Thursday, November 05, 2015

They're READY to START ... Who's NEXT?

One by one they walked up to the whiteboard at the front of the room. Each had just quickly drawn a picture that they felt represented their business concept. As this was taped onto the clean surface for all to see, each participant in turn described what their business venture would do for their intended target audience.

This happened early in the first of four sessions at the St. Albert "Business START-UP Seminar Series". Attendees had been encouraged to come prepared to discuss, non-confidential aspects of their business opportunity as well as some of the challenges they were facing. And that's exactly what they did!

The feedback from all participants was refreshingly honest and helpful. In a very collaborative way, and while still getting to know one another, attendees shared their perspectives on the various concepts being pursued. The process stimulated some great conversations that are bound to be very helpful to each of these aspiring entrepreneurs.

When time required us to move on with our schedule, one of our guest speakers who had observed the earlier exercise commented on how impressed they were with the ideas being explored and the quality of the interactions taking place. Judging from the comments I heard and the level of excitement I witnessed in that room, I'd say this first evening went very well! These entrepreneurs are definitely ready to start!

This is the second "Business START-UP Seminar Series" that we've facilitated in St. Albert, Alberta. A similar series for St. Albert was offered in November 2014 and was very successful. Other communities have benefitted from the series over the past decade. We attribute the success of the series to our bringing together the key stakeholders who have a vested interest in seeing new businesses start, grow and flourish in the local community.

Participants are able to better connect with a variety of helpful strategic partners, business owners, service providers and those who sponsor the series. Feedback from attendees, presenters and those involved has been overwhelmingly positive in the past, and we have no reason to believe that this series will be any different. We're off to a great start and these keen entrepreneurs are working their way through the crucial early stages of their business start-up and growth. 

Guest speakers in our first session included:
  • Dar Schwanbeck, CMC, Managing Director - Northern Alberta Business Incubator
  • Cheryle Wong, Business License Inspector - City of St. Albert
  • Michelle Brooking, Development Branch - City of St. Albert
  • Paul W Quantz, Barrister and Solicitor - Quantz Law Group 
  • Rob LeLacheur - Serial Entrepreneur
Our approach has been to work closely with key stakeholders in the community, particularly Economic Development Officers and Chambers of Commerce. Given the challenges and constraints affecting their schedules and staffing budgets, we found that many were looking for creative and collaborative ways to increase their impact, with fewer resources.

In response to this, Pro-Vision Solutions Inc. specializes in facilitating a valuable solution that:
  • Complements and collaboratively works with those available in the local community 
  • Reduces the workload for those in the local community
  • Generates revenue and membership for local service providers and business organizations 
  • Provides the community with what we believe is simply … “a SMARTER business start!”
A variety of delivery formats are available, including our classic 4-Week Series, but also as a compressed "1-Day Business START-UP Success Workshop”. Regardless of the format, participants gain valuable insights and connections that help them start and better prepare for the early-stage challenges they’ll face in business. 

Let us know if this has been of interest to you. We'd be delighted to speak with you regarding bringing this to your community. 

* We were delighted to have some outstanding support for the "St. Albert Business START-UP Seminar Series" from ATB Financial and Business Link as sponsors and presenters on the program, as well as the City of St. Albert (Economic Development), the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce, and the Northern Alberta Business Incubator (NABI).

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