The Manitoba government has issued a request for information (RFI) for an access to capital strategy and a request for pre-qualifications (RFPQ) for venture capital fund proposals to contribute to the development of a bold and modern new economic growth strategy, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pederson announced today.
“Attracting new investment and increasing access to job creating venture capital are a key part of our 10-point economic growth plan,” said Pedersen. “We knew when we formed government there was no provincial economic development strategy. Work is now well underway to change that.”
These next steps build on the government-commissioned report by Deloitte LLP that undertook a comprehensive review of Manitoba’s economic development efforts, and will support the work of Dave Angus, former CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and entrepreneur Barb Gamey, a member of the Premier’s Enterprise Team, tocraft the new provincial economic growth strategy.
Pedersen noted the RFI will help source stakeholder recommendations and shape program design efforts to improve Manitoba’s portfolio of business services, industry development support programming and provincial tax credit initiatives.
The RFPQ is a proactive approach to assemble a short-list of qualified investment management organizations to partner with the province on a future request for proposals to improve access to capital through the establishment of one or more venture capital funds, the minister said.
He noted the objectives in pursuing options for provincially supported venture capital are to address a gap that exists in Manitoba, attract private-sector capital and leverage resources to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow and create jobs. Launching the RFI and RFPQ are critical steps in moving forward with a comprehensive new economic growth strategy, he added.
“We are very pleased to see that the new venture capital strategy will be designed according to stakeholder input,” said Mariette Mulaire, president and CEO, World Trade Centre Winnipeg. “This partnership approach will ensure cohesiveness and eliminate the gaps which are often hindering the growth of our many promising SMEs.”
“Capital is the lifeblood of business, fueling expansion and job creation,” said Loren Remillard, president and CEO, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. “Yet access to capital is a leading obstacle for local businesses looking to grow in Manitoba. It is why we have long called for a comprehensive local capital strategy, one that helps bridge the financing gaps along the business continuum from ideation to initial public offering. We look forward to continuing to work with the province on next steps.”
The RFI and RFPQ are now live on www.merx.com. Submissions for the RFI will be accepted until March 8 and submissions for the RFPQ will be accepted until March 22.