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Futurpreneur Canada

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Industries: Business

Are you an aspiring young entrepreneur, aged 18 to 39, with a solid business idea? Are you looking for financial support and expert advice that will help you bring your great business idea to life? Futurpreneur Canada (formerly CYBF) can help.

Turning a great idea into a thriving business will not only help you support and create new jobs in your community, but will also expand your skills in an exciting and rewarding way.

Futurpreneur Canada offers entrepreneurs four fully integrated services that are built around the ‘life cycle’ of a young entrepreneur, helping to ensure the success of every new start-up.

  • Pre-launch coaching – learn how to build your business plan, overcome challenges and grow your venture through our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and network of community partners.
  • Online Business Resources – use our free tools, templates, articles and crash courses, like our Business Plan Writer, to help you with business planning.
  • Financing – find the best financing option for you whether you are an emerging entrepreneur, a new Canadian or an existing young business owner. Futurpreneur Canada provides access to up to $15,000 in start-up financing and up to $30,000 in additional financing through our unique partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada.
  • Industry-leading mentoring – benefit from the extensive experience of a business professional who will work with you for a minimum of two years to ensure you have support during the critical start-up phase.

Futurpreneur Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing our nation’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character, not collateral, when providing youth aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses. Futurpreneur Canada has been recognized as a global leader in advancing youth entrepreneurship, is a founding member of the global G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (G20 YEA), the Canadian member of the Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian Host of Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 17-23, 2014).

Start-Up Program

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is here to help realize your dreams of entrepreneurship.

We provide young entrepreneurs aged 18-39 with:

CYBF understands young and emerging entrepreneurs, and we have been working together to help increase their chances of success since 1996. Our innovative and flexible services are designed to address the common challenges entrepreneurs may face in the early stages, and we provide the vital support and guidance needed for long-term success.

Newcomer Program

Are you new to Canada?

Newcomer Program. Are you also between 18-39 years old and have been in Canada for less than 60 months? Do you have a great business idea but are looking for guidance to launch your business? The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) understands the challenges associated with bringing a business idea to life and is here to help you realize your dreams of entrepreneurship.

We provide newcomers with:

  • Start-up resources for perfecting your business plan;
  • Mentoring – we hand-match you with a mentor in your community;
  • Financing of up to $45,000 (for newcomers with Canadian credit history), or up to $15,000 (for newcomers who haven’t established Canadian credit history);
  • Expertise and Resources to help you get connected and grow a successful business.

Our innovative and flexible services are designed to address the common challenges entrepreneurs may face in the early stages, and we provide the vital support and guidance needed for long-term success – which includes helping you better understand Canadian business customs and overcoming language and cultural challenges.

Expansion Program

Did you receive financing and support from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) in the early stages of your venture and now you are ready to take your business to the next level? If your business has been operating for 36 to 60 months, you may be eligible for CYBF’s Expansion Program.

Financing to help your business expand:

  • Receive up to $10,000 in additional financing from CYBF. You may also qualify for additional funding from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Depending on your situation and the initial amounts you received through CYBF and BDC, you could receive up to $30,000 in expansion financing.

CYBF offers resources to help you become a more effective business manager and assist you in addressing new and more complex challenges as your business grows. Resources include:

  • Our Online Business Resource Centre gives information and insights about planning, starting and growing your business.
  • Access to Entrepeer, our peer-support network that connects you online and face-to-face with other entrepreneurs as well as mentors and business champions from across Canada.
  • Assistance from your local community partner and a CYBF entrepreneur-in-residence who can offer sound business advice as you expand your business.

The Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur

The Canadian Forces to small business transition program

The Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur is a national program for transitioning Canadian Forces members interested in realizing their dreams of entrepreneurship. This uniquely Canadian program offers the men and women who have bravely served our country the education, financing and mentoring needed to start and sustain their own successful business.

Business Plan Writer

Our Interactive Business Plan Writer has been designed to simplify the business planning process. Not only is this tool dynamic, allowing you to customize your plan, we’ve also provided tips & tricks and plenty of examples to guide you as you write. 

Entrepreneur in Residence

Once you start an application for mentoring and financial support from CYBF, you will gain access to a team of experts who can offer support in all areas relating to the start of a new business.

Our team of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence have been helping entrepreneurs across Canada for years. From showing you how to develop a marketing plan to providing a crash course on business finances, they are here to make the launching of your business less overwhelming!  Learn more here!

Entrepeer

Entrepeer is your platform to connect online and face-to-face with CYBF entrepreneurs, mentors and business champions from across Canada. Through this national network, you can share advice, experiences and resources to help businesses grow!

The CYBF community includes young entrepreneurs, mentors, partners and volunteers from across Canada that are dedicated to driving business success. As founding partner, The Keg Spirit Foundation is pleased to support CYBF’s Entrepeer Program to help you build lasting relationships with your peers.

Explore the CYBF Business Resource Centre

How to Make Your Company More Innovative

Whether it’s a groundbreaking product or a new service no one ever thought of until everyone wanted it, innovation can give any small business a competitive edge. But coming up with new ideas is easier said than done…

How can you make your business more innovative? Try these tips.

Get everyone in the company involved. Marketers, graphic designers and other “creative” types are used to being called on to innovate—which sometimes leads to stale ideas. Don’t limit innovation to key execs or the “usual suspects.” Bringing different departments together sparks innovation, as people rub elbows with others they don’t normally come in contact with. Some of the most innovative ideas may come from your frontline employees—after all, they’re the ones who engage with your customers, product or service every day.

Begin with your customers. Don’t innovate for innovations’ sake. You can get really sidetracked if you come up with what you think is a great idea for a better widget without ever considering whether customers want a better widget. Conduct customer surveys, focus groups and market research to find customer pain points and dissatisfactions. Listen to what customers are saying on social media to get insights into what they want. Figure out what gaps exist in their lives that your products or services could fill, or how you could innovate to serve customers better.

Capture all your ideas.  Make sure to record the results of your brainstorming sessions and other innovation efforts. You can do this by having everyone write on Post-It notes or whiteboards, having someone record each session on video, taking pictures of whiteboards and notes with smartphones and uploading them, or just having someone take notes (although if your session is very freewheeling, this might result in a lot of missed data). You never know when the “big idea” will come from something you didn’t pay attention to at the time, so being able to go back and review ideas is very valuable.

Pick your battles. You might come up with a dozen cool innovations, but can you afford to work on all of them at once? If you’re like most small business owners, probably not. Once you’ve got some ideas in place, assign people to assess their feasibility, cost and possible rewards. Don’t limit yourself to one innovation—trying several gives you a better chance at success—but focus wisely. Put some of your resources toward the low-hanging fruit that will pay off immediately, and some toward the big-picture goal that might take a while to come to market.

Assign ownership and execute. People get excited about new ideas, but without a champion to see them through, ideas often die on the vine after the initial glow of the brainstorming session fades. Make sure each innovation has someone responsible for planning next steps and following through on action items. Regularly assess your progress toward innovation goals and whether they’re worth pursuing or whether it’s time to stop.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com.