Ontario is introducing two new programs to support job creation and economic growth by helping small-and medium-sized businesses across the province compete globally and keep pace with rapid technological change.

Today, Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth, spoke to the Canadian Club and highlighted new programs announced Monday in the 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review:

  • The Small Business Innovation Challenge will provide small- and medium-sized businesses with opportunities to develop and implement innovative technology solutions to public sector challenges. Through real-world testing of products and solutions, companies will be better positioned to market their new ideas to the world and help foster long-term economic growth.
  • The Scale-Up Voucher program will provide high-growth companies with immediate access to specific resources they need at pivotal moments in their development. Vouchers will be used by companies to fund activities such as specialized talent development and recruitment, accessing new markets and intellectual property protection services.


Brad Duguid Minister of Economic Development and Growth

Helping businesses compete globally is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario will invest $32.4 million over four years for the Scale-Up Voucher Program, and $28.8 million over five years for the Small Business Innovation Challenge.
  • These initiatives are part of Ontario’s five year, $400-million Business Growth Initiative, which is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale-up and modernizing regulations for businesses.
  • High-growth companies – with 20 to 100 per cent growth each year – create half of all net new jobs in Ontario.
  • The Small Business Innovation Challenge is modelled after successful programs in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Additional Resources


“Ontario has all the elements to thrive in the 21st century economy – a highly skilled workforce, a vibrant innovation ecosystem, efficient market access and a streamlined business climate. These new initiatives will help harness that potential and lay the groundwork for our province to thrive in the economy of tomorrow.”