ETSI-BC Funds Accelerate Okanagan to Support Business Resilience and Growth

News July 27, 2021

Posted by Sara Scott

ETSI-BC Funds Accelerate Okanagan to Support Business Resilience and Growth Featured Image

Accelerate Okanagan receives funding from ETSI-BC’s Southern Interior Rural Business and Community Recovery program to expand support for entrepreneurs in Okanagan communities with a population of under 25,000. 

Communities and businesses throughout the Southern Interior of British Columbia are receiving new support for much-needed economic recovery and growth. The Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) announced Accelerate Okanagan as one of the recipients of the Rural Business and Community Recovery (RBCR) Program.

Communities in the Southern Interior with populations under 25,000, and non-profit business support organizations serving those communities, could access the funding program to create and hire new Community and Business Recovery Advisor positions. These advisors will enhance local capacity to create and implement economic recovery and resiliency, support local business owners, and create new opportunities for growth.

“Our mission at Accelerate Okanagan has always been to support entrepreneurs in the Okanagan. This funding allows us to increase our capacity and reach to business owners in the North and South,” says Thuy Tran, Acting CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. “We’ve already hired two Business Advisors, Jennifer Vincent in the South Okanagan and Andrew Klingel located in the North.”

Jennifer Vincent has been involved in economic development in the South Okanagan for over 10 years. She founded the first coworking space in the south, Cowork Penticton and has led many high-impact business events including; FutureBiz Penticton, South Okanagan Hiring & Housing Forum, and the Start Here Okanagan Job Fair. Andrew Klingel is a well-known local entrepreneur, with experience in supporting new ventures as well as consulting for major corporations. He is also a professor at Okanagan College teaching business and entrepreneurship. 

Business owners looking for assistance can schedule a complementary meeting with Jennifer and Andrew here

In total, 59 organizations in ETSI-BC’s nine regional districts are being served by these RBCR-funded projects. ETSI-BC’s CEO Laurel Douglas and her team were inspired by the applications they’ve received and all of the work happening throughout the Interior.

“We see innovation as a key to economic recovery for our communities,” said Douglas. “Our team will work closely with Accelerate Okanagan and their Business Advisors to provide much-needed support to entrepreneurs from Osoyoos to Salmon Arm”. 

With financial support from the Province of BC, ETSI-BC will be providing $1.5 million in grant funding to support 59 rural communities and business support organizations as they take on the challenging task of assisting with economic recovery.

You can learn more about the Rural Business and Community Recovery program by visiting

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