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WETech Alliance and Libro Credit Union have announced a three-year partnership to establish a network of Innovation Outposts aimed at supporting startups and small businesses in rural communities in Essex and Kent counties.

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The goals of the program are to support over 250 entrepreneurs with training, support more than 12 regional businesses annually through space rental, catering etc. and hold 10 events annually across Essex and Kent counties.

“We realize that our region’s entrepreneurs, particularly those in more rural areas, have access to fewer resources than their peers in urban areas and face greater challenges in starting and scaling their companies,” said Adam Frye, Director of Operations and Partnerships at WEtech Alliance .

The program was created after local studies revealed entrepreneurs, particularly in the Kingsville and Leamington area locally, were having to access resources in Windsor if at all.

For the next year, events will be hosted in Amherstburg, Chatham-Kent, Lakeshore and Kingsville.

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The Libro Credit Union in Windsor is shown on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

The first event in Essex County will be May 31 at Happier Camper Trailers and Espresso Bar in Amherstburg. For more information on the Innovation Outposts program, visit:

“We want to empower entrepreneurs and their communities by connecting them to each other and to the regional resource network and bridging the rural innovation divide,” said Lori Atkinson, Libro’s Regional Manager in Windsor-Essex. “We believe rural entrepreneurship is a key element to rural revitalization and regional economic impact and prosperity.”

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The new program builds on the six-year partnership between WEtech Alliance and Libro Credit Union that has had a focus on supporting smaller businesses, especially in rural settings. It has been seen the creation of the highly successful ScaleUp accelerator series that has resulted in assisting 19 companies getting 122 new products and services to the global market and creating 151 new jobs locally.

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