We had the distinct pleasure of attending the Ignite Durham Finals last night which was an event put on by the Spark Centre in Durham Region in support of our local entrepreneurs. The Spark Centre is one of Ontario’s Research and Innovation Centres which provides help and support to technology-based businesses. Over the past months they held a contest to find local talent in the area and in return provided mentoring and boot camps to help better prepare these young companies for doing business. If there is one thing I hear most from many of our clients when they first engage, “I know all there is to know about our industry and our products, but I really need help with the business side”. Providing young companies with this type of help early on can really make a difference down the road.
Though I am huge advocate and work with many of the organizations that exist in my region that support small and local business, it wasn't until one of the speakers last night talked about the importance of giving back that it really hit me. Whether that is through volunteering, investment, mentoring, or sponsorship - support of entrepreneurs and businesses will help build a community and a local economy. Small businesses are the backbone of most communities especially in Canada and it really hurts the local economy these businesses don’t survive and go under. In many cases, this did not have to happen.
For small businesses, at least those in Ontario, there are so many organizations that are there to help you be successful in your business. It is up to you as a business owner to reach out and get the help you need. Those range from organizations like BACD in Durham Region and Enterprise Toronto who are non-profit organizations who help start-up and small businesses with the business basics and provide individual help and training to the Regional Innovation Centres who do the same thing for more research and technology based businesses. There is also help available at your local Chambers and Boards of Trade as most provide support through training, networking, and programs to help you build and grow your business. All of these organizations have members and partners who they can also point you to if you require help they cannot provide such as specific consulting/coaching or financial help and investment.
It is important for all of us support the entrepreneurs in our communities and in turn the community will grow and prosper as well as the local economy. Support can include so many things and can come in various shapes and sizes but all of it can truly help local businesses in your community.This could include a sponsorship of a small business event, investment in a business, mentoring an entrepreneur, or volunteering your time to provide workshops or training through various organizations. What you will find is the benefit that you and your business will receive from it will be as great as the benefit to the businesses you help. We all needed help and support from others in our community at one time. There are people that helped when we started our business with advice and help that was instrumental in helping us get to where we are today.
The benefit you receive back from volunteering, we can truly speak to. We are participating as mentors for two young entrepreneurs through the Ontario Summer Company Program which is sponsored in Durham Region by BACD. These young people are truly inspiring and help renew one’s faith not only in the next generation but in the next generation of businesses. They are driven and inspiring young entrepreneurs and are keen to learn and the program is designed to help them succeed by providing them funding and mentoring. See for yourself what young entrepreneurs are capable of:
If you a small business who wants to do Social Media, but do not have the time or the skill – go toGetNoticedSocialMedia.com and get the help you need.
If you are in Uxbridge or surrounding area and are in need of computer services– go to www.alexandercs.com
If you are a small business or you are thinking about starting a business, be sure and check out the resources that are available to you in your community and take advantage of the services and expertise that you can receive. If you are a consultant, an investor, or a larger business, look at how you can help and contribute to help make these new businesses grow and prosper in our communities. When you volunteer some of your time, invest, or provide sponsorship, you are not only helping those businesses but ensuring success in your local economy as well.
RK Fischer & Associates