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Western Innovation Initiative - Call For Proposals

(Le français suit)

Re: Western Innovation Initiative – Call for Proposals

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) recently launched the Western Innovation Initiative (WINN) to assist SMEs in commercializing new technology-based products, processes and services.

WINN is a $100 million, five-year federal funding initiative that provides repayable contributions to SME’s located in Western Canada.  WINN compliments our existing programs and supports an environment where local businesses can thrive and innovate.

WINN seeks to enhance Canada’s business advantages and encourage the private sector to bring new ideas to market.  Full details are available online at

Western Economic Diversification Canada

Objet : Initiative d’innovation dans l’Ouest – Appel de propositions

Diversification de l’économie de l’Ouest Canada (DEO) a récemment lancé l’Initiative d’innovation dans l’Ouest (Initiative InnO) pour aider les PME à commercialiser de nouveaux produits, procédés et services technologiques.

L’Initiative InnO est une initiative fédérale de 100 millions de dollars sur cinq ans qui offre des contributions remboursables à des PME de l’Ouest canadien. L’Initiative InnO s’ajoute à nos programmes courants et crée un environnement dans lequel les entreprises locales peuvent croître et innover.

L’Initiative InnO vise à accroître l’avantage concurrentiel du Canada et à encourager le secteur privé à commercialiser des idées novatrices. Vous trouverez tous les renseignements au sujet de l’Initiative sur le site Web de DEO à l’adresse

Diversification de l’économie de l’Ouest Canada

Symbol of the Government of Canada | Symbole du gouvernement du Canada

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CFDCCO - CYBF Partnership

A New Partnership BEtween the canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) and






Coming together to support youth entrepreneurship

Kelowna, BC, October 23 – The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Okanagan. The creation of this partnership will ensure that all eligible young entrepreneurs throughout the Central Okanagan can benefit from the CYBF program.

CYBF offers young entrepreneurs age 18-39 a start-up package of mentorship and financing of up to $15,000 via low interest rate start-up financing and may qualify for a match or double match of financing up to $30,000 via CYBF’s partnership with BDC- Business Development Bank of Canada. CYBF is able to deliver these programs across the country through important community partnerships with organizations such as Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Okanagan.

“We are thrilled to be working with Community Futures Development Corporation to reach more young entrepreneurs in this territory who are starting businesses. The proven combination of inexpensive financing and mentorship will contribute significantly to the success of these small businesses, and ultimately the community.” says Mike Porter, Manager of Business Development for BC and Yukon at CYBF.

“Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Okanagan is excited to take the lead as CYBF’s Community Partner for the Central Okanagan and deliver this valuable program targeting Okanagan entrepreneurs under the age of 40. The CYBF program will provide more information and solutions to one of the questions we hear most at Community Futures – where can I get advice and start-up funding for my business?,” says Larry Widmer, General Manager of Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Okanagan.

For more information and assistance about a CYBF loan through Community Futures call Scott Carlson 250-868-2132 ext 227 or to find more information about CYBF please visit


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Central Okanagan business walkers hear a familiar refrain


The song remains the same for Central Okanagan businesses - recruitment and retention of employees is still a major issue.

Once again, that was the predominant feeling of business owners and operators interviewed during this week's second full Business Walk in the Central Okanagan. (An industry specific walk focussing on manufacturing was held in May.)

According to walk coordinator Corie Griffiths, business development officer with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, more than 380 businesses were visited and interviewed briefly by 27 teams of "walkers" Tuesday, about 50 more than the the 320 visited last year.

This year the walk included areas in Peachland, West Kelowna, the Westbank First Nation reserve, Lake Country and three areas in Kelowna—downtown, Rutland and South Pandosy, with South Pandosy being new this year.

Griffiths said she was not surprised that employee recruitment and retention was once again a central concern for businesses here as our demographic has more people leaving the workforce here than entering it.

She said while the numbers are preliminary, it appears that the number of owners and operators reporting business as steady or improving this year is about the same as last year. In 2012, 88 per cent of those visited by the walk teams had the optimistic outlook.

One of the businesses visited in South Pandosy was Leo's Videos, one of just two movie rental stores left in the city.

Owner Leo Bartel's said he was happy to see the walk team and glad it had provincial, as wel as municipal and Community Futures representation.

He said business has been picking up in the last year but still is not where is was during the recession.

Still, he said improvements to the South Pandosy business district has helped attract more people and that has been god to see.

A full public report on the 2013 Business Walk is expected to be complete within the next few weeks.

Griffith said this year, there was a stronger participation by politicians, with two of the three local MLAs, Norm Letnick and Steve Thomson joining walk teams, as well as MP Ron Cannan and several Kelowna city councillors. City staff also participated, as well as other provincial and local representatives and business people.

And the business walk concept  appears to be catching on elsewhere.

While the province now uses it as a tool in its resources for small business, at the same time as the walk was happening here, there was also a business walk taking place in Vernon.

Griffiths said the EDC here shared its information with its counterpart in Vernon and it was decided to do a pilot walk there this year to gauge the business climate in the north Okanagan city as well.

see full story at :

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HuStream Secures $125K in Growth Capital from Community Futures

HuStream Logo PNG large




September 11, 2013

HuStream today announces that they have secured $125K in growth capital from Community Futures.  The company is preparing to expand operations and establish their presence as the dominant market leaders for Interactive Video.

”We have a fairly aggressive growth strategy planned for the next 12 months,” says Peter Matejcek, Co-Founder & CEO for HuStream. “This funding is an essential piece to ensure we hire the right people to hit our goals.” HuStream plans growth in two key areas – Sales and Marketing – with strategies for both departments aimed at pure revenue generation and accelerating HuStream’s industry presence.  “The market for our innovative Interactive Video product has firmed up, and with 90+ clients and 5 years of operations under our belt we have the opportunity to be the dominant player in our industry.” adds Matejcek.

In July of 2013, the Loan and Investment Review Committee for Community Futures voted unanimously in support of the funding.  “HuStream has smartly positioned itself for substantial growth.” Says Scott Carlson, Business Analyst for Community Futures.  “Its contagiously passionate management team impressed us with their thoughtful business strategy and eye for detail.  It was an easy decision for us to assist with financing to help accelerate their growth.”

About HuStream
Founded in 2008, HuStream is a pioneer in the creation of innovative Interactive Videos and have worked with world-class organizations that include Microsoft, Intel, Lenovo, Sage, as well as local companies Tourism Kelowna, RDCO, and Accelerate Okanagan.


About Community Futures Development Corporation
The Community Futures Development Corporation of the Central Okanagan is a community based organization funded primarily by Western Economic Diversification Canada. Programs are governed by a volunteer board of local business professionals and community leaders. Founded in 1990, the Central Okanagan office has made 837 loans for a total of over $19 million to help start or expand businesses in the Central Okanagan.

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