Our Blog

Relaunching Small Business Confidence

Relaunching Small Business Confidence

As a series of workshops and sessions focused on relaunching and retaining businesses in rural Alberta wraps up, we are reflecting back on one of the most challenging periods for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic started, it quickly became apparent that SMEs would be one of the hardest hit groups from multiple lockdowns & loss of income.

Thus, the Building Business Resiliency project was born.

“Resilience is not about overcoming, but becoming.” – Sherri Mandell

 Coaching Through Crisis

Coaching Through Crisis

One of the most profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the loss of connection with others. For a group of small business coaches working in coal transition communities in Central and Eastern Alberta, the sudden end of in-person business visits and close connection with entrepreneurs was an early sign that many new startups and seasoned business owners were beginning to struggle with some of the invisible and often unspoken costs of the global health crisis.

“Recognizing that business owners can experience grief or loss was a crucial step to moving forward,” says Louise Jones, a Community Futures Small Business Advisor in East Central Alberta.

Louise and her colleagues described how small businesses were becoming fragmented and paralyzed. Business planning came to a halt, clients withdrew and stopped wanting to manage their next steps.

 Expectations | Redefined

Expectations | Redefined

What began as a plan to provide small business support to women in remote and underserved parts of Alberta has sparked an effort to rethink the experience of female entrepreneurship.

Project Gazelle, created by Community Futures Lloydminster, is one of two projects in Alberta supported by the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), a national $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.

Named after both the emerging business term for an agile and adaptable firm and the swift and tribal groupings of grassland animals, Gazelle took what has been an established process for small business development and deconstructed it to examine the many roadblocks women in Alberta face.

 Long term volunteer receives top award

Long term volunteer receives top award

We are pleased to announce that Steve Upham, Reeve for the County of St. Paul, was the recipient of the Community Futures Alberta, Volunteer of the Year Award 2019 at our annual provincial conference in Grande Prairie.The award is presented to individuals who have shown outstanding and ongoing leadership and achievement in the Community Futures program.

Steve Upham has been involved with the Community Futures program for nine years, and his term as Chair of the Community Futures St. Paul-Smoky Lake Board of Directors is ending. During the presentation of the award, it was noted Steve has led with consideration and compassion, and that he understands the ‘beating heart’ of small communities and rural life.

 Managing Economic Recovery Through Resiliency

Managing Economic Recovery Through Resiliency

As communities across central and eastern Alberta undergo an economic shift away from coal-fired power generation, the role of small business is at the forefront of building new opportunities and managing the recovery.

The transition is part of a Federal initiative to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2030. In Alberta, this means that 12 of the 18 coal-fired power plants will either shift away from coal or shut down over the next decade.  "A very ancient quote says, 'The only constant in life; is change' ", says Doray Veno, Executive Director of the Hanna Learning Centre. "But once you make internal peace with this concept, the opportunities are endless."

 A Message from Phyllis Maki

A Message from Phyllis Maki

This is my first opportunity to share with you my thoughts, dreams, challenges, and ambitions, and I hope you will share back yours with me.

While new to the Community Futures Network of Alberta, I have been ‘in the field’ guiding local Community Futures offices and programs in Western Canada for more than 30 years.

The past decade has been remarkable. From the depths of recession, shifts in historic resource industries and natural disasters, to record population growth and the entry of new industries, one thing has remained unchanged: our approach to rural economic development.

 Disability Business Coaching

Disability Business Coaching

Breaking down the Essentials

Wendy Holloway specializes in facilitating transformation in human behaviour using techniques in Applied Neuro-science, which she says work exceptionally well for clients that struggle with varying disabilities.

By finding ways to increase a client’s confidence, Wendy tries at the same time increasing their effectiveness and productivity in business growth.

Building a business can mean different things to different people but according to her, the essential elements remain the same and can be tackled very simplistically while still accomplishing the intention of a business plan.

 A New Wave of Entrepreneurs

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 rise, and as a network of developmental lenders, Community Futures Alberta is ready to keep pace.

 Sharing for Success - Stronger Together

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. Featured speakers raise awareness to improve understanding of the many limitations imposed by attitudes and stereotypes on the employment and economic opportunities of First Nations individuals.

Contact Us

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

Connect

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.
Learn more...