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  • News
  • February 03, 2015

Fostering Student Entrepreneurship in Guelph

Ontario Partnering with the University of Guelph to Create Innovative Programs

Ontario is helping student entrepreneurs in Guelph learn business skills, access mentorship opportunities and gain hands-on experience to start and grow a business.

The province is investing $400,000 in the University of Guelph (U of G) to support its commitment to entrepreneurship through the $5 million On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities program (OCEA).

These funds will support U of G in developing the On-Campus Enterprise Centre:Centre for Business and Social Entrepreneurship (CBaSE). This centre will be the focal point for on-campus entrepreneurship activities as well as a regional connector for local start-up companies looking for assistance with applied research and development projects.

CBaSE, in partnership with Innovation Guelph, will act as a gateway between U of G and the Guelph community facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration, real world experience and measurable output.

It will support job creation and economic development opportunities by encouraging on-campus entrepreneurship and innovation, with strong ties to entrepreneurial mentors.

The OCEA program is part of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy and is being launched at universities and colleges across the province.

Supporting entrepreneurship — at any age — is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.


“Helping young entrepreneurs is another example of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy at work in Guelph and across the province. 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.”

Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation

"The launch of the On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities program at the University of Guelph will help translate the ideas of young people into tomorrow's successful businesses.  This program will foster the spirit of entrepreneurship and will encourage students to consider starting their own business as a carrier option when they graduate. This is good news for students and for Guelph's economy."

Liz Sandals, MPP Guelph

“Ontario Centres of Excellence is pleased to be able to deliver these projects 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 on-going support of young entrepreneurs in Ontario to good use in making these initiatives a tremendous success.”

Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence

“The funding will expand initiatives designed to introduce businesses and students across campus to the culture of entrepreneurship and to support more youth-led businesses.  The OCEA grant is a real testament to the value of the work we do to connect the dots between education, student enterprise and new value creation in the community.  This grant will enable our students to grow and develop their innovative businesses, providing real benefits to the community.”

----Julia Christensen Hughes, Dean of College of Business and Economics


  • Almost all postsecondary institutions across Ontario have on-campus entrepreneurship programs (42 out of 44 institutions).
  • Ontario is also investing $20 million over two years in the Campus-Linked Accelerators program to build on world-class innovation and entrepreneurial programs at campuses across the province.
  • OCEA and CLA programs are managed by Ontario Centres of Excellence.
  • Innovation Guelph is the partnering Regional Innovation Centres (RIC) for U of G.  As a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), it will act as the conduit between the university and the region’s business 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, experiences and entrepreneurial support they need to find employment or start their own businesses.
  • More than 26,000 job opportunities have already been created under the Youth Jobs Strategy.


For more information, Contact:

Jenny Waterston

Office of Liz Sandals, MPP

(519) 836-4190

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