Startup Canada, a grassroots entrepreneurship movement, is beginning to make in-roads right here in Nelson.
And organizer Rose Hoeher is optimistic the movement will continue to grow as local entrepreneurs come out of the woodwork to find out about the amazing opportunities of the national social enterprise.
Hoeher, who helped start the Nelson chapter back in the spring, was recently in Ottawa to attend the National Awards.
“I went to Ottawa to represent our region's entrepreneurs in meetings with Members of Parliament, Ministers, and Parliamentary Committees and with some of Canada's leading anchor companies to forge partnerships and opportunities for entrepreneurs,” Hoeher explained.
Startup Canada is the leading national social enterprise supporting and giving a voice to entrepreneurs through online programs, national awards, flagship events, partnerships with private sector and government to foster a community for startup and small business success across the country.
“We would like to raise the bar for entrepreneurs and innovation in Canada and demonstrating the growth of Canada's entrepreneurship community. From taxation and immigration to technology adoption and procurement,” Hoeher said.
Startup Nelson consists of numerous small business owners, which include web designers, sleep therapists, multi-level marketers (MLMs), life coaches, clothing exchange owners, software developers and many more entrepreneurs eager to take a shot at stardom with their own unique ideas to start a business.
“At this time, we want to find out who's out there and who would like to participate in this grassroots volunteer movement,” Hoeher said.
“My goal and aspirations are that everybody would have a chance to be an entrepreneur if they choose to and we want to support them in their dreams of doing that.”
Hoeher said she met with MP's, BDC, MasterCard Canada, Venture Capitalists as well as many nation-wide entrepreneurs.
The program has been welcomed by many local government bodies, which were quick to support the program.
They include Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce, KAST (Kootenay Association for Science & Technology), Community Futures, The City of Nelson, NAEDP (Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership) and of course our local tech entrepreneurs and volunteers.
Hoeher said the Startup Canada Awards held in Ottawa was an incredible experience.
Startup Kamloops won the Community of the Year Award over national finalists Startup Sault Ste. Marie and Startup Edmonton. Kamloops was selected as the community having an extraordinary impact on the environment for entrepreneurship.
“My hope is to have a local startup have an opportunity to participate in the next awards in 2018,” Hoeher said.
It appears Start Up Nelson is already on the right track to achieve that goal.