support entrepreneurs.

UWindsor vice-president of research and innovation, K.W. Michael Siu, said he expects the funding to provide opportunities to significantly accelerate the growth of youth-led ventures.

“This program will allow our Windsor-Essex youth to develop and hone their entrepreneurial skills, as well as build their business and support networks,” he said. “These assets will give our youth a better chance to be able to succeed and prosper in the region after their graduation, and the skills are entirely portable should they choose to go elsewhere.”

Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among students is a key component of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, according to Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

“By partnering with colleges and universities to support entrepreneurship, we are ensuring our province’s business leaders of tomorrow are getting the support they need to succeed today,” he said.