November 9, 2005
The Entrepreneurial Foundation of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Entrepreneurial Fund have been established to assist with the development and growth of small businesses in the province.
The Foundation will provide business advice, mentoring, and support services to aspiring entrepreneurs with the goal of developing investment ready business plans. These business plans will then be eligible for investments from the Fund, which will provide financing of up to $1 million for each approved proposal.
"Government made a commitment that we would establish this Foundation and Fund to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan, and we have kept that commitment," Crown Management Board Minister Pat Atkinson said. "Small business will continue to play an important role in the development of Saskatchewan's economy, so it is essential to build our entrepreneurial base, especially among our young, rural, northern and First Nations and Metis people."
Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) will provide $1.8 million in operating capital for the Foundation, and up to $25 million for the Fund over the next five years.
"We strongly believe in the need to grow our economy by developing entrepreneurial skills and providing financing for smaller business start-ups and expansions," Atkinson said. "Our research shows that there is a financing gap for projects that require up to $1 million in equity, so the Fund will fill that need."
The Foundation will be guided by a private sector Board of Directors. The board has appointed Ben Voss of Saskatoon as CEO of the Foundation, effective November 1st. Voss is a professional engineer who is also a successful young entrepreneur.
"As a veteran entrepreneur, I can testify that there is a real need for this Foundation in Saskatchewan," Voss said. "With the wealth of opportunity at our doorstep, this province can expand its vibrant business community once we equip the entrepreneurs with the tools for success. Great ideas, combined with the wisdom of our local mentors together with early-stage capital, will create a formula for prosperity."
The Fund will be managed by Prairie Financial Management of Regina, which will invest $1 million through Prairie Financial Management Capital Inc., Prairie Venture Financial Limited Partnership and SaskWorks Venture Fund. SaskCentral, on behalf of Saskatchewan's credit unions, will also invest in the Fund. Both the Foundation and the Fund will actively seek other private sector partners.
"We believe it's very important to encourage financial institutions and private sector companies to become involved in the Foundation and the Fund," Atkinson said. "We are starting these ventures as a public-private partnership, but we want the private sector to guide and build them in the years to come."
The Foundation's head office is located at Innovation Place in Saskatoon. For information about the Foundation and Fund, call toll free 1-888-964-2010.
For More Information, contact:
Crown Investments Corporation
Phone: (306) 787-5889
Cell: (306) 539-2716