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Catapult rural business support centre has its grand opening

·2 min read

Catapult Grey Bruce is welcoming people to its home at Sydenham Campus in Owen Sound on Thursday, Dec. 2.

The not-for-profit is aimed at supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs in Grey Bruce. It was formed in late 2019, but COVID-19 affected its ability to be open and operating.

Despite that, Catapult ran a mentorship program with 15 matches of more experienced business people with those at an earlier stage of the journey.

Its services include one-on-one mentorship, workshops and a business acceleration opportunity for small and medium sized business offered through Innovation Guelph.

Major sponsors include the County of Grey, Bluewater Angels Investment Group and Community Future Development corporation.

The Sydenham Campus Regional Skills Training, Trades and Innovation Centre is located in Owen Sound and serves Grey and Bruce Counties.

It aims to grow the local economy by creating networks and connections to support start-ups and small and medium businesses.

“Through our programs, established business owners will be able to access experienced entrepreneurs who have been there and know what steps to take,” the media release said.

Catapult Grey Bruce was founded by local entrepreneurs. The non-profit is guided by a volunteer board of directors of local business people.

Current board members are: Courtney Denard, Chairperson of Valleykirk Farms Ltd.; Mia Toose, Vice Chairperson of Truli Wetsuits in Tobermory; Mike Comello, Treasurer of 10in6 Inc.; and Jackie Smalec of Sky Regional Airlines Inc. Ben Kirkconnell of CIBC - Fundraising Chair and Courtney Miller from the Business Enterprise Centre provides support.

The executive director Jennifer Christie is an entrepreneur herself, with about 15 years in non-profit management, marketing and communications.

Those interested who can’t make the open house, can sign up for a newsletter on the organization’s website, which will let you know about programs, events and workshops.

Catapult Grey-Bruce is also looking for volunteers, mentors and sponsors to develop its programming. It has joined Startup Canada Communities as Startup Grey Bruce.

Events so far include a “Mentor Mash” in March for female entrepeneurs and creating a Grey Bruce Entrepreneurship Ecosystem network that meets four times a year.

The Dec. 2 open house hours are from 10 until 2 with a presentation at noon. Proof of vaccination is required.

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald

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