Providing the foundation for business success

News release

May 17, 2024 · Abram-Village, Prince Edward Island · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Francophone and Acadian communities play a crucial role in growing Atlantic Canada’s economy and fueling a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. As more youth are attracted to the challenges and rewards of the small business sector, the Government of Canada recognizes that proper resources, tools, and strategic investment must be in place to ensure sustainable, long-term prosperity.

Recognizing PEI’s small business leaders of tomorrow

Today, Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont, announced a total investment of more than $730,000 to RDÉE PEI for four projects. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA.

The funding will support economic development activities and training for young entrepreneurs as well as Acadian and Francophone businesses in Prince Edward Island, including a variety of the organization’s key initiatives, such as mentorship programs, start-up supports, web translation services, increased capacity and trade missions for small business.

The Province of PEI is investing close to $310,000 to further support RDÉE PEI activities.

Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to strengthening the small business sector in Atlantic Canada by helping Acadian and Francophone communities build an inclusive and diverse economy.          


“Small businesses are the heart of our rural communities, which is why your federal government is lifting up the next generation of entrepreneurs on PEI. We are making sure they have a fair shot at success.”

- The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Prince Edward Island’s Francophone business community continues to shine. These companies are a source of pride for all Islanders. Thanks to RDÉE PEI, we see growing and increasingly diverse opportunities for the many talented young Islanders looking for ways to give back to their communities.”

-  Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont

“The financial investments we make into young Island entrepreneurs has a direct impact in fostering an environment where ideas translate to tangible products and services. I am especially proud to partner with organizations like RDÉE to make economic development opportunities available to French-speaking Island entrepreneurs expand their market reach and celebrate their entrepreneurship journey as a means of wealth creation.” 

- The Honourable Gilles Arsenault, PEI Minister for Economic Development, Innovation and Trade

 “These two levels of government are always ready to listen when we come to the table with a project that will contribute to the economic development or the employability of our Acadian, Francophone and Island communities. We thank you for the great confidence you keep placing in our team to deliver the goods year after year.” 

-  Stéphane Blanchard, Executive Director, RDÉE PEI

Quick facts

  • RDÉE Île-du-Prince-Édouard Inc. is the provincial francophone economic development council, providing leadership and coordination support dedicated to the prosperity of the Acadian and francophone community of Prince Edward Island.

  • The Government of Canada is providing a total of $731,724 in non-repayable support through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP) and Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI)to RDÉE PEI, for four projects:

    • $277,164 to support the delivery of student internship program PERCÉ for 2024-2028, matching post-secondary students with Island employers.
    • $180,450 in 2023 and $217,400 in 2024 to support spring and fall sales missions to Quebec to match Francophone buyers and sellers from PEI and Quebec, benefitting 20 small Francophone businesses each year.
    • $56,710 to support RDÉE PEI’s Francophone Ignition Contest competition through 2023-24. 
  • The Province of PEI is providing $283,036 in support of the PERCÉ program through the Department of Workforce, Advanced Learning and Population, and a grant of $25,000 through Innovation PEI to support the Ignition pitch.

Associated links


Connor Burton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
and of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Sharon McGuigan
Manager of Communications 
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Raymond Arsenault
Communications Officer, RDÉE Île-du-Prince-Édouard Inc.
Activities Coordinator, Chambre de commerce acadienne et
francophone de l'Î.-P.-É

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