Building Business Success in Alberta for 25 Years.

Business Link is excited to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary in 2021. Since 1996, we’ve supported thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs in Alberta by creating clarity and confidence as they build their business. Explore our history with us and stay tuned for exciting announcements and programming we have planned for our 25th year.

Business Link Throughout the Years:

Launch of The Business Link: April 1996

In April 1996, we were founded under the name “The Business Link Business Service Centre” as a one-stop resource centre for small and medium-sized companies. “The Business Link” offered a more affordable way to consolidate two city centres – the federal Business Service Centre in Canada Place, and the province’s business office in the Standard Life building – saving the government approximately $500,000. In our early years, we received funding from Economic Development Edmonton, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Alberta.

Logo Update: 2001

In 2001, we updated our logo to give The Business Link a new feel that Alberta entrepreneurs could be excited about.

The Business Link’s early logo with 3 connected rings pays tribute to the 3 levels of government involved (municipal, provincial and federal) and the collaboration between them to create “The Business Link.”

Launch of the Indigenous Business Services Program: April 2001

In April 2001, Business Link launched the Indigenous Business Services Program. Since the launch of this program, we have offered specialized support to thousands of Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs across Alberta. From startup to expansion, our resources are tailored to meet the unique needs of our Indigenous clients.

Then and now:

Spot the current Business Link Employees!

New Funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada: November 2003

In late 2003, Business Link entered a partnership with Western Economic Diversification Canada (now Prairies Economic Development Canada) that brought in funding to allow our growing non-profit to expand services. With this new funding, we launched a new export program that offered advice and one-on-one training sessions to familiarize entrepreneurs with the complexities of international trade.

Launch of Mobile Business Incubator Project: October 2011

In the fall of 2011, Business Link, along with funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada and the provincial and federal government, launched a 3-year Mobile Business Incubator Project in rural Indigenous communities along highway 881. Business Link converted three mobile trailers into a portable business support centre, equipped with an internet connection and professional staff to support rural business ideas.

Business Link Celebrates 20th Anniversary: April 2016

In 2016, Business Link celebrated our 20th anniversary and we unveiled a new 20th anniversary logo. We highlighted the evolution of our brand and featured client spotlights from the previous 20 years in our 2016-17 Annual Report.

Business Link Moves Offices: October 2016

In the fall of 2016, Business Link moved our head office in Edmonton from the Beaver House location, to our current office space on 100 Street.

Launch of the Immigrant Entrepreneur Program: September 2018

On September 20, 2018, Business Link launched the Immigrant Entrepreneur Program with funding from the Alberta Government. This new program allowed us to offer tailored advice to immigrant business owners facing unique entrepreneurial challenges. Since launching this program, we have continued to expand and offer specialized support to aspiring and established immigrant entrepreneurs across Alberta.

Business Link Partners with Google for Grow with Google Edmonton: September 2018

In September of 2018, Business Link, along with numerous other community organizations, partnered with Google to bring the Grow with Google program to Edmonton. Grow with Google was a one-day event hosted by Google to help Canadians create economic opportunity through digital skills training across the country. Google partnered with Business Link and other community organizations including the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, West Edmonton Business Association, Startup Edmonton, Edmonton Business Association, TEC Edmonton, Futurpreneur Canada, and Alberta Women Entrepreneurs for this initiative.

Business Link’s Indigenous Two-Year Procurement Program: August 2019

In 2019, Business Link partnered with the Regional Innovation Ecosystem to deliver a two-year outreach program to help increase the access of Indigenous businesses to federal government procurement opportunities. Through this program, Business Link built awareness of procurement opportunities, identified Indigenous businesses that are procurement-ready, and provided training to businesses so they can bid on federal opportunities. This initiative was made possible through funding from the Government of Canada.

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Business Link launches Indigenous Services Self-Employment Program: February 2020

In February 2020, Business Link launched a 24-week program that teaches the key building blocks of entrepreneurship to aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs. Participants graduated the program with a fully developed business plan that had been reviewed, a marketing plan, a finalized financial forecast and in-depth market research. This program was the first of its kind in Alberta and is funded by the Government of Canada. On February 26, 2020 the first group of graduates finished the Business Link self-employment program in Lethbridge in conjunction with SAAMIS Aboriginal Employment and Training.

Launch of COVID-19 Recovery Programs and Resources for Entrepreneurs: April 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Business Link launched our new Resilient Recovery Program (RRP) and resources for entrepreneurs. The RRP launched to offer one-on-one coaching to help businesses land on their feet after being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was funded by financial support from the Alberta government and the federal government’s Western Economic Diversification Canada department. In addition to the RRP, we launched COVID-19 resources webpages and tailored our events to keep the impact of the pandemic in mind.


Launch of Peerpreneur Sessions: September 2020

In September 2020, we were thrilled to launch our very first peer-to-peer offering for entrepreneurs. Peerpreneur Sessions are a series of live virtual group discussions facilitated by our Business Link Strategists, designed to strengthen connections between small business owners across Alberta amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Entrepreneurs are assigned a cohort group and participate in a series of 4-weekly sessions. These highly engaging sessions give entrepreneurs the chance to discuss their business challenges, explore ideas, share best practices, and get support as they grow their business.

Launch of the Support Local AB Directory: March 2021

In March 2021, Business Link launched our Support Local AB small business directory. The directory connects business owners with new customers and clients across the province. It is free, easy to use, and is open to all Alberta small businesses. The directory highlights and celebrates the diversity in small businesses and entrepreneurship across Alberta and allows business owners to easily keep important business information up to date.

Business Link Celebrate 25th Anniversary: April 2021

We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary throughout 2021! We have unveiled a new 25th anniversary logo and will be highlighting our monumental events from our 25 years in business. Join us in our celebration this year and stay tuned for special 25th anniversary announcements.