Province and Island businessmen team up to help entrepreneurs

Four Island businessmen have partnered with the P.E.I. government to establish a new $4 million angel seed investment fund.

Businesses could get funding between $150,000 and $500,000

Four Island businessmen are looking for small businesses to invest in. (iStockPhoto/Getty Images)

Four Island businessmen have partnered with the P.E.I. government to establish a new $4 million angel seed investment fund.

Alex MacBeath, Ron Keefe, Steve Nicolle and Paul Lypaczewski formed a company called Island Capital Partners and have raised $2 million dollars, which the province has matched.

Start-ups and early stage businesses that have a proven idea that is ready to be brought to market can apply for funding between $150,000 and $500,000.

The four investors will decide which applications to approve, and will also act as mentors, offering expertise from seasoned business people. 

'The next step'

Economic Development Minister Heath MacDonald said the fund is another way to encourage entrepreneurship in P.E.I. 

"It was initiative, I think, of government to say 'You know what, we need to do something here to help our smaller companies grow.'"

P.E.I.'s Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Heath MacDonald says this type of partnership is becoming more common. (Rick Gibbs/CBC News)

MacDonald said the province has used alternate forms of providing money to small businesses through its micro-loan program as well as the Ignition Fund.

"We've done everything that possibly a government could do, I believe, in that regard, as far as the lending side, but this is the next step."

Following suit

Partnerships between private investors and provincial governments is becoming more common. 

MacDonald referenced Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador as provinces with similar investment strategies.

Small businesses can apply for between $150,000 and $500,000 investments. (Duckie Monster/Flickr)

"I think if we're going to be in the game to support our entrepreneurs, I think this has to be the way to go," he says. 

Island Capital Partners is not accepting applications yet. 

With files from Laura Chapin