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It’s Business Time

Feb 4, 2020 | blog

Since our inception, The Commons has been incubating businesses.

Like many of the things social-impact startups do, we were sometimes too busy to talk about it— but since day one we’ve provided assistance connecting businesses and people with ideas to ways to make those ideas come to life. Whether it was helping a community member here n’ there, doing one or two business consultations a week, introducing recently unemployed people to Self Employment Benefits program & CBDCs …. or something like sponsoring space for new businesses to start-up, being flexible to help people pilot an idea without risking all their money, or just helping people navigate the huge amount of resources out there to support businesses, startups, social enterprises, non-profits & co-ops… for a startup ourselves, we’ve collected dozens of testimonials on how helpful having a space, and a local phone-a-friend for business has helped entrepreneurs in our region.

We’ve even had an amazing Venture for Canada intern, Erik Oliver, develop a report on how we can develop an amazing business incubator for our region and in a way that best serves local students & youth, too. Turns out, we were already doing 90% of what most incubators do, we just need to bring it on a lil’ more, build more structures & supports.

Start Up Sackville

In 2017 with the help of local partners like Renaissance Sackville, The Town of Sackville, Ron Joyce Centre for Business, Futurpreneur, B4C, Opportunites New Brunswick & CBDC Westmorland Albert, we applied and were accepted as an official Startup Community: We called ourselves Startup Sackville (or @Startup_ville).

What is a Startup Community?

We’ve taken a while to figure it out. As a startup community powered by @StartupCanada. Our aim has been to foster an exemplar of what small town & rural entrepreneurship can be for Canada. As a Startup Community, the aim is to do this through building our entrepreneurial ecosystem, supporting each other, being as entrepreneur-led as possible, and bringing in federal & provincial resources to support building a great startup community here. We’ve had amazing meetings, some very successful networking events. We took a little break, but now it’s 2020 and it’s time to revamp, build & grow! What do YOU want Startup Sackville to look like? What can we do together?

In the past two months alone, dozens of businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs have approached The Commons asking for help with wage subsidies, grants, business planning, startup funding, export help, and LOTS of ideation help: How do we turn an idea into a sustainable one? How do I make my passion my livelihood? How do I expand and export? We help answer some of those questions, but we really want to give more in-depth help & build a community around problem-solving for businesses, social enterprises and startups.

At the same time, through MTA’s Experiential Office we have had the opportunity to hire a new Startup Sackville Intern to help us better collaborate with Mount Allison University, clubs & societies. We were recently approached by our amazing local Rotary Club of Sackville who want to support young professionals and donate more of their time to helping support youth & businesses in our region… now many Rotarians are offering up their professional services to Sackville through The Commons. How do we help experienced professionals maximize their social impact? How do we create a roundtable for engaging youth in putting good ideas into action and preparing them for the future?

Julia Feltham with Sackville Mayor John Higham
Startup Sackville Community Leader, Julia Feltham, with Sackville Mayor John Higham at Startup Canada’s Atlantic Awards.

As we’re holding these important questions on how to best serve our community, Startup Canada is just upping their game!! Startup Canada‘s programming is revamping, partnering with countless organizations to help enrich their communities, including Innovation Canada to help entrepreneurs easily navigate resources. They are also unleashing funds and resources for The Canadian Export Challenge (CxC), Women’s Month & Social Impact AND as a community, we get to nominate 5 members of our community for CANIE Awards, for excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Regional Startup Awards, send delegates to national conferences, to meet MPs in Parliament… and much much more.

Startup New Brunswick is growing. Startup Canada is growing. The Sackville Commons is growing. Let’s grow our Startup Community together!

Now that it is February 2020, we’re proud to announce our business incubation work is really growing and so are our federal & provincial Startup Canada partners to help make our region exemplary. But we can’t do it alone! We need help shaping our programming for 2020-2021.

We need to know: What type of business help do you need in 2020?

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, just have a budding idea or are a veteran of entrepreneurship– we want to be here for you! Whether it is through Startup Sackville, our partnerships or just through The Commons– we want to hear what YOU think!

πŸ’ΌπŸ’ΌπŸ’ΌπŸ’Ό We’ve heard so many possible options…

  • Marketing?
  • Office Space?
  • Book Keeping?
  • Cashflow & Budgeting?
  • Debt Management?
  • Startup ideation?
  • Navigating funding?
  • Wage Subsidies?
  • Young professional support?
  • Tech Hacks and apps?
  • How to use Social Media?
  • Accounting & Law office hours?
  • Pitch Competitions?
  • Women-focused events?
  • Indigenous entrepreneurship events?
  • How to start a social enterprise?
  • More Networking?
  • Succession Planning?
  • Board Governance?
    …. so much more.

Fill out THIS SHORT SURVEY so we can hear your suggestions.

…we’re open to ideas and really open for business.

If you are an entrepreneur or you just want to help build an amazing ecosystem for entrepreneurs, change-makers and great ideas to flourish?

E-mail our co-founder & Startup Community leader, Julia Feltham, to help support our growing Startup Sackville community and support fellow businesses.

If you want to provide programming & services or have suggestions to help support entrepreneurs, young professionals and help incubate rate new businesses in our region? Fill out the survey and we’ll be in touch πŸ™‚

What will the next chapter of Startup Sackville be? Why don’t you help us find out !