For immediate release
Écoleader Fund Kickoff
$18.5M and 18 regional agents to support businesses
in adopting eco-responsible practices and clean technologies
Montréal, September 20, 2019 — Quebec businesses seeking to improve their performance by implementing eco-responsible practices and clean technologies can now count on a major project that was officially launched today, the Écoleader Fund. Consisting of a network of 18 agents in each Quebec region and a funding envelope of $18.5M, this initiative of the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) aims at contacting some 50,000 companies by March 2023 and at providing guidance and support in carrying out their projects.
“It is clear that all economic and political players must take action together to address environmental challenges while continuing to drive economic growth. Nothing prevents us from taking concrete steps to achieve our environmental objectives while taking advantage of new business opportunities and creating wealth in Quebec. The Écoleader Fund will raise awareness of these crucial issues among entrepreneurs and encourage them to take action to increase their competitiveness,” says Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and minister responsible for the Lanaudière region.
A strategic alliance to support the Écoleader Fund
“We have brought together key players of the business, clean technology and sustainable development communities to make the Écoleader Fund a customized tool for Quebec businesses,” says Nicolas Girard, director general of the Fonds d’action québécois pour le développement durable (FAQDD) and coordinator of the Écoleader Fund. “By promoting the current service offering and enhancing it with its own levers, this unifying initiative also makes it possible to count on the expertise and networks of more than 20 national and regional partner organizations.”
For Écotech Québec, a partner of the Fund specializing in clean technologies, “the primary objective is to help businesses improve their competitiveness and, at the same time, their environmental performance through local and clean technologies. The Écoleader Fund enhances the existing options to accelerate Quebec’s transition to a green, innovative and strong economy,” explains the organization’s president and CEO, Denis Leclerc.
A network of agents to guide businesses
The 18 Écoleader Fund agents are available to help guide regional businesses in their undertaking. For the next four years, they will be part of an organization of their territory that is already working closely with the businesses located in their respective areas and that has a strong network of partners. “By focusing on an unprecedented mobilization of economic development organizations from all regions of Quebec, the network of Écoleader Fund agents will be able to effectively reach business managers and support them in adopting more eco-responsible business practices,” says Nicolas Gagnon, director general of the Centre québécois de développement durable (CQDD). “Our organization is proud to act as a facilitator for this network, which responds to a need expressed by businesses to be better advised on the resources available to take action. This is a tremendous innovative lever that Quebec is developing to increase businesses’ competitiveness,” added Mr. Gagnon.
A funding program to make projects a reality
The financial assistance offered by the Écoleader Fund will help companies hire experts to help them implement eco-responsible practices and prepare for the acquisition of clean technologies.
For businesses to be able to carry out projects that are adapted to their reality, they will have the opportunity to prepare a business proposition—on their own or in collaboration with other businesses— based on their desire to meet specific or common needs. Up to $30,000 in financial assistance will be provided per company for a project that aims to adopt eco-responsible practices, and up to $50,000 will be provided for a project that aims to acquire clean technologies.
For more information, visit their website here: https://www.fondsecoleader.ca/. Their website is currently only in French but they are working to translate it to English.
Head of Communications and Social Marketing
Fonds d’action québécois pour le développement durable
Émilie Novales COPTICOM