Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Overview of EDP Partners and EDP Funding

Introduction

The department has contracted with organizations in each of the four western provinces to deliver the EDP. The organizations include 90 Community Futures Organizations and their associated Provincial Community Futures Associations, and 7 Urban Delivery Agents in western Canada.

Province RURAL DELIVERY AGENTS URBAN DELIVERY AGENTS
British Columbia
  • 34 Community Futures Organizations
  • Community Futures Development Association of BC
  • Coast Capital Savings
  • Vancouver City Savings Credit Union
Alberta
  • 27 Community Futures Organizations
  • Community Futures Network Society of Alberta
  • Distinctive Employment Counseling Services
  • Momentum Community Economic Development Society
Saskatchewan
  • 13 Community Futures Organizations
  • Community Futures Partners of Saskatchewan
  • North Saskatchewan Independent Living Resource Centre
  • South Saskatchewan Independent Living Resource Centre
Manitoba
  • 16 Community Futures Organizations
  • Community Futures Partners of Manitoba
  • Independent Living Resource Centre

Community Futures Organizations

Community Futures Organizations are non-profit organizations established to deliver the Community Futures Program. They are independent, locally autonomous corporations that each operate under the direction of a volunteer board. The mandate of the organizations is community and business development. Each Community Futures Organization delivers a variety of services ranging from strategic economic planning, technical and advisory services to businesses, loans to small and medium-sized businesses, self-employment assistance programs, and services targeted to youth and entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Initially, each Community Futures Organization received $200,000 in loan funds and $50,000 in operating funds to deliver the EDP. The organizations tend to use the same process to manage their EDP loan portfolio as they use for their general loan fund. The loan applications are adjudicated by a loans committee, which consists of volunteers from the local business community. The staff and loans committee also works to refer applicants to commercial lending sources.

In recent years, the Community Futures Organizations have not received any direct operating funding related to the delivery of EDP but rather are expected to fund the services provided to entrepreneurs with disabilities through their core operating funding, with support from the projects and initiatives implemented by the Provincial Community Futures Associations.

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Provincial Associations for Community Futures

Associations have been established in each of the four western provinces to represent the Community Futures Organizations. The Community Futures Development Association of BC, Community Futures Network Society of Alberta, Community Futures Partners of Saskatchewan, and Community Futures Partners of Manitoba. The four associations are not involved in delivering services directly to EDP clients but rather work to support the Community Futures Organizations in delivering services. More specifically, each provincial association administers a pool of annual funding provided by the department in accordance with the following principles:

  • Funding is to be used to support entrepreneurs with disabilities throughout non-metropolitan areas of the province.
  • Funding is to be used to support dedicated human resources with skills specific to helping people with disabilities.
  • Funding will flow through the associations in each province rather than directly to the resources contracted to deliver the services.
  • Activities supported should be consistent and coordinated with the urban EDP initiatives in each province.

Each provincial association consults with the department, Community Futures Organizations, entrepreneurs with disabilities, and various groups who represent people

Urban Delivery Agents

The department has contracted with 7 delivery agents in western Canada to deliver the EDP. At the beginning of implementation of the EDP, the delivery agents received a mixture of capital funding, which was conditionally repayable (initial disbursement of $500,000 each3) and funding for operations ($100,000 each annually) which was not repayable. Over time, the agencies received approval to transfer some of the loan funds to operating funding. Current funding from the department is in the form of operating funding only. The agencies receive EDP funding to help clients;

  • start or expand a business;
  • purchase and apply new technology;
  • upgrade facilities and equipment;
  • develop marketing and promotional activities; and
  • establish working capital.

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British Columbia

In Vancouver and Victoria, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union and Coast Capital Savings Credit Union offer the Vancouver and Victoria components of the EDP, which is known as ABLED (Advice and Business Loans for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities). Currently the program in BC is delivered under the department’s Loan and Investment Program agreements. Under this agreement, the department provides a loan loss reserve to the financial institutions to reduce their exposure in this area of business financing considering high risk. The department also provides annual operating funds to the institutions to help offset the cost of administering the program.

The program is specifically designed to improve access to business services and other support mechanisms to entrepreneurs with disabilities who are thinking of stating or expanding a small business. The program provides pre- and post-business launch support tailored to the realities of entrepreneurs with disabilities. Eligible loan applicants can receive funding for business planning and training, business coaching or mentoring services, and business counseling.

Alberta

In Edmonton, the EDP is administered by the Distinctive Employment Counselling Services of Alberta under their Ventures Program, and in Calgary, it is administered by Momentum under their FundAbility Program.

The Ventures Program in Edmonton provides entrepreneurial training and business support to people with disabilities who want to pursue self-employment. Both programs offer assistance in development of business plans and business skills for entrepreneurs with disabilities. Participants may access loans of up to $75,000. The FundAbility Program at Momentum in Calgary offers access to loans of up to $10,000. The FundAbility Program represented 9.45% of all lending fund programs at Momentum.

Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, the North Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre in Saskatoon and the South Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre in Regina manage the EDP on behalf of the department.

The two centers take a lead role in providing mentoring and counselling services, support in business development stages, as well as business loans to entrepreneurs with disabilities. Through the EDP, the Independent Living Centers: promote entrepreneurship and self-employment; provide mentorship and peer support; provide access to information resources and community services; provide support in developing a business plan, financial forecasts and researching capital options; provide a mechanism for follow-up and aftercare; and provide an option for capital (and the possibility of leveraging additional money) through an investment fund.

Manitoba

In Winnipeg, the Independent Living Resource Centre delivers the EDP on behalf of the department. It provides a range of business support services to entrepreneurs with disabilities, including: coordinating partnerships to better assist entrepreneurs with disabilities; assistance in developing business skills and business plans; networking opportunities; and consulting services to further support entrepreneurs with disabilities.

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Departmental Funding to EDP Partners

Under the five year agreement approved in 2006/07 fiscal year, the department provided a maximum of $1.5 million annually ($7.7 million dollars over the five-years) in operating funds to the Urban Delivery Agents ($1 million annually) and the Provincial Community Futures Associations ($500,000 annually) to help administer the EDP. Table below indicates funding disbursed to the partners since 2007 from the departmental financial database.

Table 2-1: Departmental Financial Disbursement by Fiscal Year, EDP
Name 2006 -2007 2007 - 2008 2008 - 2009 2009 - 2010 2010 - 2011 Total
Coast Capital Savings $75,000 $89,534 $83,470 $64,601 $69,669 $382,274
Community Futures Development Association of BC $1,519 $124,161 $173,552 $198,536 $180,000 $677,768
Vancouver City Savings Credit Union $58,218 $84,089 $175,400 $147,368 $142,743 $607,818
BC $134,737 $297,784 $432,422 $410,505 $392,412 $1,667,860
Community Futures Network Of Alberta $151,697 $148,303 $137,646 $147,462 $163,455 $748,563
Distinctive Employment Counseling Services of AB $95,901 $204,099 $150,000 $149,688 $135,753 $735,441
Momentum Community Economic Development $96,952 $114,660 $128,659 $143,740 $146,392 $630,403
AB $393,709 $461,126 $600,684 $635,527 $381,317 $2,472,363
CF Partners of SK $80,000 $90,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000 $470,000
North Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre $94,822 $115,000 $135,000 $150,000 $150,000 $644,822
South Saskatchewan Independent Living Center $95,000 $114,929 $125,048 $148,178 $150,000 $633,155
SK $269,822 $319,929 $360,048 $398,178 $400,000 $1,747,977
CF-MB $88,012 $94,551 $99,000 $93,430 $108,583 $483,576
Independent Living Resource Center $112,083 $140,493 $152,761 $150,000 $150,000 $705,337
MB $200,095 $235,044 $251,761 $243,430 $258,583 $1,188,913
Grand Total $998,363 $1,313,883 $1,644,915 $1,687,640 $1,432,312 $13,796,270

Source: Departmental Financial System accessed May 5, 2011