Trends and perspectives on a changing world

Rural Small Business Loans – 5 Things You Should Know

Do you live in a rural community and have a viable business idea or want to expand your current business, but don’t know how to get funding? We can help!

Securing funding for a start-up or expansion can seem discouraging and daunting. Community Futures will help guide you through the process and become the successful entrepreneur we know you can be! There are many reasons why small businesses need funding such as start up costs, equipment, inventory,... Read more

A New Wave of Entrepreneurs

A growing momentum is emerging in rural Alberta. Entrepreneurs from every region of the province are harnessing the power of purpose to energize their communities, lead their companies and to connect with new and emerging markets.


Diversification is crucial to the health of smaller communities

Entrepreneurship is growing in Alberta fueled, in part, by rural entrepreneurs who are accelerating change and growth in their communities.

Interest in small business ownership and entrepreneurial investment is on the... Read more

Are we Future Takers or Makers?

Part two in a series exploring some of the complex issues and ideas facing our communities.

Guest Article by Ken Coates
Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation


Technological Revolution

Rapid and sweeping technological change is upon us – and rural and small town Canada is not well-situated to capitalize on the opportunities and respond to the challenges.  The innovation economy is decidedly tipped to cities and urban areas, as is the overwhelming majority of the country’s... Read more

Rural Futures, Tech Realities

We are pleased to be featuring a two-part series exploring some of the complex issues and ideas facing our communities.

Guest Article by Ken Coates
Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation


Rural and small town Canada finds itself in times of constant change.  As we look forward to 2050, we contemplate a world that is being transformed by technological innovation, globalization and climate change.  Communities and regions that seek to prosper have to be more proactive, more... Read more

Planning for the Future

Have you ever thought about selling your farm or business? Do you know how to start?

If you answered “no,” you’re not alone. A recent Business Development Bank of Canada study found that less than 10% of all business owners in Canada have a formal succession plan. It’s a wake-up call for business owners to start one sooner rather than later.

“Generally speaking, business transitions take between 2-7 years,” says Alison Anderson, Founder, and CEO of, an online... Read more

Sharing for Success - Stronger Together

The Community Futures Treaty Seven organization provides training, employment and business development opportunities for Treaty 7 First Nations individuals, on and off reserve, including persons with a disability. Community Futures Treaty Seven continues to prioritize disability in their labour market programs and business advisory services.

Each year, Community Futures Treaty Seven hosts a summit and job fair that connects job seekers, employers, employment service agencies and supporters.... Read more

Co-branded Retail

Cafes in department stores are nothing new. But hybrid retail is going to the next level with increasingly unique co-branding combinations. Co-branded ventures create unique customer experiences that expand the way we think about each of the companies involved. Oftentimes, the participating brands will be very different from one another, adding an element of surprise to the experience.

For example, Glossier and Rhea’s Café in San Francisco created a series of pop-up shops that combined socializing, eating and trying beauty products... Read more

Post-purchase Forgiveness

Consumer expectations have been completely reconfigured by innovations such as virtual assistants, service upgrades and seamless personalization. The same consumer is also besieged by offers of free trials, slashed prices and seductive perks. As one consequence, 78% of consumers say they retract loyalty faster today than they did just three years ago (Accenture, February 2017).

Consumers now expect their brands to magically adapt to their ever-changing needs, wants and whims. As a result, the next iteration of customer service will... Read more