Those cohorts include Mike Lee, founder
of Montreal-based Fundica, which helps businesses find funding sources. Lee, a Costco
member, is one of many advisers available
through Startup Canada. Though much of
the mentorship he and other volunteers provide is done online (Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn and email), he says entrepreneurs
who aren’t tech-savvy shouldn’t disqualify
themselves from seeking advice.
“You’re still going to get a lot out of it,” he
says, citing the collaboration and co-operation of fellow business owners both online
Social entrepreneur Jan Ditchfield says
she couldn’t agree more. “I haven’t experienced that level of support from any other
organization in Canada,” says the founder of
Won with One, an Ottawa-based non-profit
that started in 2009 and works with people
with disabilities. “I can see great changes in my
business.” Insights into marketing have been
most important for her, she says.
Ken Bautista, a successful Edmonton digital gaming entrepreneur, helped with the
national launch of the Startup Canada
Communities project following a national
information-gathering tour that heard from
more than 20,000 people. He was drawn, he
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17
Costco member Nicole
Smith has used Startup
Canada to get her business,
Flytographer, off the ground.
KIM STALLKNECH T PHO TOGRAPH Y
Here are additional resources that help
entrepreneurs get a business up and running.
; Gro Your Biz ( groyourbiz.com) for women
; Canadian Youth Business Foundation
( www.cybf.ca) for young entrepreneurs
aged 18 to 39
; Canadian Social Entrepreneurship
Foundation ( www.csef.ca) for social
; Aboriginal Business Development
Program ( www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca) a
federal government program for aboriginal
says, by the belief that when
businesses thrive, their hometowns share in the benefits.
“Entrepreneurs are good for
cities because they solve problems and make things happen,”
Flytographer’s Smith, the
solopreneur from Victoria, is
one of those determined to
make things happen: She
wants to grow her business
into the Airbnb of travel pho-
tography. To do that, she
plans to keep Startup Canada as a vital
member of her cockpit. And she encourages
other businesses, regardless of size, to add
the network to their crew too: “You’re going
through the same journey. They’re all like-
Whether it’s to help make businesses take
off faster or land more smoothly, says Bautista,
the organization understands the intricacies
of the flight. He adds, “Startup is something I
wish was around when I started.” C
Costco member Gord Woodward is a writer
and business adviser based in Nanaimo,
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