It may have been a coincidence that mayoral candidate Joe Swan announced a plan to retain graduates the night after a mayoral debate run by King’s University students.
Swan unveiled his jobs plan that includes reallocating $1.5-million to the London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) to “incubate” entrepreneurs and small businesses. Industries like the arts, design, graphic novels, and phone apps are part of the creative movement Swan wants to expand.
“We’re going to provide them with the tools, the equipment, the training, so that they become real entrepreneurs in our community,” says Swan. “We really want to stop the amount of creative talent that’s leaving London and try to provide opportunities for them to be successful here.”
In the plan, 430 jobs are expected to be created in the first year. By 2026, more than five-thousand full-time jobs will have been created. Swan says it’s time to start looking at other cities like Kitchener who have had success supporting creative industries.
“Let’s find the communities that have had success, bring business people to vet the plans and opportunities that are there, provide infrastructure, and demonstrate that as a city we care about the young people’s talent and their abilities to be successful,” he says.
Swan’s announcement was accompanied by a locally produced video as a small example of what could be done by these new indie businesses.