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Where can I get help to start my business in Simcoe County?

 

Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) are a resource helping local enterprising people start and grow their businesses to meet their entrepreneurial aspirations. Part of the provincial Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), the Centres provide support to new and existing businesses offering free one-on-one consultations, business plan reviews, seminars, networking opportunities and more.  The two Centres serving Simcoe County are:

  •  South Georgian Bay Small Business Centre

www.enterprisecentre.ca Serving Vlearview, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.

  • Small Business Centre Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia

www.barriebusinesscentre.ca Serving all other areas of the County, including Barrie and Orillia.

 

 

 

 

 

​Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs), a Government of Canada initiative, offer a wide variety of programs and services supporting community economic development and small business growth.  In particular, they provide:

  • Business loans for small- and medium-sized businesses and social enterprises;
  • Business counselling services;
  • access to community and business information;
  • support for community-based projects;
  • strategic community planning and socio-economic development

Simcoe County is home to 4 CFDCs, each serving different areas:

    ​The Government of Canada created the Canada Business Network - Government Services for Entrepreneurs portal.  The portal contains information and resources pertaining to Start-up, Planning, Financing, Managing and Growing your business.  www.canadabusiness.ca

    ​The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) is a resource for entrepreneurs at various stages, across all industry sectors.  With the support of Georgian College and the Ontario Centres of Excellence, HBEC helps students and community based entrepreneurs validate their business ideas and grow existing businesses by connecting them with the tools they need to be successful including mentorship, funding, training and networking.  www.georgiancollege.ca/community-alumni/entrepreneruship-centre

    ​The Centre for Social Enterpreneurship (CSE) inspires positive social change across central Ontario by joining forces with non-profit organizations and Georgian College students and faculty leaders to respond to complex social issues.  Through the Scoail Enterprise Network Central Ontario (SENCO), student-led projects, resssearch, workshops, experiential learning opportunities and innovative curriculum, the centre is motivating the next generation of changemakers to use social entrepreneurial skills and mindsets to transform their community. www.georgiancollege.ca/community-alumni/entrepreneurship-georgian/centre-social-entrepreneurship
    ​Startup Barrie is a grassroots driven movement bringing together people passionate about collaboration, innovation and learning.  Their mission is to get people together to support one another (in both success and failures) as they create new companies.  Startup Barrie is made up of entrepreneurs, technologist, designers and intraprenueurs who work for other organizations.  Organizations, mentors and SMEs are also a big part of the support of this community.  www.startupbarrie.ca
    ​The Economic Development and Innovation Office (EDI) acts a a liaison for industry to access University resources, while striving to support and assist faculty spin-off companies, student start-up companies and entrepreneurial Alumni.  Thge office is an essential component in developing and maintaining linkages with research and business partners, furthering local economic development while working with private industry, investors and government.  It is also responsible for the management and commercialization of the University's intellectual property and assists researchers in transferring knowledge and innovations to those outside the University community.  the office works closely with the Faulty of Business and the PIE-OCEA program coordinator to faciliatate entrepreneurial activites, programs and resources.  www.lakeheadu.ca/research-and-innovation/economic-development

    ​Partners inInnovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE), is the On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) Program for Lakehead University, funded by the Ministry of Reasearch and Innovation through the Ontario Centres of Excellence.  Located on the Thunder Bay Campus, PIE's support extends to the students and alumni of Lakehead's Orrillisa campus.  The mission of PIE is promoting employment through entrepreneurship.  The program provides students with skills and resources needed to identify and develop their own business ideas through activiteis and workshops and also one on one support.  www.pienwo.ca 

    ​YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka provides various youth employment & self-employment programs.  Programs include the High School Enterpreneurship Outreach Program (HSEOP), Youth Job Connection and Youth Quest.  www.ymcaofsimcoemuskoka.ca

    Where can I get help to grow my business in Simcoe County?

     

    Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) are a resource helping local enterprising people start and grow their businesses to meet their entrepreneurial aspirations. Part of the provincial Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), the Centres provide support to new and existing businesses offering free one-on-one consultations, business plan reviews, seminars, networking opportunities and more.  The two Centres serving Simcoe County are:

    •  South Georgian Bay Small Business Centre

    www.enterprisecentre.ca Serving Vlearview, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.

    • Small Business Centre Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia

    www.barriebusinesscentre.ca Serving all other areas of the County, including Barrie and Orillia.

     

     

     

     

     

    ​Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs), a Government of Canada initiative, offer a wide variety of programs and services supporting community economic development and small business growth.  In particular, they provide:

    • Business loans for small- and medium-sized businesses and social enterprises;
    • Business counselling services;
    • access to community and business information;
    • support for community-based projects;
    • strategic community planning and socio-economic development

    Simcoe County is home to 4 CFDCs, each serving different areas:

    ​The Government of Canada created the Canada Business Network - Government Services for Entrepreneurs portal.  The portal contains information and resources pertaining to Start-up, Planning, Financing, Managing and Growing your business.  www.canadabusiness.ca

    ​The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) is a resource for entrepreneurs at various stages, across all industry sectors.  With the support of Georgian College and the Ontario Centres of Excellence, HBEC helps students and community based entrepreneurs validate their business ideas and grow existing businesses by connecting them with the tools they need to be successful including mentorship, funding, training and networking.  www.georgiancollege.ca/community-alumni/entrepreneruship-centre

    ​The Centre for Social Enterpreneurship (CSE) inspires positive social change across central Ontario by joining forces with non-profit organizations and Georgian College students and faculty leaders to respond to complex social issues.  Through the Scoail Enterprise Network Central Ontario (SENCO), student-led projects, resssearch, workshops, experiential learning opportunities and innovative curriculum, the centre is motivating the next generation of changemakers to use social entrepreneurial skills and mindsets to transform their community. www.georgiancollege.ca/community-alumni/entrepreneurship-georgian/centre-social-entrepreneurship
    ventureLAB is the non-profit Regional Innovation Centre (RIC).  It is a member of the ONE network that supports Simcoe County, Muskoka and York Region.  ventureLAB helps entrepreneurs bring their innovations to market, by offering a unique combination of mentoring, partnering and connecting tailored to the unique needs of each business.  ventureLAB offers the BUILD training program, 1:1 advisory services, workshops, conferences, investor meetings and other special events.  www.venturelab.ca

    ​ Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the development of Ontario's economy by helping create new jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses.  In partnership with industry, OCE co-invests to commercialize innovation originating in the province's publicly funded colleges, universities and research hospitals.  Another expanding gocus for OCE is the development of the next generation of innovators through entrepreneurship fellowships and programs for students and youth across Ontario.

    The OCE program suite covers three key areas: Industry-Academic R&D Collaboration, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship.  Other key OCE initiatives are the IBM High Performance Computing Initiative and Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII) www.oce-ontario.org

    Concierge is a single access point to funding, expertise, facilities, and global opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to grow through innovation.  The only service of its kind in Canada, it offers free, one-on-one assistance from expert advisors who provide customized guidance in selecting the most relelvant programs and services to ehlp you grow your business.  www.concierge.innovation.gc.ca

    What funding resources are available?

     

     

     

     

     

    ​Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs), a Government of Canada initiative, offer a wide variety of programs and services supporting community economic development and small business growth.  In particular, they provide:

    • Business loans for small- and medium-sized businesses and social enterprises;
    • Business counselling services;
    • access to community and business information;
    • support for community-based projects;
    • strategic community planning and socio-economic development

    Simcoe County is home to 4 CFDCs, each serving different areas:

    ​The Government of Canada created the Canada Business Network - Government Services for Entrepreneurs portal.  The portal contains information and resources pertaining to Start-up, Planning, Financing, Managing and Growing your business.  www.canadabusiness.ca
    ventureLAB is the non-profit Regional Innovation Centre (RIC).  It is a member of the ONE network that supports Simcoe County, Muskoka and York Region.  ventureLAB helps entrepreneurs bring their innovations to market, by offering a unique combination of mentoring, partnering and connecting tailored to the unique needs of each business.  ventureLAB offers the BUILD training program, 1:1 advisory services, workshops, conferences, investor meetings and other special events.  www.venturelab.ca

    ​ Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the development of Ontario's economy by helping create new jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses.  In partnership with industry, OCE co-invests to commercialize innovation originating in the province's publicly funded colleges, universities and research hospitals.  Another expanding gocus for OCE is the development of the next generation of innovators through entrepreneurship fellowships and programs for students and youth across Ontario.

    The OCE program suite covers three key areas: Industry-Academic R&D Collaboration, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship.  Other key OCE initiatives are the IBM High Performance Computing Initiative and Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII) www.oce-ontario.org

    Georgian Angel network is a group of private investors from across the region that come from a wide variety of backgrounds and careers.  the group's investment capacity typically ranges from $100,000 to $350,000 (cometimes more) and we will look at participating in subsequent financing rounds (follow-on investment).  Furthermore, they consider syndication opportunities with other wangel investors, other commercialization partners and early-stage venture captial funds.  www.georgianangelnet.ca
    Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), a financial institution owner by the Government of Canada, offers business loans and advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow, both at home and abroad.  The yoffer a full spectrum of specialized financing, including venture captial, equity as well as growth and business transition capital.  www.bdc.ca
    ​Export Development Canada(EDC) is Canada's export credit agency, helping Canadian companies respond to international business opportunities.  EDC is a self-financing, Crown coproration that operates at arm's length from the Government providing insurance and financial services, bonding products and small business solutions to Canadian exporters and investors and their international buyers.  www.edc.ca

    ​Summer Company is a youth enterprensurship program of the Ministry of Economic Development, employment and Infrastructure.  the program is available to students between the ages of 15 - 29 who are in school returning to school in the fall.

    Summer Company is an extremely helpful initiative for young entrepreneurs as it provides funding of up to $3000, and hands-on coaching and mentoring to help students start and operate their own summer business.  www.ontario.ca/page/start-summer-company-students

    ​Starter Company provides youth between the ages of 18 - 29 with the opportunity to receive mentoring, training, and funding up to $5000 to start or grow a business.  Starter Company is offered through the Small Business Enterprise Centre network:

    ​Futurpreneur Canada has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada's young enterprise for nearly two decades.  They are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39.  The internaionally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2800 volunteer mentors.  www.futurpreneur.ca

    I am a Creator, Maker, Inventor, Coder where are like-minded individuals and resources?

    ​Design and create unique projects at Innisfil's community hackerspace.  Members get access to 3D printers, vinyl and laser cutters, and a digital media lab.  Record and produce videos or audio content; user a green screen for special effects; build a robot; solder simple electronics; or craft sculptures and jewellery.  Local entrepreneurs have access to the equipment to develop and create marketing packages, websites, vinyl signs and stickers, promotional videos, business cards and more.  Thousands of resources and help guides are also available through the adjoining library.  www.innisfil.library.on.ca/entrepreneurship
    Tinker Lab - A place of discorery, creativity and imagination, just through the doors of Barrie's Downtown Library.  Use the 3D printer to create something neat, play with the Ozo Bots, Dash robots or Meccano.  Create something on the sewing machine, or take the K'NEX roller coaster for a ride!  It's all about learning and experiencing new things in a hands-on environment.  All ages are welcome, as there is something for everyone.  If you're looking to prototype, model, experiment, or share your creations for customer validation, check out the Tinker Lab and ask about opportunities!
    ​The Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI) fosters an intergrated culture of research, scholarship, and collegiality that connects students, faculty, staff and the community in order to inspire innovation, advance knowledge, and enrich learning in and beyond the classroom.  as Georgian's central point of contact for business and community partners, CARI connects clients with Georgian's expertise and resources for applied research activities, administers applied research grants and collaborates with the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre to ensure comprehensive support for businesses.  www.georgiancollege.ca/about-georgian/research/applied-research-and-innovation
    ventureLAB is the non-profit Regional Innovation Centre (RIC).  It is a member of the ONE network that supports Simcoe County, Muskoka and York Region.  ventureLAB helps entrepreneurs bring their innovations to market, by offering a unique combination of mentoring, partnering and connecting tailored to the unique needs of each business.  ventureLAB offers the BUILD training program, 1:1 advisory services, workshops, conferences, investor meetings and other special events.  www.venturelab.ca
    SimCoLab is community-operated workspace where people with common itnerests, often in computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialise and/or collaborate.  Workshops include 3D printing, networking and security, intro to html/css, learn to solder plus many more!  www.simcolab.org
    #LadiesLearningCode is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to be the leading resource for women and youth to become passionate builders - not just consumers - of technology by learning technical skills in a hands-on, social, and collaborative way.  www.ladieslearningcode.com/chapters/barrie
    ​The Economic Development and Innovation Office (EDI) acts as a liaison for industry to access University resources, while striving to support and assist faculty spin-off companies, student start-up companies, and entrepreneurial Alumni.  The office is an essential component in developing and maintaining linkages with research and business partners, furthering local economic development while working with private industry, investors, and government.  It is also responsible for the management and commercialization of the University's intellectual property, and assists researchers in transferring knowledge and innovations to those outside the University community.  The office works closely with the Faculty of Busienss and the PIE - OCEA program coordinator to facilitate entrepreneurial activites, programs, and resources.  www.lakeheadu.ca/reasearch-and-innovation/economic-development
    ​Partners in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE), is the On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) Program for Lakehead University, funded by the Minsitry of Research and Innovation through the Ontario Centres of Excellence.  Located on the Thunder Bay Campus, PIE's support extends to the students and alumni of Lakehead's Orillia campus.  The mission of PIE is promoting employment through entrepreneurship.  The program provides students with skills and resources needed to identify and develop their own business ideas through activities and workshops and also one on one support.  www.pienwo.ca

    Who can help with commercialization and product launch?

    Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the development of Ontario's economy by helping create new jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses.  In partnership with industry, OCE co-invests to commercialize innovation originating in the province's publicly funded colleges, universities and research hospitals.  Another expanding focus for OCE is the development of the next generation of innovators through entrepreneurship fellowships and programs for students and youth across Ontario.

    The OCE program suite covers three key areas: Industry-Academic R&D Collaboration, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship.  Other key OCE initiatives are the IBM High Performance Computing Initiative and Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII).  www.oce-ontario.org

    ​ventureLAB is the non-profit Regional Innovation Centre (RIC).  It is a member of the ONE network that supports Simcoe County, Muskoka and York Region.  ventureLAB helps entrepreneurs bring their innovations to market, by offering a unique combination of mentoring, partnering, and connecting tailored to the unique needs of each business.  ventreLAB offers various business acceleration programs, 1:1 advisory services, workshops, conferences, investor meetings and other special events.  www.venturelab.ca
    ​The Economic Development and Innovation Office (EDI) acts as a liaison for industry to access University resources, while striving to support and assist faculty spin-off companies, student start-up companies, and entrepreneurial Alumni.  The office is an essential component in developing and maintaining linkages with research and business partners, furthering local economic development while working with private industry, investors and government.  It is also responsible for the management and commercialization of the University's intellectual property, and assist researchers in transferring knowledge and innovations to those outside the University community.  The office works closely with the Faculty of Business and the PIE-OCEA program coordinator to facilitate entrepreneurial activities, programs, and resources.  www.lakeheadu.ca/research-and-innovation/economic-development
    ​The Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI) fosters an integrated culture of research, scholarship, and collegiality that connects students, faculty, staff and the community in order to inspire innovation, advance knowledge, and enrich learning in and beyond the classroom.  As Georgian's central point of contact for business and community partners, CARI connects clients with Georgian's expertise and resources for applied research activities, administers applied research grants and collaborates with the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre to ensure comprehensive support for businesses.  www.georgiancollege.ca/about-gerogian/research/applied-research-and-innovation

    Other Resources (BIA's, Chambers of Commerce, Libraries)

    Business Improvement Areas

     

     

     

     

    ​A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a geographic area in a municipality.  A BIA board of management is an organization set up to provide certain busienss promotion and improvement functions within that area.  A BIA allows local business people and property owners to join together and with the support of the municipality, to organize, finance and carry out physical improvement and promote economic development in thier district.  the local municipality is the body that is responsible for approving the budget of the BIA.

    There 9 BIAs located in Simcoe County to help support your business:

    Alliston BIA - www.allistonbia.com
    Beeton, Tottenham BIA - www.btbia.ca
    Collingwood Downtown - www.collingwooddowntown.com
    Coldwater BIA - www.coldwatervillage.com
    Creemore BIA - www.experiencecreemore.com  
    Downtown Barrie BIA - www.downtownbarrie.ca/bia
    Downtown Midland BIA - www.downtownmidland.ca
    Downtown Orillia Management Board - www.downtownorillia.ca
    Elmvale BIA - www.elmvalebia.ca

    Chambers of Commerce

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ​Simcoe County is home to 14 Chambers of Commerce to support your business:

    Alliston & District Chamber of Commerce - www.adcc.ca
    Angus & Area Chamber of Commerce - www.anguschamber.com
    Bradford Board of Trade - www.bradfordboardoftrade.com
    Cookstown & District Chamber of Commerce - www.cookstown.ca
    Collingwood Chamber of Commerce - www.collingwoodchamber.com
    Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce - www.barriechamber.com
    Greater Innisfil Chamber of Commerce - www.innisfilchamber.com
    Orillia District Chamber of Commerce - www.orillia.com
    Oro-Medonte Chamber of Commerce - www.oromedontecc.com
    Ramara Chamber of Commerce - www.ramarachamber.com
    Stayner Chamber of Commerce - www.staynerchamber.ca
    Southern Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce - www.southerngeorgianbay.ca Tottenham, Beeton & District Chamber of Commerce - www.tottenhamchamber.on.ca
    Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce - www.wasagainfo.com

    Libraries

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ​From your company's ideation to its growth and expansion, your local library has resources, connections, and space to support your success.

    Simcoe County is home to 28 public library locations across its municipalities, plus 3 locations in Barrie and Orillia.  Cal or visit them to:

    • Brush up on business tactics with audiobooks, ebooks or traditional print
    • Meet privately with partners or clients in free study rooms, or book larger board rooms for formal presentations and meetings
    • Attend workshops or get 1:1 tech coaching
    • Start your research (local markets, history, genealogy, GIS)

    Looking for a nearby co-working space?  with free hot desks, wifi, and customer service, your ideal solution may be closer than you think!

    Local libraries are also experts at connecting with the community.  If you're looking to pilot a project or you're seeking customer validation, consider offering a public program!  For more information, ask about your library's program startegy and policies.

    Find them at - http://www.simcoe.ca/library/pages/consortium-members.aspx