The University of Windsor EPICentre in collaboration with WEtech Alliance and the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre have officially launched the EPIC Nimble Program. Funded by FedDev Ontario under the Community Economic Development and Diversification stream program and also funded by the Lucas Imagine Fund, the EPIC Nimble Program is open to any existing for-profit business in the Windsor-Essex Region currently facing challenges due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The EPIC Nimble program will support businesses looking to adopt technology to either create new revenue streams or to pivot to a new business model in order to achieve sustainability and stay competitive in the fast-changing marketplace.
“We were overwhelmed with the response to this program,” said Wen Teoh, EPICentre Director “We received over 50 applications from local, small businesses looking to pivot their business model in these uncertain times. We had the incredibly difficult task of narrowing it down to 7 applicants who will move on to complete this program.” The EPIC Nimble Program invited founders of small businesses in operation for a minimum of two years to propose an innovative idea to help their businesses achieve sustainability or to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace by adopting new technology. In turn, successful applicants will receive program benefits valued at over $6,000 and guidance from community partners.
“RISE Windsor-Essex is excited to provide support to the EPIC Nimble program as it directly relates to our mission of helping to increase the number of female-led businesses in our region” said Nicole Anderson, Program Director for the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy at the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre “With barriers created due to COVID-19, this program is perfect to ensure that local entrepreneurs pivot using technology to remain sustainable during and after the pandemic. We are excited to work directly with the program’s female entrepreneurs and provide them access to our regional resources through our network.”
In addition to access to programs and services through community partners, successful participants of the EPIC Nimble Program will receive up to $4,000 in grant funding that must be used towards the proposed project including tech development, marketing, and legal costs.
“WEtech Alliance is looking forward to working alongside these local businesses to support them along their digital transformation journey. As we enter the COVID-19 recovery phase, digital transformation will be key to helping businesses survive and emerge in a better, stronger position” said Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance.
7 applicants from the Windsor-Essex region have been selected to join the program and have until November 30th, 2020 to complete their proposed project. Our first EPIC Nimble Cohort includes:
- GreenerBins Composting Co.
- The Grove Hotel
- Efficient Operations Inc.
- Riverside Pie Café
- Ergonow Inc.
- Yoga with Lora
- Windsor Creative
“The response to this program has been absolutely phenomenal,” said Paul Brereton, EPICentre Program Lead heading up the Nimble Program. “We received applications from 18 different industries, geographically covering every corner of Windsor Essex. The project proposals totaled over $166,000, showing a very real need for these innovative pivots. We have the opportunity to make a lasting difference in how businesses in our community not only survive but strive.”
For more information on the EPIC Nimble program, please visit our website: www.epicentreuwindsor.ca/epic-nimble-program/