Windsor

Downtown Accelerator looking for more funding

A not-for-profit organization in Windsor said it could create more jobs if it had more funding.

The Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator says it's created 233 direct jobs since 2011

Arthur Barbut, the managing director of the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator said his organization could create more jobs if it received more funding. (Amy Dodge / CBC News)

A not-for-profit organization in Windsor said it could create more jobs if it had more funding.

The Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator released a report Friday saying it created 117 full time and 116 part time jobs over the past four years.

"We don't even have a marketing budget to show people in Windsor what is possible with very little. This is all doable, just we need a little bit more attention being taken to the accelerator so then hopefully you know instead of spending money on certain things, we should spend them on job creation and economic impact," said Arthur Barbut, the managing director of the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator.

The accelerator provides building space and mentoring services to new startups. Some of its tenants include marketing firms, graphic designers, and data analysts. Thirty clients currently operate out of the space, and 12 have expanded out of the accelerator, Barbut said.

In February, Barbut sent out a survey to current and former clients to asses the economic impact of the accelerator.

Of the 28 companies that responded, 233 jobs were reportedly created since the accelerator opened in 2011. For every one of those jobs, the downtown accelerator estimates 2.5 spinoff jobs were created, bringing the estimated total number of jobs brought into Windsor by the accelerator to 583.

The accelerator bases this estimate off of research from an economist at the University of California-Berkeley which suggests the job creation effect of these types of small, innovative businesses is three times as high as in the manufacturing sector.  

"We've accomplished a great deal working with these startups here, and it's a positive thing for Windsor," Barbut said. "I want the accelerator to become the entrepreneurial hub of the region."  

No funding from city

These results come without any major funding from the city, Barbut said.

In 2011, the accelerator received a grant of $670,000 from the federal government, and a $156,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant from the province which finished last year. 

The city rejected his applications for funding twice and Barbut said neither former mayor Eddie Francis or current mayor Drew Dilkens have visited his facility.

He said he hopes this report will encourage the city to fund the accelerator in the future. 

"We've created a really strong group of people here who believe in supporting each other and believe in taking the entrepreneurial mandate to the next level," he said. "I want to spend my job sitting down with these companies and help them grow, not go around chasing funding."

On mobile? See the full report here.

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