by Stella Shepard, June 30, 2016
Have you considered turning your skills, abilities, and passion into self employment?
Over the years, The Employment Journey has profiled many individuals who followed their passion and became business owners and operators.
Awareness of resources in the community is so important. Here is a great look at what PEI has to offer.
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency offers a variety of programs, services and resources to help entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada start, expand or modernize their business. ACOA also offers programs that support strategic initiatives in response to the economic development and infrastructure needs of communities.
For more information, call 1-800-871-2596 or visit www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca.
Businesses for sale on PEI:
What makes a good business deal?
Wayne Carew, President of Confederation M & A, offers the following advice and suggestions for purchasing a business:
CONFIDENTIALITY: “Most good business opportunities are not advertised. Expect to sign a non-disclosure agreement.”
THE OFFER: “Make sure it is clear and concise, with a list of what assets of the business are included and excluded.”
DEAL BREAKERS: “Write it down,” says Wayne. “What is spoken is often forgotten and what is written is remembered.”
For more information about achieving successful business deals, contact Wayne Carew at 902-368-2643 or visit www.confederationgroup.ca.
Banking Services for Small Businesses:
A number of banks across the Island have a small business department. The first step is to contact the lending agency and request an in-person appointment.
Canada/PEI Business Service Centre:
No matter what your business question is, we’ll help you find the answer, free of charge. Whether you’re starting or growing your business, our bilingual staff will help you navigate the worlds of government programs and services, regulations and permits, taxation, importing and exporting, financing options and much more.
We can even help you find some of the information needed to include in your business plan. Drawing from specialized databases, we can put together tailored market research packages to meet your needs.
If you’re part of an organization that supports potential and existing entrepreneurs and business owners, we may be able to help you achieve your goals.
In addition, we provide the following services:
Canadian Federation for Independent Business (CFIB)
Canadian Federation for Independent Business (CFIB) is a not-for-profit organization that advocates for small and medium-sized businesses that are independently owned. There are more than 1,000 members on PEI.
A CFIB business resource counsellor can help guide members through regulatory issues from occupational health and safety policies to finding out about government programs that could help them grow.
A district manager meets with each member small business owner at least once a year to communicate changes in government policies.
They also discuss members’ concerns about such issues as government budget measures, skills and training, occupational health and safety policies, and apprenticeship. Those concerns are then communicated to government.
Chambers of Commerce
Chambers of Commerce across the province are non-profit local business networks dedicated to promoting and protecting the interests of the Island business community they serve.
- Greater Charlottetown Area | www.charlottetownchamber.com
- Greater Summerside | www.summersidechamber.com
- South Shore | www.southshorechamberpei.ca
- Kensington & Area | www.kensingtonchamber.ca
- Eastern Prince Edward Island | www.epeicc.ca/site
- Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce | www.rdeeipe.net/ccaflipe
Two Chamber of Commerce 2016 Award Winners tell their stories
Companies and individuals were recently recognized by the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce for their outstanding work.
“We believe in the business leaders who drive our community, and we want to recognize them and their employees for their incredible contributions,” says Jane Sharpe, Executive Director.
2016 People’s Choice Award went to: Spotlight Theatre Company
Reasha Walsh opened Spotlight Theatre Company about seven years ago in Summerside and now has expanded to the Carrefour Theatre in Charlottetown. The company offers theatre arts programs in acting, musical theatre, dance, improv, and visual arts.
“We offer hands-on learning experiences for all ages,” says Reasha. “Performing arts education develops performance skills and also builds confidence, creative expression, commitment, leadership, public speaking, and teamwork skills. It’s also an exciting opportunity to meet new friends and have fun.
“With weekly classes, workshops, after school programs, summer camps, shows, and birthday parties, there are many ways to shine in the Spotlight.”
Reasha has been in the theatre industry since she was 18 years old. “I started my career by being exposed to stage managing. Normally you need post-secondary training, but I learned on the job. It is certainly the harder way, but it worked out well for me.”
She started working at the Harbourfront Theatre about 12 years ago, and she also took a year of college business studies courses. “I moved to Toronto for a few years, but then came back because I missed the quality of life here. When I came back and noticed there was no theatre school here, I saw an opportunity to open my own business.”
She has a wide range of skills which helped her start in business, but it has been a lot of hard work. “The business has operated as a one-woman show because I am familiar with all aspects of running a theatre school. However, as a result of growth, I hire staff on a casual basis.”
Reasha develops the curriculum for the classes and is in the process of apprenticing staff to eventually take over class instruction. “Many staff previously took the program as performers. Some have gone on to post-secondary training and have come back to work here.
“It is so amazing to get this award and recognition because I spend a lot of time building relationships in the community. When we do big productions, we need community sponsors and partners, and they see that we just want to help make kids, youth and adults happy.
“When you spread the love for culture around and have such a wide age range, it draws in kids, families, businesses and the community as a whole.”
Future business plans
Because the work load is steadily increasing, Reasha says she will be looking into hiring a part-time bookkeeper in the New Year.
“By next spring, we plan to offer a basic technical program for ages 16 and older. The program will teach basic theatre lighting, sound, and stage management skills.”
Reasha says the students of this program will handle the technical aspects of the school’s live performances.
“The students will get a good look at the technical side of the industry and decide if they want to take further education and pursue a career.”
For more information, contact Reasha Walsh, Owner and Operator of Spotlight Theatre Company, at 902-303-2780. Visit www.spotlighttheatrecompany.com.
2016 Employee of the Year went to: Carol Gaudet
Carol Gaudet is not thinking about retirement because she loves her job, the daily routine, and the people she works with. “The years have gone by so fast since I started with this company at the age of 16, and it is so great to get this award,” says Carol.
She comes from a very large family of 24 children from Tignish, and at a young age was expected to work to help support the family. Many of her siblings also worked at PEI Bag Company. She and her husband live in Summerside and have six children.
“At one time, this company employed 14 sewers, but because of changes in technology and the type of material used, we have just two now.”
The company has many long-term employees. “Another sewer retired this year after 47 years,” says Carol. “The company offers great benefits, such as medical and pension plans, and they treat me well. I could retire if I wanted to, but I like getting out each day and coming to work.”
Her hours are 6 am until 2 pm, Monday to Friday. “I like getting up early, and hard work doesn’t bother me. Coming to work gives me more energy.”
Thane Smallwood, General Manager, says Carol is a tremendous role model, because she always has been a loyal, dedicated, and reliable worker. “She loves coming to work every day and does so with an attitude we should bottle and sell.”
For more information about the PEI Bag Company, visit www.peibag.com.
Event showcased world-class businesses operating in Eastern PEI
The Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce (EPEICC) kicked off Small Business Week by hosting an Explore Economics East conference in Georgetown. More than a 100 participants attended the event.
“People are always surprised at how many world-class businesses operate out of Eastern PEI, and most do it very quietly,” says Keir White, President of the EPEICC. “We decided it’s time to celebrate, bring our success stories out of the shadows, and share them with the world.
“We plan to make this a yearly event, with our local businesses sharing their success and providing a forum to pass their knowledge and experience to the next generation.”
The keynote speaker, John Ellis, is a Partner with Global Investment, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). He works with businesses and governments to facilitate investments and partnerships in the UAE.
“The population is set to double in cities like Dubai, and as a result all types of companies can excel in this market,” says John.
“Industries of particular interest are food, fish, beverage, bioscience, manufacturing, cosmetics, aviation, and marine. Many other areas would do equally well.
“Manufacturing in Middle Eastern countries does not meet demand, so products are imported from all over the world. There is a lot of interest in Canadian companies. Products and services from Canada are considered to be high quality.
“The culture of face-to-face meetings is very prominent in the Middle East, and the use of emails less so. We find serious potential investors, partners and clients, and carry out initial meetings on the behalf of PEI companies. We also follow up with clients to ensure maximum success.”
For more information, email [email protected] or visit www.gbi-uk.com.
Panelists talk about their businesses
Colville Bay Oyster Company, Souris
This family-run oyster farm grows and sells oysters in the global marketplace. Their oysters are known world-wide for their flavour. They also fish and sell lobsters and other shellfish at a retail outlet, The Lobster Shack, on the Souris boardwalk.
“We started growing oysters 25 years ago after the closure of the cod fishery in the early 90s,” says Johnny Flynn. “We did our homework to see what works best on PEI and decided to grow oysters because they are native to the area.
“When we started out, it took six years before we actually sold oysters and received a cheque in the mail. We started out selling our product to Island restaurants. A few years later, our name became known, and we began to sell off-Island and around the globe.”
For more information, visit www.colvillebayoysterco.com.
Unleased Potential, Stratford
Duke Ferguson is a certified professional dog trainer who started a business out of the back of his truck in Montague. Unleashed Potential, now based in Stratford, is a registered private dog training school.
Dog trainers from around the globe travel to the school to learn training techniques. As well, Duke provides obedience training for companion pets, trains service dogs, and trains sniffer dogs to detect anything from bombs to drugs to bedbugs. He travels the globe giving seminars, and he’s worked with many animal trainers, including those who have worked for Universal Studios, Sea World, and other production companies.
“I always knew I wanted to work with dogs,” says Duke. “It’s having a passion for what I do that has made the business so successful. You can work from anywhere and be successful, if you have a passion for the job.”
For more information visit www.unleashedpotential.ca.
Navigate Food Safety Solutions, Montague
This business has been in operation for three years. Navigate Food Safety Solutions is currently located in the Launch Pad building on Main Street in Montague.
“Food Safety is more complicated than ever before,” says Maureen Hanley. “Our expertise makes food safety simpler in a very complicated world. Our customers present us with a food safety issue, and then we work with them to find a solution that makes sense.”
For many years, Co-founder Alex Hanley audited hundreds of food plants throughout North America and abroad. He noticed that many processing facilities were dealing with a lot of the same food safety issues, which, more often than not, resulted in food recalls.
“We developed a training process with tools and templates that allow processing facilities to create a simplified, yet highly effective food safety management system that makes sense to everyone in the plant. Clients buy a license through the company and we deliver the customization for that plant through coaching.
“Currently, we are focusing on the 200,000 food plants in North America and working with 30 of them at the moment. We are experiencing rapid growth with a team of four Island-based staff.
“Today you can live anywhere you want and work anywhere in the world. We chose to do business on PEI because we want to work and live here.”
For more information, visit www.navigatefoodsafety.com.
Other businesses on the panel:
- Rossignol Estate Winery, Little Sands, www.rossignolwinery.com
- Artisans on Main, Souris, www.sourisartisans.com
- Center for Aquaculture Technologies, Souris – www.aquatechcenter.com
- NorCan Marine Inc., Montague – www.norcanmarine.com
- Aspin Kemp & Associates, Montague – www.aka-group.com
- Wicked Eh?, Charlottetown – www.wickedeh.net
- AOR Web Solutions, St. Peters – www.aorweb.ca
For more information about the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce, visit www.epeicc.ca.
Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC)
Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) assists in the creation of small businesses and in the expansion and modernization of existing businesses by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs.
- Financial assistance is available in the form of loans, loan guarantees and equity financing to existing and aspiring entrepreneurs.
- Business counselling & advice is available to small businesses. We help businesses to succeed and therefore we give high priority to the advisory role of our mandate.
- Entrepreneurship development and training to individuals and small business owners/managers is available in many of our offices.
- Technical assistance usually takes the form of guidance and coaching, and sometimes advocating on behalf of our clients to other lending establishments or regulatory agencies.
Typically, our services are targeted to entrepreneurs who require customized financing not normally available from traditional sources.
For more information, visit www.cbdc.ca or call 1-888-303-2232.
eForcePEI is a workforce development initiative that helps businesses provide essential skills training to their employees at no cost. It provides FREE on-line training and professional development courses that will help grow your business.
Express Entry: out-of-country hiring option for Canadian employers
Through the Express Entry system, employers can consider hiring qualified foreign individuals with skills and experience if they can’t find a Canadian or permanent resident to do the job. Complete applications are processed in six months or less in the majority of cases.
Benefits of using the system:
- User-friendly electronic system from start to finish
- No occupation lists or caps for programs
- Faster processing of permanent residence applications – within six months or less in most cases
- Job offers and provincial nominations are an asset, but not a requirement
- Candidates may be eligible for more than one program
- Creating an Express Entry profile if free and the profile can remain active for up to one year
- Candidates have an opportunity to be invited to apply in every round
For more details about the federal Express Entry system:
Sean Morency, Employer Liaison Officer with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, is the Atlantic federal contact. Call 902-401-9121 or email [email protected].
For more details about the PEI PNP Express Entry Stream:
Alexandra MacKenzie, Program Officer with the PEI Office of Immigration, is the provincial contact. Call 902-620-3659 or email [email protected].
For more details about both programs, visit http://employmentjourney.com/express-entry-offers-country-hiring-option-canadian-employers/.
Food Island Partnership
Food Island Partnership is an organization dedicated to the Food Industry on PEI. We partner in projects with companies, industry partners, research, development and technology institutions to further the growth and profitability of the food industry of PEI.
Projects can be in the area of product development, productivity and production technology and marketing for small to medium sized companies. The Food Island Partnership is the primary organization to spearhead Provincial food branding and terroir initiatives, as well as to implement a food tourism strategy.
Follow Food Island Partnership on facebook and twitter.
Futurpreneur Canada provides pre-launch coaching, start-up financing, mentorship, and resources for entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39.
Futurpreneur Canada works collaboratively with a network of partners. On PEI, they partner with Innovation PEI, RDÉE Île-du-Prince-Édouard Inc., Rural Action Centre CBDC East, CBDC Central PEI, and CBDC West Prince Ventures Ltd. to help deliver programs across the Island.
For more information:
Tania Bernard, CBDC Central PEI, 902-888-3793 or [email protected]
Maxine Rennie, CBDC West Prince Ventures, 902-853-3636 or [email protected]
Karen Deagle, Rural Action Centre-CBDC East, 902-838-4030 ext. 226 or [email protected]
Contact Futurpreneur Canada’s Atlantic regional office at 902-407-7709. Visit www.futurpreneur.ca.
Innovation PEI recognizes the value of small business, and focuses its efforts to assist in the growth of our local businesses through the Business Development and Integration Division.
Business Development Officers are located throughout the province and work with existing and aspiring business owners to support start-ups and existing businesses, by providing counseling, business guidance, entrepreneur education and management development opportunities, and navigation support for identifying and applying to supports and services available through Innovation PEI and other sources. Visit www.innovationpei.com.
Aspiring entrepreneurs seeking start-up funding for an export focused business may be particularly interested in the Ignition Fund. Applicants compete for capital awards to start and grow their business venture. Visit www.innovationpei.com/ignition.
Island Advance is an initiative of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce designed to advance PEI’s economy by celebrating, supporting, and encouraging entrepreneurship. Activities include:
- Showcase local entrepreneurial success stories
- Create enthusiasm among youth for entrepreneurshp
- Provide mentoring and guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs
Improving access to capital
- Connect entrepreneurs and people with capital
- Influence public policy in support of capital formation
- Support investors through investment education
Retaining skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants
- Promote cultural diversity in our business community
- Help identify relevant business opportunities on PEI
For more information, visit www.islandadvance.ca.
Visit its YouTube channel for profiles on local entrepreneurs and clips on business events.
Project advancing entrepreneurship across the Island
Since 2014, Island Advance has produced a series of videos, workshops, conferences, and more to promote and grow the PEI economy.
“We celebrate people who’ve taken the plunge to start businesses here and created employment for themselves and others,” Advisory Board Chair Ron Keefe says of the initiative, which is guided by volunteers who are retired, established, or aspiring entrepreneurs.
“Our steering committee, advisory board, and outside parties look at ways to entice and grow capital,” says Ron. “We intend to mobilize the private sector to lead initiatives which will have long-lasting effects and grow the Island economy. These initiatives will also help retain business-minded immigrants.”
Island Advance has partnered with Chambers of Commerce across PEI, Junior Achievement, PEI BioAlliance and other groups to advance entrepreneurship.
Last year, it co-hosted Advancing Island Connections with PEI Connectors. “Between 400 and 600 immigrants and Islanders networked at this event,” Ron says. “It helped immigrants get comfortable with the PEI business community and see what opportunities for investment are available here. The third-annual event was held in November in Charlottetown.
“We bring people together, and encourage them to share information,” says Patricia Devine, Project Manager with Island Advance.
“We held symposiums last January and September on youth entrepreneurship, where 30 to 35 stakeholders attended.
“Some collaborations have happened as a result of these meetings, such as PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada partnering with the Young Millionaires Program to have 10 immigrant youth start a business. It’s win-win, creating future entrepreneurs and retaining immigrants in our community.
“Junior Achievement representatives met with people from Summerside’s Young Leaders Program, which pairs local businesses with youth. JA thought this mentoring program would help its own company program find recruits in Summerside.”
“We are shifting the way PEI looks at entrepreneurship by supporting public policy that enhances innovation,” Ron says. “Hopefully, it will increase our tax base and create more jobs.”
PEI Business Women’s Association
PEI Business Women’s Association is a non-profit organization that empowers and inspires women to succeed in their business endeavors. They provide support, education, and opportunities to connect with other women in business.
For more information, visit www.peibwa.org.
PEI Connectors is an initiative of the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce that serves immigrant entrepreneurs throughout PEI. The goal of the program is to facilitate connection between clients and the PEI business community to support the retention of immigrant entrepreneurs.
RDÉE PEI is the provincial francophone economic development council.
- Community economic development and cooperative development services
- Entrepreneurial development and support services
- Economic immigration services
RDÉE also manages the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI and hosts the Wellington Rural Action Centre.
Head Office, Wellington: 902-854-3439
Satellite office, Charlottetown: 902-370-7333
Rotary International is an organization that brings together business and professionals who provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotarian members usually meet weekly for fellowship and to pursue their service to the community.
PEI Rotary organizations:
Rural Action Centres
Rural Action Centres provide the following services:
- Business guidance
- Business loans and counselling for small and medium enterprises
- Community & project development
- Entrepreneur education & management assistance for start ups
- Expansion and diversification
- Government services for community economic development & entrepreneurs
- Tourism product development and marketing
- Montague: 902-838-4030
- Central Bedeque: 902-887-3400
- Alberton: 902-853-3616
- Souris: 902-687-4084
- Wellington: 902-854-3439
For more information, call 1-855-297-9898. Visit www.ruralactioncentres.ca.
Eastern Prince Edward Island is flourishing with existing and new business developments. Rural Action Centres are client focused, one-stop service centres housing multiple federal, provincial, and non-government organizations that are all focused on business and community development.
All services provided by Rural Action Centres collaborate through a cooperative service model to ensure complete and seamless access for support to development programs for entrepreneurs, business people, and community groups.
Martina MacDonald, General Manager of the Rural Action Center in Montague, recognized a need for a Human Resources (HR) Specialist to help grow small businesses in the area.
“Many small business owners in eastern PEI would like to branch out, expand their business, and recruit new hires,” says Martina. “Small working business owners don’t have the time or the funds to hire an HR specialist.”
To fill that need, Martina hired Human Resources Specialist Margaret Gallant. “The project goal is to support small business owners in eastern PEI to develop effective Human Resources best practices,” says Martina.
“This program allows small businesses to have access to an HR specialist and identify the value of having such a service within their organization.”
The one-year project is funded by Rural Action Centre in Montague, SkillsPEI, and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Margaret provides a wide range of services such as:
- developing HR policies, programs, and manuals
- implementing leadership training to conduct staff reviews
- identifying best practices within the workplace
- processing and assisting with recruiting, interviewing, and retaining staff
Growing and hiring
“One of the goals of the program is to grow small businesses by recruiting more employees,” says Margaret.
“The goal is to draw more people to the region through offering employment opportunities, which are the heart and soul of small businesses, and what makes the region thrive.
“I am working with a contractor who feels he can bid on a contract if he is able to hire two more people. Recruiting and retaining new staff is a big part of this project. If five businesses each hire two people, that’s 10 new jobs for this region.”
Active Communities Inc., CBDC, Rural Action Centre and funding partners will be offering a Community Human Resource Business Education Series to businesses in Eastern PEI which would like to learn more about Human Resources.
Souris Rural Action Centre: Oct. 5th, 12th, 19th – 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Montague Rural Action Centre: Oct 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th – 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Workshop topics may include:
- Defining and communicating your mission, vision, and values
- Generation gaps
- Employee motivation – the small things
- How to build successful work teams
- Holidays, holiday pay, and protected leaves.
For more about the HR Program and Services, contact Margaret Gallant at 902-838-4030 ext. 239. Cell: 902-394-4625. Toll free: 1-855-297-9898.
Email [email protected].
For more about Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, visit www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca.
Funded in whole or part through the Canada-PEI Labour Market Agreements.
SkillsPEI offers programs and services for job seekers, employers, and organizations. SkillsPEI provides assistance to unemployed individuals who are eligible for Employment Insurance (E.I.) and individuals who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (E.I.) to prepare for and find employment.
Self Employ PEI
Self Employ PEI is an employment program developed to help job seekers who want to launch their own business. This program provides financial support and business counseling to new entrepreneurs during their first year of operation. SkillsPEI offers Self Employ PEI information sessions for interested job seekers to find out more about the program.
Visit the SkillsPEI website at www.skillsPEI.com or call SkillsPEI’s General Inquiries Line at 1-877-491-4766 or visit one of the offices below:
Atlantic Technology Centre, 176 Great George St, Charlottetown | 902-368-6290
Provincial Building, 548 Main St, Montague | 902-838-0674
Future Tech West, 454 Main St, O’Leary | 902-859-8898
Access PEI, 120 Heather Moyse Dr, Summerside | 902-438-4151
Delivered by the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning and funded in whole or part through the Canada-PEI Labour Market Agreement.
The SPOT is a co-working space located on Water Street in Charlottetown. They offer a professional, comfortable and flexible office environment with services designed for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and mobile professionals.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/theSPOTCharlottetown.
The Startup Zone
Based in Charlottetown, Startup Zone is a combination of open-concept workspace for aspiring entrepreneurs and business resource centre that offers workshops and networking opportunities to the resident companies. The space opened this past June.
There are currently 16 businesses, which have 24/7 access to desks, a large community room, three smaller meeting rooms, a 14-seat boardroom, and a kitchen.
“The Startup Zone’s advisory board receives applications and determines which companies fit our criteria,” says Christina MacLeod, the organization’s CEO.
“The space is for any startup that has a potential for high growth and product export. Our current resident companies represent the food industry, IT, video gaming, apparel, and communications.”
Programs & services
“We offer free legal, accounting marketing, and human resources advice. We have held Lunch’n’Learns on how to set up meetings, intellectual property, and how to incorporate. We bring in entrepreneurs from the community to do coffee talks and advisors for one-off meetings. If a resident company has a particular concern, I help them find someone to offer advice on that issue.”
“The open concept design allows the companies to talk back and forth about business issues they all face.”
Members of the public can rent the meeting rooms and the boardroom. They are also welcome to attend the workshops, talks, and networking events.
Partnerships & events
“When resident companies are ready to branch out of Startup Zone, Downtown Charlottetown Inc. helps them look at office spaces for rent in the city.”
Other organizations the centre is connecting with are Food Island Partnership, Culture PEI, Ladies Learning Code, and PEI Developers. “We are also hosting an Ideas Fest with Upstreet Brewery and a Women Founders Event with The Ten Spot Beauty Bar in the near future.”
Resident Company: Remote Vision Inc.
Civil Engineer-in-training Laird Ferguson, 24, of Desable, PEI started Remote Vision Inc. this past summer. The company provides infrastructure inspection and mapping services using an unoccupied aerial vehicle, commonly called a drone.
“I provide customers with aerial images that are delivered on a web-based interface as an easy delivery platform, or I create 3D models of assets such as retaining walls, rock slopes, and more. I started this work as a graduate student at the University of New Brunswick.
“The value of Startup Zone is having an office and a space to meet potential clients. The Lunch’n’Learns offered are very valuable, and Christina has helped me make connections with mentors and fellow entrepreneurs.
“My advice is to always seek advice, as you never know what will be useful and valuable down the road,” says Laird.
Startup Zone is supported by ACOA and the province of Prince Edward Island.
Sweet Spot Academy Business & Digital Consultants
Sweet Spot Academy Business & Digital Consultants offers a suite of solutions that simplify how to keep your business moving forward. They specialize in business and digital
skills training, entrepreneurship and small business development, and customer relationship management planning.
They work directly with entrepreneurs and small businesses as a business development growth coach, providing free and paid for business skills training services.
They also work with government, industry organizations and corporate business who serve sector specific entrepreneurs, small business, and commodity groups to develop customized training programs tailored to meet the specific and unique needs of the industry and business sector.
In the coming months, they are launching new business skills services that will be no cost to Island entrepreneurs and businesses.
For more information, visit www.sweetspotacademy.ca.
Workers Compensation Board
Workers Compensation Board promotes safe workplaces and protects employers and workers through a no-fault injury insurance program. The program is funded entirely by employers. If you are starting a business with one or more workers, you must register with the WCB.
For more information, call 902-368-5680 or 1-800-237-5049. Visit www.wcb.pe.ca.
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