HAMILTON, MARCH 4, 2015 â€“ Ontarioâ€™s largest credit union, Meridian, today announced a three-year partnership with Innovation Factory, Hamiltonâ€™s Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) and a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs. Combining their expertise and resources, the partners will work with local entrepreneurs â€” both aspiring and established â€” to help launch their businesses and ensure sustainable success.
â€śMeridian is committed to championing financial literacy among the entrepreneur community in Ontario. A study commissioned by Meridian shows that while many small business owners have the passion, drive and enthusiasm to start their own business, they often lack the financial acumen to see their business come to fruition,â€ť says Jeff Brown, Vice President, Small Business at Meridian. â€śBy working with Innovation Factory, we can help budding entrepreneurs realize their dreams faster and inspire them to focus on the long-term success and sustainability of their businesses.â€ť
Dedicated to integrating innovation into the way people do business, Innovation Factory has been a vital driver of small business growth in the Greater Hamilton Region for over 4 years. Through the partnership, Meridian will be involved in two of Innovation Factoryâ€™s pillar programs â€” LiONâ€™S LAIR and LiFT. LiONâ€™S LAIR is an annual competition that gives ten local companies the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of Hamiltonâ€™s top business experts for a chance to win more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind resources. LiFT assists entrepreneurs by assessing and overcoming the challenges they face within the current stages of their businesses. Within both programs and on an ongoing basis, Meridian experts will provide financial advice and counseling to these impassioned entrepreneurs supported by Innovation Factory.
â€śWe are always looking to develop partnerships with the best and brightest in Hamilton,â€ť says David Carter, Executive Director, Innovation Factory. â€śPartnerships require a common vision for the future, and Meridian supports our belief that entrepreneurs will have a significant impact in the future growth in the City and its surrounding region.â€ś
With over 70 years of banking history, Meridian is Ontarioâ€™s largest credit union, helping to grow the lives of its more than a quarter of a million Members, including over 21,000 business Members. Meridian has $11 billion in assets under management and delivers a full range of financial services online, by phone, by mobile and through a network of 67 branches and 7 business centres. Meridian Members also have access to THE EXCHANGEÂ® Network, with more than 2,500 no-fee ABMs across Canada and 360,000 ABMs in the United States. For more information, please visit: meridiancu.ca.
About Innovation Factory
Innovation Factory is the Regional Innovation Centre for Hamilton in the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, leveraging funding and support from all three levels of government and the cityâ€™s top private sector and institutional partners. Our goal is to stimulate economic activity in this city by helping Hamilton businesses embrace the principals of innovation.
A member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), we are focused on strengthening Hamiltonâ€™s next generation of job generators. innovationfactory.ca.
Funded by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) is Ontarioâ€™s innovation system. The ONE is made up of regional and sector focused organizations designed to help Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their companies, and create jobs. For more information visit oneinnovation.ca.