It’s an initiative so new its age can be measured in weeks. It’s called Elevate and it is designed to assist promising Prairie entrepreneurs with disabilities with help to start their own businesses. “We already have our first 30 participants in the program; the response is better than we expected,” said Susan Bater, program manager with Elevate, a mere few weeks into the program. That is to say, the program has been public for weeks; Community Futures Manitoba had submitted the proposal over a year ago.
The program’s duration is three years. Elevate’s goal is to serve 120 potential participants in the three Prairie provinces’ rural areas, defined as anywhere but the five largest Prairie cities (Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg). The program is offered in the 56 Community Futures’ offices spread throughout the Prairies and funded partly by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program.