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Economic Development Lethbridge receives $1.68M in STEM Funding

Jul 22, 2019
For Immediate Release July 22, 2019

Lethbridge, AB…Announced today by the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL) will receive $1.68M in funding over the next 3 years for Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) training, mentoring and other entrepreneurial support programs through its Tecconnect location. The funding through Western Economic Diversification Canada will enable partner organizations in southern Alberta to strengthen and enhance the capacity of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to support women entrepreneurs in the area of STEM related endeavours. Objectives of the Women in STEM program will include Entrepreneur Training, Networking, Mentorship and Funding, Access to training in current & emerging technologies, and Outreach Opportunities.

Renae Barlow, Vice President, Entrepreneurship & Innovation for EDL commented on what the catalyst was regarding the ask for funding; “Women in Lethbridge pursuing STEM related opportunities are at a geographic disadvantage when it comes to accessing a local network with entrepreneurial supports. This program will change that by removing barriers to training and mentorship. This grant provides the financial resources to apply Economic Development Lethbridge’s vast experience squarely on strengthening and enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem to support women entrepreneurs in southern Alberta in the area of STEM-related endeavours.”

Barlow, who will oversee the Women in STEM program based out of EDL’s Tecconnect location also remarked on the opportunity to reach a diverse section of women with the funding “Women engaging with technology is important to ensure equal participation in our increasingly digital-centric world from rural and remote communities, indigenous communities and new immigrants.” She also expressed that EDL is proud to take a leadership role to be the change we want to see when it comes to improving women’s representation in business.

The funding, which is planned to run until March of 2022, will enhance the portfolio of the already robust entrepreneur curriculum and support offered at EDL’s Tecconnect incubator.

Economic Development Lethbridge CEO, Trevor Lewington explains how the Women in STEM program will help create new opportunities now and, in the future “Tecconnect was designed to become a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation for our region and the funding announced today increases our capacity to better support start-ups and entrepreneurs. Most job creation in the economy comes from local small business, and STEM related fields are the future of our economy so it makes good sense to make investments to anchor these companies in our community.”

Economic Development Lethbridge is an arm’s length organization, supported by the City of Lethbridge, governed by a 25-member volunteer Board of Directors and managed by a team of professionals dedicated to promoting economic prosperity in Lethbridge.


For more information, contact:
Trevor Lewington, CEO
Economic Development Lethbridge
403.331.0022 or 403.330.3701

Renae Barlow, Vice President, Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Economic Development Lethbridge/Tecconnect

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