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Startup Canada, an entrepreneur-led non-profit organization this week unveiled its first flagship venture: Startup Canada Communities. (Christian J. Stewart/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Startup Canada, an entrepreneur-led non-profit organization this week unveiled its first flagship venture: Startup Canada Communities. (Christian J. Stewart/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Small Business Briefing

Startup Canada launches coast-to-coast community initiative Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

Startup Canada launches communities iniative

Startup Canada, an entrepreneur-led non-profit organization this week unveiled its first flagship venture: Startup Canada Communities.

The program – which kicks off in 15 pilot communities across the country – gives entrepreneurs access to mentors, co-working space, workshops, networking, funding and support to start and grow their businesses as well as to connect with other startup founders.

Since it launched in 2012, Startup Canada has attracted more than 30,000 entrepreneurs and 300 partners. The communities initiative comes as a response to thousands of entrepreneurs who called for stronger, more connected and more active local startup communities to accelerate their success.

“We are uniting and harnessing the momentum of the Startup Canada movement...to inspire, support, and provide constant encouragement to entrepreneurs,” said Victoria Lennox, CEO of Startup Canada in a press release.

With its goal of positioning Canada "as a beacon for entrepreneurs worldwide," Startup Canada seems to heading in the right direction. But it should proceed with caution. As Techvibes reminds us, the crowdfunding campaign they held last winter fell “embarrassingly short of its goal despite all the hype surrounding the movement.” Hopefully Communities won't meet the same fate.

Ontario budget 2013 good for small business

“I would describe the budget as encouraging,” said Plamen Petkov, Ontario director of the Canadian Federation of Small Business. “They kept spending under 1 per cent, in line with our recommendation .The deficit is down to $9.8-billion (from a projected $14.5-billion for 2012-13).”

The minority Liberal government unveiled their budget on Thursday. Its goals were to balance the province’s books by 2017 and to convince the New Democrats to keep the minority government in office.

One of the breaks for small business involves a sweeping exemption from the employer health tax – a per-employee tax that helps fund the health care system, reports The Globe’s Richard Blackwell. He writes: “all companies are exempt from paying the tax on the first $400,000 of their payrolls. Beginning Jan. 1, small businesses will see the threshold rise to $450,000, and this level will be adjusted for inflation.”

The move would save up to 60,000 small businesses as much as $975 each, according to budget documents.

Fast-growing. Women-led.

This week, the sixth annual list of the 50 fastest-growing women-owned businesses released by the Women’s Presidents’ Organization. And while the gender gap still exists in entrepreneurship in Canada, the list does offer some bright news: the companies that made the list generated a combined $3.2-billion in 2012 revenues and employ an average of 641 employees each.

To read bite-sized summaries of the top ten businesses, check out this article on Entrepreneur.com.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

C100-NE to host Atlantic Venture Forum in June

C100-NE, a Boston-based group dedicated to helping Canadian tech and biotech companies navigate the New England startup community, will be hosting a forum in Halifax this June. The Atlantic Venture Forum will be a chance for Maritime startups to learn from entrepreneurs invested in the Northeastern U.S.’s thriving startup community. The event will take place June 19 and 20 at the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax. Register on the event website.

Startup Weekend Calgary ups its game

The next Startup Weekend Calgary event is planned for July 12 to 14. “This next edition ... will have a bigger focus on enterprise and B2B applications,” says Lloyed Lobo, partner at Boast Capital and one of the organizers. Houston’s SURGE Accelerator, which has a focus on energy software, is awarding a prize to Best Energy Tech Startup. Best Enterprise Startup and Best Consumer startup will also be awarded at the event. Early bird tickets are now on sale.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Success stories lure U.S. investors to Canada

In 2012, six of the 25 largest venture capital deals in North America involved Canadian companies

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Video: Animation studio gives Hamilton a creative edge

From 'Backyardigans' to 'Grossology,' Pipeline Studios has a reputation for creating witty and fun animated series for the whole family. Mac Holyoke, one of the company's partners, talks about why they decided to leave Oakville in favour of Hamilton and how the city has made them feel welcome

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com.

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