The Province is contributing $100,000 to expand business training for current and potential entrepreneurs in communities throughout B.C., including Kelowna, Kamloops and Cranbrook and surrounding areas.
The funding will enable Futurpreneur Canada to offer Rock My Business Plan workshops for people between the ages of 18 and 39 in five communities throughout B.C. this year. Kelowna, Kamloops and Cranbrook have been chosen for their close proximity to other communities, which will help ensure people throughout the interior can attend the workshops. The remaining communities are Prince George and Nanaimo.
Rock My Business Plan helps young entrepreneurs learn how to create and hone a business plan, including how to plan for growth outside their communities, undertake market research, manage cash flow and secure financing. Participants can ask questions of the workshop instructor, refine and practice delivering their business pitch, receive one-on-one coaching, potentially access up $45,000 in financing, and receive mentoring through Futurpreneur Canada for up to two years after the workshop. The workshops are also a place for attendees to meet other new entrepreneurs and make invaluable connections in the local business community.
In October 2016, during Small Business Month, Rock My Business Plan workshops were offered in Kelowna, Prince George and Nanaimo. Over 80 entrepreneurs attended and 30% pursued funding for their ideas. Up to 125 people from throughout B.C. are expected to attend Rock My Business Plan workshops this year.
This announcement is part of a larger funding package that is also expanding the ThriveNorth program in B.C. A partnership between the Province, Futurpreneur Canada and Prince Rupert LNG, ThriveNorth teaches business skills to Indigenous and rural youth in the Northwest. Government’s combined contribution to both Rock My Business Plan and Thrive North is $170,000, which builds on an $86,000 contribution from Futurepreneur Canada and a $200,000 commitment from Prince Rupert LNG, bringing the total investment by all partners for both programs to $456,000.
Expanding Rock My Business Plan in B.C. is one of the key ways the Province is taking action to strengthen, grow and diversify rural communities. This partnership builds on the immediate investments and long-term action plan outlined in B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy that are expected to create over 26,000 jobs and add $2.8 billion to provincial GDP.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction –
“This funding allows Rock My Business Plan to come to communities throughout the province and help young British Columbians pursue their dreams by starting with a solid foundation—a rock-solid business plan. Small businesses are vitally important to the provincial economy and we want to do all we can to help new enterprises expand and thrive.”
Steve Thompson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission –
“Having Rock My Business Plan come to B.C.’s interior will allow young entrepreneurs in the area to learn valuable business skills and potentially gain funding for their business ideas. Supporting entrepreneurialism in B.C. helps create jobs, grow communities and support B.C.’s strong economy.”
Todd Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson –
“Locating the workshops in three central locations in the interior, Kelowna, Kamloops and Cranbrook, makes it easier for people from surrounding areas to attend and learn these foundational business skills. Offering Rock My Business Plan to entrepreneurs throughout the region will help new small businesses open and grow existing businesses, benefitting people and communities throughout the area.”
Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country –
“Rock My Business Plan gives entrepreneurs the confidence to start their own business, from financing to strategy, and these workshops prepare them to write a well thought-out business plan. Supporting people who have aspirations of entrepreneurship creates jobs, strengthens our economy and helps set them up for success.”
Julia Deans, CEO of Futurpreneur Canada –
“Rock My Business Plan’s multi-session intensive learning and development workshops run participants through the full gamut of business planning fundamentals and leaves them with the skills and confidence to develop and grow their businesses.”
Joelene Cyr, owner, True Landscaping –
"I wouldn't have pursued starting a business if it wasn't for the Rock My Business Plan workshops. Without this free program being available, I wouldn't have seen how possible it was for me to start my own business. The workshops were amazing. They walked me through researching and writing my business plan step by step and helped me get the start-up funding I needed. I can't thank the people at Futurpreneur enough for the help they offered throughout the entire process and for providing me the opportunity to pursue my dream of owning my own business."
Stuart Lang, owner, The Smile Cycle - Pedal Tour Company –
“The Futurpreneur Canada program has a wealth of online materials available to navigate the foundation stage of starting a business. However, the one-on-one and group sessions of the Rock My Business plan seminars were energizing, highly relevant and timely as I dove into launching my business. With clear direction from these workshops, and their easy-to-use online business plan builder, I was able to submit my Futurpreneur Canada application for review, and was successfully funded in a matter of weeks. I am now on the cusp of my grand opening and am looking forward to driving the business forward with my Futurpreneur Canada mentor.”
- Futurpreneur Canada has helped youth launch over 1,220 new business in B.C. since 2002, creating over 5,800 jobs and an estimated $36.6 million in tax revenue.
- Futurpreneur Canada is the only national, non-proﬁt organization that provides, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39.
- Small businesses make up 98% of all business in B.C. and employ over one million people.
- Small businesses provide 55% of all private-sector jobs in British Columbia, the second highest rate in the country.
- There are over 1,200 Aboriginal-owned companies in British Columbia, many of which are small businesses.
Small business in B.C.: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/small-business
Futurpreneur Canada: http://www.futurpreneur.ca/en/
Entrepreneurs rocked their business plans in October 2016: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016SBRT0059-002192