Kyle Closen's roots are in the prairies. He grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan with fond memories of working at his grandparents’ upholstery shop, an experience that opened him up to the world of textiles. While he’s worked in other areas during his professional life – having been a truck driver and welder – he always came back to his passion of working with different materials and creating unique handmade items. He took the leap to start his own business in 2014 and Clo’s General Leather Co. was born.
Blog Category: Entrepreneurship
If you’re a beer lover, you’ve probably noticed the beer fridge at your local liquor store becoming increasingly crowded. Big name brands now compete for shelf space with up-and-coming craft beers – including a growing number of local brews. Data from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) shows that the number of breweries and brew pubs in Alberta doubled in size – from 19 to 40 – between the start of 2014 and the first half of 2016.
When an idea sparked in Ismail’s mind a couple of years ago, he knew it was the right time to pursue it. As he came into his 30s and wasn’t getting much fulfillment from working as a General Sales Manager for a large corporation, he moved his life from Montreal to Edmonton and began his entrepreneurial path. His biggest motivator was never wanting to regret anything, to not look back when he gets older and think “I wish I had done that”.
To become an entrepreneur, you needn’t choose between people and profits. As tech entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki once said, “Great companies start because the founders want to change the world…not make a fast buck.” Caring people all over the world create businesses that are not only profitable, but also create lasting positive change for those in need.
Defining Social Entrepreneurship
“So, What is a Social Enterprise?” That is the number one question I get!
The quick answer is a social enterprise is a non-profit or for-profit organization that, through their business model, solves a problem & creates change that positively impacts people, profit and planet.
What does that really mean? Let's walk through a real example:
When the opportunity to take over Stash presented itself a few years ago, Veronica immediately jumped on it. With her background in visual arts and the non-profit gallery and museum environment, she knew she had the skills to be an entrepreneur. She quickly recognized that Stash’s class-based model provided them with a real competitive advantage. The focus is on offering a large variety of intimate classes so that customers can advance and customize their skill sets, while at the same time purchase products to grow their crafting “stash”.
Designing a business without a plan is a bit like navigating a new place without a map. It’s hard to know which road to follow and you’ll likely take a wrong turn or two. Luckily, there are tools to help you plot the pathway to business success. Introducing the Business Model Canvas – a creative compass that allows you to design, visualize, analyze, and describe your business.
Happy 2017! This 2017, Canada will be celebrating its 150th anniversary since Confederation. With this theme in mind, we wanted to gift you 150 business startup ideas to help inspire you and get you thinking outside the box.
As an entrepreneur, you never know when an opportunity will come about that can benefit you. Robert and Carl stumbled upon such an opportunity ten years ago, when they kept running into each other at networking events around Edmonton. They decided to meet over coffee after one of our events and have been meeting ever since.
It seems intuitive: work with other small businesses to help grow yours.
When you first take the plunge into starting your own business, you are going to be on the lookout for others in a similar situation. The urge may be to reach out to other small business owners with ideas on how to collaborate. You then follow larger businesses on social media for inspiration. At first you will find comfort in it. You will meet other entrepreneurs and work together to grow your reach on social media and your visibility in the community.