MONTREAL -- Quebec is creating a new program to help young businesses grow.

Impulsion PME, as the program has been titled, will be managed by Investissement Quebec and endowed with a $50 million budget to be spread over two years. That money will go towards providing venture capital to small and medium-sized startups with high growth potential.

The announcement was made Monday by Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon and Minister Responsible for Innovation Lucie Lecours. The program aims to attract the interest of venture capital investors and will be available to businesses throughout the province.

The number of businesses that will be accepted was not given but the ministers said each chosen business can expect a sum ranging from $250,000 to $1 million.

To be eligible, companies must also seek out private financing. Support through the program will take the form of loans that are convertible into equity and public financing must be matched by an equal amount from private investors.

Investissement Quebec already oversees several financial support programs for medium and small businesses but Fitzgibbon said there was “a huge gap” among innovative startups looking for venture capital.

He added that the program is meant to “supplement” private financing, rather than replace it.  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2021