North Forge East Receives Annual $80,000 Donation from CNEA for the 5th Year in a Row
April 10, 2021

The 2021 donation from Canadian National Energy Alliance (CNEA) marks the fifth year in a row that CNEA has provided funding to North Forge East. We as North Forge East are an economic development agency that encourages entrepreneurs, business innovation, and commercialization inEastern Manitoba. The funding from CNEA will be used to support ongoing operational costs and to continue to help stimulate the local economy in Eastern Manitoba by supporting local entrepreneurs working to establish and grow sustainable businesses. In total, CNEA has donated $400,000 toNorth Forge East over the past five years to help support entrepreneurial initiatives in the region.

To date, we have worked with over 40 companies in Eastern Manitoba and established many meaningful national and international partnerships to build a strong business and innovation ecosystem in Pinawa, the region and the province. We are currently working on developing a strategy to attract world-class tech and innovation companies to Manitoba, offering assistance to qualified, overseas businesses interested in setting up a Canadian subsidiary and expanding their businesses to access North American markets.

“North Forge East is the only non-profit, innovation-based, regional business incubator and accelerator in Eastern Manitoba, with a mission to develop a strong entrepreneurship and innovation-based economy for Pinawa and Manitoba,” commented Shane Li, President of NorthForge East. “We will continue to strive to provide the best support for entrepreneurs, building, and growing a globally competitive ecosystem that nurtures economic success in our province.”

North Forge East has also partnered with the Province of Manitoba Department of AdvancedEducation, Skills and Immigration - Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program to launch theInternational Entrepreneurship Program, the first of its kind in Manitoba. We also have been recently appointed as a Federal Designated Entity in the Start Up Visa program and are ecstatic to be a member of the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) in good standing. NACO is Canada's only national platform for both angel investors and innovation hubs.

“Initiatives like the International Entrepreneurship Program are a testament to the success of our province’s economic development and talent development strategy,” commented Wayne Ewasko, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Immigration. “Economic development requires a collaborative approach, and this partnership offers a way to further place Manitoba on the map as an international destination to live and work.”

“It’s no secret that Pinawa is an entrepreneurial community. For decades, our community has attracted some of the best and brightest minds to live and work here,” commented Blair Skinner,Mayor of Pinawa. “The International Entrepreneurship Program continues this tradition and will playa key role in our community’s long-term economic growth.”

Despite the many challenges caused by the pandemic in 2020, we continue to support and guide entrepreneurs in the growth, digital transformation and trade of their products and services. Among the assistance currently available to local communities, we also deliver mentorship, networking and market intelligence and rapid prototyping, all of which is led by experienced mentors and subject matter experts. Past funding from CNEA has been used by NorthForge East to deliver these services to residents in Pinawa and neighbouring municipalities.

“This has obviously been a difficult year for the Canadian economy, and those impacts have also been felt by the small business community here in Pinawa,” commented John Gilbert, Site Head of the Whiteshell Closure Project. “With those challenges in mind, it’s very encouraging to see CNEA step forward to help support economic development in Pinawa, and to see North Forge East continue to bring these much-needed services to the local communities. We truly appreciate the support.”

Many of our current clients have successfully started up businesses and some are implementing accelerated expansion plans, despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the business environment. In addition, three new businesses from elsewhere in Manitoba are moving to Pinawa in 2021 to start new businesses. CNEA’s funding will be used to support this economic growth in Pinawa, resulting in new job creation by these new and expanding businesses.

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