Economic Sectors
 

Creative Economy & Vibrant Sector Diversity

Prince Edward County has emerged in recent years with an integrated rural economy that supports a broad range of small-scale entrepreneurs and creative economy based businesses. Some of our growing sectors showing notable strengths are agri-business, tourism, technology, media, knowledge-based industries, arts and culture enterprises.
Although much of the business and entrepreneurial activity takes place in the commercial cores of The County’s largest settlement areas including Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington and Rossmore, local business growth is increasing in homes and on farms. This is a trend seen in small urban and rural communities across Ontario.

Top Five
Projected
Growth
Industries

Tourism

 
As the only Canadian destination on Travel & Leisure Magazine’s list of top 50 places to visit in the world, tourism is central to the economy and represents the area with greatest growth potential. The County attracts considerable tourism traffic from spring to fall, with a heightened summer due to Sandbanks Provincial Park. Visitors come to embrace the ‘local’ way of life, sip and savour creations from farms and vineyards and reconnect with nature. The people and businesses here add a level of vibrancy that is unique in not only Eastern Ontario, but The County.
It is The County’s “quality of place” experience combined with its proximity to Kingston, Ottawa, Montréal and Greater Toronto that draws visitors to the area again and again. New business ventures in hospitality, arts/artisans, unique retail experiences and the culinary sector have resulted based on the steady growth of tourism.
“Visitors don’t just fall for Prince Edward County’s culinary charms; history and geography buffs are equally drawn to its various towns” Maclean’s Magazine, 10 Places You’ve Got To See

Manufacturing

 
Today, the manufacturing industry has transitioned to more advanced techniques that draw on a well-educated workforce, commitments to research and development, and an international reputation for being honest and reliable in business.
The County houses are globally competitive manufacturers, with strong links to post-secondary education facilities in Belleville and Kingston. We have entrepreneurs that are comfortable with international markets and local businesses constantly pushing the boundaries to produce new innovative products.
Small-scale niche and advanced manufacturing is thriving in The County. Proximity to three major markets in Ontario and the Canada-United States border makes Prince Edward County an ideal place to locate. The County also has a long history of food processing and manufacturing.
We have many great opportunities to work alongside businesses that are growing in food and beverage manufacturing, advanced manufacturing and the high tech industry.
Agri-business
 
Agriculture in Prince Edward County consists of enterprising people with creative sensibilities. We have a thriving agri-business community with diverse opportunities ready for the taking. There are numerous traditional agriculture opportunities from our large-scale farms and orchards, to small-scale growing operations.

A visit to any farm will reveal a passionate community of growers and collaborators who value the soil as our agriculture wealth. The County has always had a diverse group of growers from traditional grain commodities to vegetable, fruit and specialist produce farms popping up all over the countryside.

“The Gastronomic Capital of Ontario” The Globe & Mail
What makes The County truly special is our burgeoning food community. Today, we have become a rural hot spot for food and drink where locally sourced everything is a way of life. It is typical for local chefs to work with area growers to craft menus from locally sourced in-season items. The result is a vibrant community of over 40 wineries, a growing craft beer scene, cider and spirits, and a burgeoning specialty grains scene.
High-Tech
 
Investment Objectives and Strategy
The Upper Canada Equity Fund is an early stage equity investment fund that will co-invest over a two-year period with First Stone Venture Partners (FSVP) in 25 technology ventures that will locate in The County. Unlike traditional venture capitalists who focus on company sale/exit for investment return, First Stone Venture Partners and PELA CFDC have created a $10 million private-public co-investment model with the goal of building sustainable companies to boost economic diversity in rural Ontario.
Investment Objectives
The objectives of the Upper Canada Equity Fund are to:
• Provide equity capital for the start-up, growth and expansion of innovative businesses
• Contribute to the economic diversification and sustainability of the region
• Create long-term employment, high value jobs and opportunities for youth to return to our rural community
• Develop a mechanism for public-private partnership in the commercialization of innovation
• Achieve long-term capital appreciation through identification, selection and nurture of investment opportunities

Investment Strategy
The Upper Canada Equity Fund will invest in companies that:
• Are in the seed, early, or expansion stage of development
• Create employment opportunities in Prince Edward County
• Require an equity investment between $250-500K
• Operate in knowledge-based industries with high growth potential

An important element of the investment strategy is the creation of value that occurs after the initial investment is made. The Upper Canada Equity Fund and its private sector partners, First Stone, will work closely with portfolio companies in the development of business strategies, assembly of management teams and boards of directors, identification and pursuit of strategic partners and execution of business plans.

Ryerson University works collaboratively with Prince Edward/Lennox & Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CFDC), First Stone Venture Partners (FSVP), and the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) to promote research and technological innovation.

They attract and accelerate start-ups and advance economic development in Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington Counties and the Eastern Ontario Region broadly.

The collaboration brings together the expertise of Ryerson in entrepreneurship and its support of company creation, as well as leading research into bridging the gap between innovation and adoption with Eastern Ontario’s top public and private organizations. These firms are already driving economic growth and entrepreneurship through investments, training, incubation of start-ups and the promotion of diversification of the region through growth of tech-focused companies.