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Equity financing has never been easy to source in Canada. But now it's getting worse.

Statistics from the Canadian Venture Capital Association show venture investing in the third quarter of 2009 fell 50% from the previous year, to just $191-million. In fact, total venture-capital investments could fall below the $1-billion mark this year for the first time since 1995– the year Netscape went public and kicked off the Internet gold rush.

But there is hope. The recession is easing, more Canadian cleantech companies are emerging, and the strengthening initial public offering market is restoring venture capitalists' hopes for more successful "exits" from investments. (Ironically, the company that breathed new life into the IPO market last month is Dollarama, the low-end retail giant that's the very antithesis of most VCs' ideal investment.)

VCs are looking for great ideas; The trick is to be able to get them to look at the business plan |