OSC announces initiatives to enhance access to capital for early-stage businesses in Ontario

For Immediate Release OSC

Toronto – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today announced a series of initiatives to support capital-raising for early-stage Ontario businesses (Notice of General Orders) through the OSC TestLab program. OSC TestLab uses testing to evaluate capital market innovations and new approaches to regulation in Ontario’s capital markets.

“New and growing businesses play an essential role in our economy, contributing to job creation and driving productivity gains through innovation and competition,” said Grant Vingoe, Chief Executive Officer of the OSC. “These initiatives reflect the OSC’s commitment to fostering the conditions for growth and innovation in Ontario’s capital markets without compromising investor protection, as outlined in our recently released strategic plan.”

These initiatives are time-limited and take a balanced approach to enhancing access to early-stage capital, while maintaining investor protections and include an extension of the Self-Certified Investor Prospectus Exemption, dealer registration exemptions for early-stage businesses and not-for-profit angel investor groups, along with streamlined reporting of distributions by early-stage businesses.

“The OSC TestLab initiatives will provide important insights as we work to support access to finance at all stages of business growth,” said Leslie Byberg, Executive Vice President, Strategic Regulation. “The data and information collected will help inform future policymaking, including promoting access to capital for early-stage businesses in Ontario while also ensuring investor protections.”

The OSC will collect information to help evaluate these initiatives and invite perspectives from the participating businesses and investors and other key stakeholders in the early-stage capital-raising ecosystem.

For details on these initiatives, please visit the Innovation Office website at oscinnovation.ca/TestLab.

The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair, efficient and competitive capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, to foster capital formation, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at https://www.osc.ca.

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