Local entrepreneurs can seek cash in Hawk”™s Nest

Local entrepreneur’s will soon have a shot at securing “angel investor” cash without travelling all the way to the Dragon’s Den.

The Saugeen Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) has partnered with the Bruce Community Futures Development Corporation (Bruce CFDC) to deliver the Hawks’ Nest, a Dragons’ Den-inspired competition in which entrepreneurs from various sectors will pitch their business ideas in an attempt to secure financial support from local angel investors (the “hawks”).

The Federal Economic Development Agency of Southwestern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) is providing financial assistance for the program.

Prior to submitting applications, entrepreneurs will receive assistance with preparing their business plans at free training sessions that include how to prepare their pitch to the hawks. Training sessions will be offered in the fall.

“This event will support local economic growth and provide a viable option for new businesses and expansions,’ stated SEDC general manager Rose Austin.

The Hawks’ Nest advisory committee has representation from nine communities, including two in northern Wellington County: Town of Minto economic and business manager Belinda Wick-Graham and Rosylyn Fortier of the Mount Forest Chamber of Commerce.

A press release states the identity of local Hawks will be revealed in a future announcement. Wick-Graham said details of the application process and time frame for the competition will also be announced at a later date.

The SEDC and the Bruce CFDC offer a wide variety of programs and services supporting community economic development and small business growth. In particular, they provide:

– community strategic planning and socio-economic development;

– support for community-based projects;

– business information, training and planning services; and

– access to capital for small and medium-sized businesses and social enterprises.