The fourth edition of the Bourses d’Initiative en Entrepreneuriat Collectif de la Montérégie (BIEC) grants, in support of the emergence and development of collective entrepreneurship initiatives and social economy projects, was officially launched on October 17.
Collective entrepreneurs and social economy enterprises operating within the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, the MRC des Jardins-de-Napierville, or the MRC de Beauharnois-Salaberry could receive up to $20,000, in two payments, to carry out a project or initiative. Applicants now have until December 1 to submit their projects according to one of two categories: improvement projects or large-scale projects.
Improvement projects may be funded up to a maximum of $7,500. This category is intended to provide financial assistance to support smaller projects that businesses may otherwise not be able to finance. The projects must relate to non-recurring investments that don’t necessarily generate profit, but that are necessary to improve an enterprise’s mission or operations.
Large-scale projects can access between $7,500 and $20,000 in funding for start-up endeavours, or development initiatives aimed at consolidating or further growing a viable business.
Since the first round of collective entrepreneurship initiative grants was awarded in 2019, at least $1,020,000 in funding has been distributed to businesses in the Montérégie. The list of laureates from last year’s edition includes Ambioterra, the Saint-Chrysostome-based environment and conservation group, which received $12,500 to create a regional nursery that will produce trees and shrubs that are endemic to the area.
The Coop Les Jardins de la Résistance also benefitted from a $7,500 grant to purchase a self-propelled electric cart designed to work on soil to help maintain staked crops in its greenhouses. The local market garden also received a $10,000 grant in 2021 for a winter greenhouse project.
The BIEC grants are made possible by the financial participation of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the 12 MRCs in the Montérégie, as well as the agglomeration of Longueuil, Montérégie Économique, and the Table de concertation régionale de la Montérégie. The program is coordinated by the three Pôles d’économie sociale de la Montérégie.
More information on how to apply for the 2023 BIEC grants can be found online at www.biecmonteregie.ca. An online information session will be held for those interested in applying on November 8, at 10 a.m. via the BIEC website. (SR)