Western Economic Diversification Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Program 1.1: Business Development and Innovation

Program Description

Business Development and Innovation supports western Canadian businesses and industry organizations to enhance global trade and investment, business growth and competitiveness, and innovation and technology commercialization. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Women's Enterprise Initiative (WEI) and the Western Diversification Program (WDP).

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned Spending
Total Authorities Available for Use
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
(actual minus planned)
93,227,813 93,227,813 101,917,950 98,912,661 5,684,848

Note: Actual spending is higher than planned spending primarily as a result of funding received for the Rick Hansen Foundation in support of the Rick Hansen Institute.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents—FTEs)
(actual minus planned)
110 96 (14)


Performance Results
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Western Canadian SMEs are engaged in international business Value of international business activity facilitated by WD $0* $0
Western Canadian SMEs are competitive Number of SMEs that increase gross margins 0* 0
Western Canadian SMEs are innovative Number of patents filed 7 10

* The targets for new performance indicators being introduced by WD for the first time in 2013–14 were set at zero because historically, these types of projects have required more than one year to realize results.

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

WD's new streamlined Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) includes the integration of the Business Development and Innovation program areas along with selected new program indicators introduced by WD for the first time in 2013-14. This integration reflects the strong linkages and synergies between business innovation, productivity and global engagement, and the multi-faceted, holistic approach that is required to assist western Canadians to start, grow and expand their businesses. Historically, these types of projects have required more than one year to realize results. Therefore, targets for the new performance indicators were set at zero (see Performance Results table above), noting that future Departmental Performance Reports will reflect results for the new indicators.

In addition to WDWD's ongoing support for innovation through the WDP, the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative was launched in 2013-14 to assist SMEs in commercializing new, innovative products, processes and services. The outreach, proposal intake and proposal assessments revealed a strong demand for the initiative, and proposals received were of high quality. Initial investment decisions were announced in early 2014-15.  WD has identified lessons learned ranging from potential program design refinements to administrative adjustment which will be addressed prior to the next WINN intake.

In March 2014, WD broadly consulted with western stakeholders and not-for-profit organizations and developed a strategic agenda to guide investments under the WDP.  Steps were taken to prepare a new Call for Proposals (CFP) process, launched in May 2014, to help prioritize and target investments to support economic growth.