Made-in-Airdrie business program to launch this month
Airdronians with an entrepreneurial spirit are being called to apply for a new training program that aims to improve small business success.
As a partnership, the City of Airdrie, Community Futures Centre West and the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce are launching the Smart Start training program at a breakfast meeting held at the Woodside Golf Course on Oct. 22.
“The failure rate behind new small businesses is fairly high for two reasons; lack of capital - so not enough money, and lack of skills and experience,” said Community Future Centre West Business Development Advisor Bruce Tannas.
The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. and will feature two guest speakers who will talk about the importance of fostering the entrepreneurial spirit and four issues that typically hinder entrepreneurs from being successful.
Tannas said the breakfast workshop will give people a taste of some of the concepts they will learn in the Smart Start program.
“This program will help to take care of the issues of lack of skills and experience by providing real-world business skills to business people just starting out,” said Tannas, adding the program is open to first-time business owners setting up shop in Airdrie.
Smart Start will combine three types of training. An online component will teach entrepreneurs 100 essential business skills to succeed. In-person workshops and mentoring with established Airdrie business owners gives the program a hands-on approach and real-world application, said Tannas.
“Small business is really the school of hard knocks. Every time you make a mistake, you have to get out your wallet and pay for it. Every decision could cost you, so if you can avoid making those mistakes that are foreseeable, it could help avoid those costs,” Tannas said.
The application process for Smart Start opens on Oct. 22 and closes in December. Twenty local aspiring entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in the program that will run from February to October next year. A $100 fee will be asked of participants for the program that is valued at about $1,000, Tannas explained.
“The idea is that businesses can start small and go big in a small town,” said Tannas.
“People who grow their business and stay in the city provide employment and Airdrie is a growing place. That’s going to be more and more important for the city,” he added.
For more information on Smart Start or to register for the breakfast, call 403-948-8844.