TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 20, 2015) - Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

FedDev Ontario Minister of State Gary Goodyear today announced up to $810,352 for Francophone communities in southwestern Ontario.

La Passerelle - Intégration et Développement Économique (I.D.É), in partnership with l'Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario - London-Sarnia, will use this investment to expand the "Programme Classe Affaires" initiative. The expanded initiative, rebranded as "Plateforme Affaires Ontario" will provide a variety of business development and support services to French-speaking entrepreneurs, with a focus on new Francophone immigrants aged 18 and up. The expanded initiative will support the needs of Francophone businesses and entrepreneurs in the Greater Toronto Area and all of southwestern Ontario.

La Passerelle-I.D.É expects that up to 79 permanent full-time equivalent jobs will be created and 80 permanent full-time equivalent jobs will be maintained throughout the course of the project. In addition, up to 68 entrepreneurs will be assisted in the development and launch of their business through access to seed financing.

Quick Facts

  • The project will support the expansion of the "Programme Classe Affaires" initiative that was successfully piloted in 2013. This pilot project introduced entrepreneurship counselling and training to Francophone immigrants in Toronto.
  • Through the Economic Development Initiative, FedDev Ontario will invest up to $4 million in funding to strengthen innovation, entrepreneurship, partnerships, and the diversification of economic activities in official language minority communities.


"Our Government understands the important role that Francophone entrepreneurs play in the economic development of southern Ontario. This is why we continue to support the needs of French-speaking businesses and entrepreneurs, helping them become more competitive in today's marketplace."

- The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

"Plateforme Affaires Ontario is version 3.0 of our holistic business support model aimed at facilitating the economic contributions of young Francophone immigrants to society. Our vision is to transform young immigrant Francophone entrepreneurs into consolidated and recognized drivers of sustainable prosperity in the region"

- Ms. Léonie Tchatat, Director General of La Passerelle

"The London-Sarnia ACFO looks forward to leveraging its knowledge, skills and local networks to support our region's young immigrant Francophone entrepreneurs. We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of this potentially economically formidable population."

- Mr. Gaston Mabaya, Director General of the London-Sarnia ACFO

Associated Links

Economic Development Initiative

Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013-2018.

La Passerelle (in French only)

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Contact Information:

Saro Khatchadourian
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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