The Province is contributing $100,000 to expand business training for current and potential entrepreneurs in Prince George and surrounding communities.
The funding will enable Futurpreneur Canada to offer Rock My Business Plan workshops for people between the ages of 18 to 39 in five communities throughout B.C. this year. Prince George has been chosen for its close proximity to other communities which will help ensure people in northern B.C. can attend the workshops; the remaining communities offering the workshops are Kelowna, Kamloops, Nanaimo and Cranbrook.
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. 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 Futurpreneur 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.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and MLA for Prince George-Valemount –
“Rock My Business Plan will benefit many young entrepreneurs in Prince George and surrounding areas by helping them create a business plan and give them support to see their ideas through to reality. Helping entrepreneurs reach their full potential helps builds strong communities throughout B.C.”
Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie –
“Bringing Rock My Business Plan back to Prince George and the North will help grow more successful business like Pop Media, XP Entertainment and Olympus Freerunning. These are businesses that help create jobs and develop a strong economy for B.C. and contribute to making B.C.’s northern communities a great place to live.”
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.”
Riley Banzer, owner, Olympus Freerunning –
“As a young entrepreneur it can be difficult to find help. I had a friend forward me the link the Rock My Business Plan workshop and that’s when I found out that I could start my business with their help. After the Rock My Business Plan workshop, I started looking into more funding opportunities and with the help of my mentor from Futurepreneur, I revised my business plan and applied. I will be opening my Freerunning Parkour Gym this summer with the combined help from Futurepreneur Canada and Community Futures.”
- 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