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Minister Valdez concludes participation in the Conference of Montreal, highlighting government leadership in supporting innovative entrepreneurs

Press Release

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

June 10, 2024

Today, the Honourable Rechie Valdez, Minister of Small Business, participated in the inaugural plenary session at the annual International Economic Forum of the Americas’ Conference of Montreal—Leading in an Accelerating World.

This year’s conference focused on the exponential acceleration of computer processing, communication technologies, globalized markets and energy production and how these are transforming economies and the way we do business.

Minister Valdez spoke to the $2.4 billion proposed in Budget 2024 to secure Canada’s artificial intelligence (AI) advantage by investing in computing capacity and infrastructure and accelerating responsible and safe AI adoption by small and medium-sized businesses so they can remain competitive.

On the global push for net zero, Minister Valdez highlighted Budget 2024’s support for accelerating the transition to clean growth through the renewal of Canada’s Clean Growth Hub and through new tax credits that will deliver $2.5 billion directly to more than 600,000 small and medium-sized businesses.

Other Budget 2024 proposals to support entrepreneurs include:

  • $200 million for the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative to support venture capital for equity-deserving entrepreneurs and to invest in underserved communities outside key metropolitan areas;
  • $60 million over five years for Futurpreneur Canada to help up to 6,250 Canadian youth launch and scale up their businesses; and
  • $388 million to support Indigenous entrepreneurship, Indigenous tourism and the Strategic Partnerships Initiative and to unlock new clean energy opportunities.


“Small businesses account for 98% of businesses in Canada. It’s critical that they do not get left behind in the journey toward the adoption of AI. Budget 2024 demonstrates that Canada is leading this charge with investments to spur innovation and ensure that SMEs from coast to coast to coast remain competitive in Canada’s changing economic landscape.”
– The Honourable Rechie Valdez, Minister of Small Business

Quick facts

  • Canada’s Clean Growth Hub is the federal government’s main source of information and advice on federal funding and other supports for clean technology projects in Canada. It directly supports up to 1,100 companies and organizations every year, ranging from emerging small businesses to Canada’s world-leading cleantech companies. This one-stop shop helps businesses seeking to invest in Canada and create net-zero growth navigate the federal government’s clean economy programs and incentives.
  • The $7 billion Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is helping build up the women entrepreneurship ecosystem with an affordable loans program; advisory, mentorship and networking services; and improved data.
  • The Black Entrepreneurship Program is a $265 million initiative that provides loans, ecosystem support and a Knowledge Hub specifically to help Black Canadian entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.
  • The 2SLGBTQI+ Entrepreneurship Program is a $25 million investment to support 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs, strengthen the organizations that support them, and produce data and knowledge to better understand the challenges 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs face.

Associated links

Nadine Ramadan
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada



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