Ontario Students Get Global Edge

    McGuinty Government Gives Students International Work Experience

    TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW/ -


    Ontario is giving postsecondary students a valuable opportunity to head
abroad and learn about the international marketplace.
    The Ontario Global Edge program gives students a first-hand opportunity
to learn about entrepreneurship and business in a global economy, by placing
students with small businesses in international jurisdictions.
    Following a successful pilot program in 2007, the 2008 Ontario Budget
announced funding for Ontario Global Edge over the next four years. Ontario
has partnered with selected universities to send up to 160 students overseas
over the course of four years to gain valuable international experience in
countries such as Indonesia, Italy, Holland, England, Germany and Jamaica.


    "The Global Edge Program gives our future entrepreneurs the opportunity
to learn how to do business not just in Ontario but in the fast paced and
competitive global economy," said Harinder Takhar, Minister of Small Business
and Consumer Services. "Students will gain valuable cross-cultural work
experience and be placed with some of the world's most well known and
successful companies."
    "Our young people are our strongest assets," said Sophia Aggelonitis,
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Small Business and Consumer
Services. "We live in a global economy and we are giving our students the edge
they need to succeed as our province's future entrepreneurs and business
    "Ontario Global Edge has given me a head start on thinking about how to
start a successful business, a process that begins far before graduation,"
said Gordon Hunt, an architecture student at the University of Waterloo and
Ontario Global Edge participant.


    -   The 2008 Ontario Budget announced it will invest $1.7 million in the
        Ontario Global Edge program over the next four years.

    -   Ontario Global Edge is a partnership with the University of
        Ottawa/Telfer, Seneca College, University of Waterloo and
        Confederation College to help promote the importance of
        entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized businesses in the global


    Learn about the Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services'
(http://www.ontariocanada.com/ontcan/sbcs_index.jsp) work to promote a healthy
small and medium-sized business sector and protect consumers in Ontario.
    Find out about Summer Company
(http://www.sbe.gov.on.ca/ontcan/sbe/en/youth_summerco_en.jsp), a popular
program that provides the opportunity for Ontario's youth to explore and
experience entrepreneurship by running a summer business.

                                                      Disponible en français


    Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services

    The Ontario Global Edge program gives students a firsthand opportunity to
learn about entrepreneurship and the role of small and medium-sized businesses
in a global economy.
    The Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services administers the
program, which provides grants to selected, publicly-funded postsecondary
institutions so that students between the ages of 19 to 29 can gain the
experience and skills to effectively engage in the global marketplace.

    Ontario Global Edge's key objectives are to:

    -   Foster a culture of entrepreneurship and expand an entrepreneurial
        awareness among postsecondary students

    -   Encourage enterprising young people in Ontario to explore
        international business, and

    -   Promote the importance of entrepreneurs and opportunities for small
        and medium-sized enterprises in a global marketplace.

    Ontario's small and medium-sized businesses are growing and expanding
internationally. Within the global marketplace:

    -   Ontario's businesses have strong trading relationships with the
        United States, Mexico, and Europe, and are rapidly establishing trade
        relationships with Asian countries.

    -   Small and medium-sized businesses play a major role in Ontario's
        export success. In 2006, more than 16,900 of these businesses
        exported $51.5 billion of goods around the world.

    It all adds up to building a stronger future for Ontario's economy - and
a competitive edge in the global marketplace.
    For more information on Ontario Global Edge and comments from students
who participated in the pilot program, visit the Ministry of Small Business
and Consumer Services' website at www.ontario.ca/sbcs

For further information:

For further information: Sarbjit Kaur, Minister's Office, (416)
326-1939; Stephen Puddister, Communications, (416) 326-7304

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Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services

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