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!

Testing the Entrepreneurial Waters

On a beautiful August afternoon, we partnered with Anderson Career Training Institute (ACTI) to host an orientation to self-employment for our unemployed locals. Our Edmonton office was a buzzing space of fourteen curious minds listening intently to our speakers as they spoke about what self-employment entails and what it takes to be a profitable entrepreneur. Our team shared resources and services we offer entrepreneurs, while ACTI reviewed the criteria for their exhilarating self-employment program. Attendees were pleased as they left with a better understanding of the intricacies of running their own businesses.

Two days later, on August 25, we delivered a similar presentation at Calgary’s ATB Entrepreneur Centre. A lively group of 20 new entrepreneurs learned about the basic steps of starting a business. We had engaging conversations about the three major steps involved:

1. Planning

  • Is your business idea feasible?
  • Do you have access to enough funding?
  • Is there a market for your product?
  • Do you have an operational plan?

2. Financing

  • Do you know your financing options?
  • What will you do if your first options don’t work out?
  • Do you know what lenders and investors are looking for?

3. Starting

  • What business structure will you choose?
  • Do you know what permits and licenses apply to your industry?
  • Do you need insurance?

These questions helped our entrepreneurs think about some of the serious implications that come with business ownership. After this presentation, we were happy to conduct one-on-one appointments with people needing specific advice.

Delving into Your Market

Every month we have the honour of teaming up with Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in presenting to driven women entrepreneurs, in both Edmonton and Calgary. We partner with AWE in talking about market research as part of their “Roadmap for Success” workshop. Don’t be too quick to judge their name! While they only finance businesses that are mostly owned by women, men are always welcome to AWE’s workshops! These workshops create the perfect opportunity for networking while learning, as there is a great mix of new and seasoned entrepreneurs. Attendees suggested answers to questions and shared their own business experiences.

Our team member, Kari Morton, was in Edmonton on August 16 and in Calgary on the 23rd as she explained the benefits of market research. These benefits include:

  • You become familiar with industry trends
  • You get to understand your target market and their preferences
  • You learn about your competition
  • You identify opportunities for growth

After the workshop, you feel confident walking away with effective resources for developing your business plan and conducting basic market research.

Standing Strong After a Disaster

With the fierce fires that struck Fort McMurray this summer (leaving hundreds of businesses affected), we made it our duty to visit the resilient town and provided practical business advice to entrepreneurs. Our team member, David Bayda, and Futurpreneur’s Hussam Tungekar, stopped by Fort McMurray last month to sit with clients one-on-one and listen to their challenges. Although recovery is slow, it is certainly steady. The residents and business owners of Fort Mac are a close-knit community, radiating positivity and are hopeful in their potential-filled economy.