KITCHENER — A new entrepreneurial hub in downtown Kitchener embodies the spirit of collaboration that is key to tackling global challenges, Ontario’s lieutenant governor said Tuesday.
“Its existence is a testament to the spirit of the community and its dedication to thinking globally while acting locally,” the lieutenant governor said. Elizabeth Dowswell at the official opening of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Idea Factory.
“I know your contribution will undoubtedly be a significant undertaking in a resilient state, indeed a world that works for everyone.”
Housed in the BMO Bank building at 2 King Street, the city-run facility will focus on social and environmental innovation and attract start-ups and businesses that advance the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by United Nations Member States. It aims to support the development of small and medium enterprises. in 2015.
Addressing challenges such as poverty, inequality and climate change, this goal serves as a blueprint for a better future for all.
“They are for the whole world,” said Federal Minister of Family, Children and Social Development Karina Gould.
“This is not what the Global North teaches the Global South. It’s about thinking. ”
Tuesday’s event was attended by Dowswell and Gould, along with a host of other elected officials and community leaders.
The SDG Idea Factory itself reflects one of our goals: to establish partnerships and work together to impact change.
Kitchener Mayor Berry Brvanovitch said the hub was selected as the first North American Local4Action hub by the Coalition of Cities and Local Governments, joining 13 other hubs around the world to show that local governments can “change global policy.” It announced that it will support “sharing groundbreaking projects”.
He also said the SDG Idea Factory will serve as a sustainable Waterloo regional outpost, hosting talks, networking events and mentoring opportunities on site.
The hub already includes Waterloo Regional Small Business Centre, LiftOff (a black entrepreneurship program offered by the Waterloo Regional Caribbean Canadian Association), ForUsGirls Foundation (a black feminist organization that provides skills and leadership development programs), Waterloo Local communities and other organizations are based there. Foundation, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest.
The building, located on the corner of King and Queen streets, was purchased by the city in 2020. The city plans to keep the site for up to 10 years so that the adjacent The Museum can finance an expansion on the site.
Aware that it would take at least 2025 for the museum to complete its due diligence, “we knew there was an asset here that could be put to good use in the community in the interim,” Bourvanovic said.
In keeping with Hub’s mission, the 20,000 square foot space has undergone a careful and discreet renovation using recycled carpet and repurposed furniture donated by Communitech.
“We want this to be about building communities and ecosystems,” said Naudia Banton, Entrepreneurship and Technology Advisor for the Waterloo Regional Small Business Center and Head of the SDG Idea Factory. said.
Banton described the desired outcome of this hub as “helping change-makers in our community turn ideas into real impact.”
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