There’s a new way to support rural entrepreneurs, thanks to the launch of a partnership between WETechAlliance and Libro Credit Union.
Innovation Outposts are being set up across Essex County and Chatham-Kent, using business and community spaces to connect the people behind local startups and businesses. The program will host regular events and support business development through education and better links to other support groups and programs.
“We realize that our region’s entrepreneurs, particularly those in more rural areas, have access to fewer resources than their peers in urban areas and face greater challenges in starting and scaling their companies,” said Adam Frye, Director of Operations and Partnerships at WETechAlliance.
The Innovation Outposts program builds upon the success of a six-year partnership between WETechAlliance and Libro Credit Union.
“We want to empower entrepreneurs and their communities by connecting them to each other and to the regional resource network and bridging the rural innovation divide,” said Lori Atkinson, Libro’s Regional Manager in Windsor-Essex. “We believe rural entrepreneurship is a key element to rural revitalization and regional economic impact and prosperity.”
Natalie Close, Libro Regional Manager for Lambton, Kent and Middlesex Counties, said: “This is about creating opportunities to succeed, and making sure people with great ideas can make them work, wherever they are. It’s vital for rural economies to have supports like this, and it aligns well with Libro’s many years working with the rural community, especially in agriculture.”
For the next year, there will be Innovation Outposts hosting events in Amherstburg, Chatham-Kent, Lakeshore and Kingsville.
A launch networking event is scheduled at each location, starting with a Chatham Outpost event at SOAR Innovation on May 25th, and an Amherstburg Outpost event at Happier Camper Trailers and Espresso Bar on May 31st. All entrepreneurs, business owners, leaders, potential entrepreneurs, students, and community members are invited.