FedDev Ontario Invests in Services for Windsor–Essex Francophone Entrepreneurs

News release

$285,749 to support social and cooperative entrepreneurship initiatives

August 1, 2019 – Windsor, Ontario

The contributions of official language minority communities (OLMCs) are vital to sustainable growth, economic opportunity and prosperity in Canada. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting initiatives to build strong and vibrant OLMCs across the country.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, announced a FedDev Ontario contribution of $285,749 to the Conseil de la coopération de l'Ontario (CCO) to expand its French-language entrepreneurship services to the Windsor–Essex region. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.

At its recently opened Windsor location, the CCO will provide coaching, support programs and training to accelerate the development of cooperatives and social enterprises. Francophone entrepreneurs, including immigrants, youth and women, will have access to networking sessions, as well as opportunities to pitch their projects to access development grants. A total of 75 businesses will participate in over 60 networking or training activities organized by the CCO. This project will also create and maintain 30 jobs in the region.

FedDev Ontario’s funding for the CCO is through the Economic Development Initiative (EDI), a national program delivered by the regional development agencies across Canada, which builds on the strengths of each region to facilitate sustainable economic growth in OLMCs.


“Our government is pleased to support Francophones living in official language minority communities so they can build and grow their businesses, local economies and communities. With expanded services in the Windsor-Essex region, the Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario is reaching out to a community with unique needs and strengths that can be cultivated for the benefit of the entire region.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

“The Government of Canada is proud to invest in this expansion of the Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario’s services into a key region in southern Ontario. Francophone entrepreneurs in the Windsor-Essex area will be able to thrive with this new programming now available right at their doorstep, and the emphasis on social and cooperative entrepreneurship will reinforce the already strong networks in the community.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“The CCO thought it was important to boost its presence in the Windsor-Essex region, and this has been done with the continued support of FedDev Ontario. We are already working on many projects in the Windsor area, and we are looking forward to strengthening our ties to the community there. Many training sessions will be offered, and all of the CCO’s usual services will be available. I encourage the community to contact us to learn more about these services.”
- Julien Geremie, Director General, Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario

Quick facts

  • Ontario’s has a Francophone population of more than 600,000 people, representing the largest Francophone community in Canada outside of Quebec.

  • Founded in 1964, the CCO provides education, promotion, collaboration and advisory services to support Francophone cooperatives and social enterprises in Ontario. Through its six offices across Ontario, it currently serves over 80 members and over 300 partners across the province. The CCO opened its Windsor office in March 2019.

  • Previous FedDev Ontario funding to the CCO includes $27,500 to hire a youth intern for one year to support the development of youth cooperatives.

  • This year marks 10 years of FedDev Ontario delivering funding and business services to support innovation and growth in southern Ontario.

Associated links


Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505
Website: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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