Dan has been an entrepreneur for the better part of his life. It all started with a lemonade stand he set up in his neighbourhood at the age of 12. He remembers loving the feeling of running an operation and providing a service- he had found his calling. His newest venture is Happy Days Vending, which supplies local restaurants and stores with toy vending machines. Don't be too quick to judge, this isn't your average vending machine company, Happy Days Vending has a heart for philanthropy.
Finding and securing financing is an important part of starting any small business. You need money to be able to start, operate, and eventually grow your operations. But when it comes to small business grants, there are a lot of misconceptions and even inaccurate information out there. There really isn’t any free money, but there are specific programs or incentives that may be able to assist very select types of businesses. Get your notebooks out, we’re giving you some handy grant tips!
Part of living and working in a boom/bust economy is the inevitable and temporary downturn. Sadly, one of the first things to go in these leaner times is marketing budgets. Companies that cut their marketing budget, however, are missing unique opportunities presented in times of economic uncertainty. By thinking long term, careful investment in marketing will ultimately assist your company bounce back as the economy improves.
The ‘one-stop-shop’ saying is sometimes an overused cliché, but for the instance of the Alberta Government’s Self Employment “SE” program, it is an accurate descriptor. With funding support from both provincial and federal governments, these 26 week training programs are amazing incubators and catalysts for aspiring entrepreneurs across Alberta. With the objective of training and mentoring unemployed and marginally employed Albertans who have a viable business idea, the SE program has seen great success rates over the
Ghalia and Hania are two bright young entrepreneurs that started their business, Teen Tutors, to help other children and teens succeed. The entrepreneurial seed was sown when they employed a tutor of their own, and quickly realized there was an opportunity to develop a different kind of tutoring relationship, one that focuses on peer-to-peer mentoring.
There is a trajectory of change occurring in post-secondary institutions with regards to social innovation and entrepreneurship. At Bow Valley College (BVC), we recognize that learners don’t just want a job, they want to make a difference while making a living. How can we help them achieve these aspirations? We are changing the environment in which students learn by exposing them to social innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives that are supported by BVC and the local community.
So you’ve developed this mind blowing business idea but could use a little extra boost to take it to the next level. You’ve exhausted the traditional lending route: seeking assistance from family and friends, using your credit card, and of course taking out a personal loan from your bank. However, the traditional route was not as successful as you had initially hoped. But before you go wishing for a fairy god parent or a humble (but generous) money tree, this may be a good time to explore what crowdfunding could do for your business.
This past month has been an exciting and eventful month for us as we hosted and participated in many business events across Alberta. Our team had fun helping entrepreneurs of all stages get the information they need to build and maintain successful businesses. We offered advice on everything from taking your first steps into entrepreneurship to surviving natural disasters that affect your operations. Take a peek at where we went, what we did, and who we met!
Growing Your Business with Guidance
When we think about an entrepreneur, some of us visualize a lone wolf learning from his/her own mistakes, growing at a slow and steady space. We may think entrepreneurship is about making decisions with unpredictable outcomes in hopes it leads us to success and to some extent, this is true, but not always the case. There will be obstacles to be conquered along the entrepreneurial journey but thankfully, it never has to be a lonely one.
After a few years of toiling hard on your small business- sticking through it in every challenge and victory- you've successfully grown it to a size that requires a little more hands on deck to keep afloat. While getting your business to this stage is a major achievement, you may be feeling overwhelmed with the common conundrum: do I hire employees or independent contractors? The first step: don't panic!