Innovation for the support of tourist projects north of the 49th parallel
On April 8, 2021, a Northern incubator-accelerator was launched in support of the development of tourist projects north of the 49th parallel. Mr. Dave Laveau, Executive Director of Indigenous Tourism Québec, answers our questions about this major project.
There are three major sectorial tourism associations recognized for their expertise in tourism overseeing this incubator-accelerator project: Québec Outfitters Federation, Aventure Écotourisme Québec, and Indigenous Tourism Québec. These associations have the same desire to assist in at least 32 tourist projects in the next three years. Following the reception of an $8 million envelope from the Government of Québec to assist and support entrepreneurs in the North for the development of their tourist project, promoters will soon be able to submit their project. Mr. Laveau would like to specify that $2 million of the $8 million will be set aside for the hiring of experts to support promoters. The remaining $6 million will be awarded as direct subsidies for the projects retained.
What is a northern incubator-accelerator?
It consists of the innovation of being able to provide financing and offer an ongoing support service for the completion of a tourist project. It also includes a group of experts in the tourism sector that offer project support services before, during, and after their completion. Whether the project is in its initial stages or if the business requires assistance to accelerate their procedures, the services remain available to all entrepreneurs for a tourist project start-up or to improve on their offer.
Note that to be eligible, you must submit a tourist project north of the 49th parallel and desire to be supported in the project’s implementation. Entrepreneurs, promoters, municipalities, local governments, private sector enterprises are all eligible. Legal status has no significance if you are a promoter wishing to develop a tourist project north of the 49th parallel and who would like to be supported for the completion of your project.
This incubator-accelerator is for existing businesses as well as new businesses. Any entrepreneur or promoter who would like to develop a tourist project is welcome and may apply for support, mentions Dave Laveau. He also says that the idea is to simplify nominations for projects as much as possible, proposing a single-window approach to entrepreneurs through the initiative’s website: ianord.ca.
The objectives of this project are very precise: create small business cohorts that have common strengths and similarities, implement networking activities so they get to know each other and can share on different topics about tourist project development, generating traffic in Northern Québec, promoting partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and encourage experts from the South to share their expertise in the northern part of the province.
The official launch of the northern incubator-accelerator is set for early June. Until then, you are invited to visit the website at ianord.ca for more details and subscription to the newsletter, to receive a preview of the official launch date and the start date of the call for projects.
Without a doubt, this magnificent project is promising for entrepreneurs in need of support for the creation of a dream they have cherished for so long, or for the last boost they needed to make their important project a reality.
We hope that this incubator-accelerator will contribute to the implementation of an incomparable tourism offer in Northern Quebec!
For more information on the Northern incubator-accelerator, visit ianord.ca.
For other community-based initiatives, we invite you to consult our local economic development section.