Creative Economy & Vibrant Sector Diversity
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.
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
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.
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
Investment Objectives and Strategy
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
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.
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.