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Rural Albertans know that community matters as much as success

Rural Albertans know that community matters as much as success

Purpose-driven entrepreneurs are the backbone of healthy, diversified communities.

Starting a small business in a rural community is a lifestyle choice and can provide you the opportunity to follow your passion and find freedom and flexibility. Up until now, women, Indigenous, and young entrepreneurs have been underrepresented in the Canadian small business community.

At Community Futures, we are working to change this by supporting and inspiring a new wave of entrepreneurs. We are not a bank, and we believe every small business, regardless of size or impact, should have access to our purpose-built financing and training options.

 Common Entrepreneurial Mistakes & Quick Fixes

Common Entrepreneurial Mistakes & Quick Fixes

Do you have a business idea that has been burning in the back of your mind?

The time is right to join the thousands of Albertans following their passion and finding opportunity in a rural small business community.

Here's a rundown of the most common mistakes that can prove detrimental to new entrepreneurs, and some solutions to help you in your business planning venture:

 When Opportunity Knocks - What will you do?

When Opportunity Knocks - What will you do?

The success of an entrepreneur comes from proper planning, persistence, and discipline. Are you ready to build your future and be part of a growing community of rural 'big thinkers'?

Timing is everything

Self-employment is leading Alberta job growth. According to this article, nearly 410,000 Albertans are now self-employed. That's an increase of 43,000 from a year and a half ago. The number of people working as employees, meanwhile, grew by just 7,000 over that same period.
Every day entrepreneurs are starting and growing great businesses in rural Alberta. Driven by a desire for more freedom and flexibility, they are carving out a solid financial future for themselves, their families and their communities.

 Rural Small Business Loans – 5 Things You Should Know

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, staffing, among many other expenses. Community Futures offers flexible and affordable small business loans for entrepreneurs in rural communities to help with those costs.

Don’t know where to start?

The first part of securing a loan is understanding the 5 C’s of lending. These are the elements that lenders consider when approached by a borrower.

 Are we Future Takers or Makers?

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 scientific and technological research and development.  Rural and small town Canada is being left behind – seriously so – in the most significant transition in recent history.  Improvement in medical technologies have the potential to revolutionize rural health care, with comparable transformation possible in K-12 education as well.

 Rural Futures, Tech Realities

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 flexible and more forward-looking than in the past.  The road ahead promises to be complicated, with prosperity and stability for rural and small town areas far from assured.

 Planning for the Future

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 SuccessionMatching.com, an online community of business buyers, sellers, and succession planning professionals.

 Co-branded Retail

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. Casper is an online mattress brand that partnered with West Elm, a high-end furniture retailer, to allow customers to actually try the mattresses in a bricks-and-mortar setting. Music-streaming app Spotify partnered with Uber to create "a soundtrack for your ride."

 Post-purchase Forgiveness

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 include a form of post-purchase forgiveness whereby customers expect all kinds of products and services to ‘forgive them’ when they change their minds about the item they selected, the size they chose, or the service options they wanted.

Contact Us

Community Futures Network of Alberta
Box 753 – Cochrane, AB T4C 1A9
T: 403-851-9995
Toll free: 1-877-482-3672

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About Community Futures

Guidance, support, and financial help for small businesses. Community Futures has been helping rural Albertan entrepreneurs for over 30 years with guidance, business loans, training, and free resources.
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