Strengthening the Entrepreneurial Spirit

The NEDC has been continuing to develop and grow, helping Aboriginals and First Nation Communities on Vancouver Island become healthy, wealthy and socio-economically independent by offering a variety of workshops, helping to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit across Nuu-chah-nulth territories.

If you’re thinking of embarking into the world of business but find the ins and outs of business to be overwhelming and a challenge, you’re not alone. Even people who have been business owners for years still face challenges in managing and growing their business within the ever changing market. New technologies and online marketing platforms are constantly evolving.

Recently, NEDC developed four programs to improve the chances of success focused on improving business management and the marketing capacity of small and micro businesses within their service delivery area. These programs focused on:

  • Strengthening Your Business
  • Money Management Masters
  • Marketing Masters
  • Accessible Marketing Initiative

When these programs were first released there was a total of 19 workshops offered with a total of 254 registrants. There were also 16 individual business training approved and 30 people who received improved marketing and branding materials.

 Strengthening Your Business

 A five workshop series was developed for improving entrepreneurs’ business management capacity. These workshops covered: GST and Income Tax, Hiring Help, Aboriginal Taxation, Saving Money and Internal Controls. Out of the 55 participants who attended this successful series, 16 entrepreneurs received funding to take individual training with topics related to tax, retail, incorporation, marketing and bookkeeping.

Money Management Masters

 Money is the circle of life when it comes to mastering your business, so in order to improve financial management capacity six workshops were created in this series in order to maximize entrepreneur potential, which 41 lucky participants gained mastery in. The topics covered were: Cash Flow Projections, Personal Financial Planning, Excel for Small Business, Bookkeeping for Small Business, Understanding Financial Statements and Sage 50, which is an accounting program.

Marketing Masters

 Marketing is all about exchange relationships. In today’s technology-based era, there is more to marketing than just sending out a flyer or email. With so many spectrums a seven part workshop series was developed to ensure the 99 total participants were able to fully able to improve their ability to market their business successfully. Topics explored were: Building Your Brand, Naming Your Business and Colours, Logo, Business Cards and Pens, Getting Online, Advertising, Website Theory and Website Creation. Due to the speciality of each topic, workshops were kept to around 16 participants each and 9 participants accessed individual marketing consultations. A whopping 14 entrepreneurs received custom marketing materials including logos, websites, Facebook pages, branded uniforms, merchandise, packaging and more!

Accessible Marketing Initiative Program

 This particular program is directed primarily at helping entrepreneurs find funding specifically to improve Indigenous small business marketing ability. The program was able to find funding for 17 clients to assist in acquiring marketing materials such as signage, branded merchandise, advertising, photography and printing. A shared cost platform was used between the program and each client, with the client only having to cover at least 25% plus taxes!

 Driving Success for the Future

 These programs ran between February and March of 2018. NEDC went above and beyond organizing and fulfilling their goals of successfully helping new and existing business owners the opportunity to invest in themselves by not only building stronger business skills, but by promoting and fostering local business support and developing a strong Indigenous business community for the future.  As a result, many new business owners have built businesses with stronger financial and marketing abilities. The communities are abuzz with small local businesses sharing their marketing with customers, friends and family!

 If you’d like to participate in any upcoming workshop, or perhaps you have valuable knowledge you’d like to pass on to other, contact NEDC today.