This month marks the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship. To commemorate the occasion, a public open house was held today at the facility.
Operated by the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, the Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship houses the organization’s enterprise services programs and staff, along with a small business incubator. Since opening in May 2016, a number of companies have moved into the incubation facility, with some firms graduating or progressing to other locations in the city. Clients include: BonZa Global Inc., NorthStar Consulting Ltd., Jeronamo Solutions, Possibilities Group, MBR Services Inc., Beaver & Eagle Automotive Technologies (formerly Purus Fuel Technologies), Dizzytree, and Swamp Woods Unlimited.
“We’ve seen an interesting mix of businesses – everything from a marketing firm to an auto parts manufacturer,” said Andrew Ross, Manager of Enterprise Services for the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “Studies show that after five years of operation, businesses that utilize incubation services have a success rate of more than 80%, compared to about 33% for non-incubated companies. We established the Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship to maximize the success rates of our clients. This initiative is helping to create jobs, and we thank our funding partners for making it possible.”
Located in the Machine Shop of the former St. Marys Paper site, the Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship is supported by FedNor, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and City of Sault Ste. Marie. This initiative is a key component of the community’s downtown Canal District revitalization plan.
While assisting small businesses and young entrepreneurs through programs offered at the Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship, the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation also delivers a Business Retention & Expansion Program that helps large firms in their growth initiatives, along with Invest Sault Ste. Marie, which aims to attract companies and investment to the community. Last year, these programs generated more than 30 new businesses startups and 20 business expansions. This activity created 233 jobs and retained 320 jobs.