January 27, 2017  


High growth companies are key drivers of Canada’s economic growth and long-term prosperity. While they represent only approximately 4.1% of Canadian businesses with 10 employees and more, they are responsible for 40% of new jobs created. In Atlantic Canada, their impact is more significant as they are twice as likely to innovate and to invest in advanced processes and skills development. They also generally export more than the average business.

High growth companies face distinctive challenges when expanding and remaining competitive in the marketplace, which is why the federal government announced the High Impact Firm Initiative in Budget 2016. The minister of Small Business and Tourism, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, announced the launch of the Accelerated Growth Service pilot on June 14, 2016, as part of the national Innovation Agenda.

Atlantic Canada and the Accelerated Growth Service

In January 2017, the federal ministers and Atlantic premiers announced the establishment of the Accelerated Growth Service in Atlantic Canada. The Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces are delivering this initiative in the region so that participating companies can access both federal and provincial support in one stop.

The goal of the Accelerated Growth Service is to accelerate business growth through a collaborative, client‑focus service model. This dedicated service will result in more Atlantic Canadian companies expanding, becoming more competitive, and creating high paying jobs in our communities.

How it works

The Accelerated Growth Service initiative coordinates government support for high growth companies in areas such as financing, advisory support, export and innovation services.

Acting as a ‘one-stop shop’ model, each participating company has a dedicated Accelerated Growth Service client lead supported by a team of one representative from each participating government department. The Accelerated Growth Service team, in partnership with the company, identifies growth challenges and works collaboratively to resolve these challenges. The team may also connect the company to other departments and organizations with programs specific to their needs.

This model intends to save the companies valuable time, to focus government resources on solving growth challenges expeditiously and to allow participating high growth companies to receive assistance tailored to their needs. The Accelerated Growth Service client lead remains connected to the company throughout the implementation of the company’s growth plans enhancing the opportunity for success at each stage of growth.

Company selection criteria

  • Annual revenues of more than $5M
  • A capacity and willingness to grow
  • A strong management team
  • A focus on export markets
  • A focus on innovation
  • An ability and willingness to invest time and resources to expand

Participating government organizations in Atlantic Canada

  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED)
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
  • Export Development Canada (EDC)
  • National Research Council Canada (IRAP and NRC Concierge)
  • Global Affairs Canada - Trade Commissioner Service (GAC-TCS)
  • Province of New Brunswick
  • Province of Nova Scotia
  • Province of Prince Edward Island
  • Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Measuring Success

The Accelerated Growth Service initiative is a collaborative, client-focused approach to resolving growth challenges. Outcomes, including economic returns to the region, will be measured over time as participating companies begin to realize on their growth plans.

Distribution of Participating Companies

Fifteen (15) Atlantic Canadian companies are actively engaged in the Accelerated Growth Service. The 15 companies are distributed among the four Atlantic Provinces (NS – 5; NL – 4; NB – 3; PEI – 3) and are located in both urban and rural areas. They represent a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture, clean tech, Information and Communications Technology, service, food processing and aerospace. An additional 10 companies will be on-boarded in the coming weeks.

Participating Companies

Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Newfoundland and Labrador

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