Business & Enterprise Support & Training
SEED’s BEST Program (Business & Enterprise Support & Training) begins with attendance at one of our BEST Information Sessions. Upon learning about SEED and our programs, workshop attendees are invited to apply to the first phase of the training process.
Phase 1 – Training & Support
This stage focuses on feasibility of self-employment (for sole proprietors, partnerships or other for profit business structures), and feasibility of revenue generation and sustainability (for cooperatives, social enterprises or other not-for-profit structures). Training and support to accomplish Phase 1 is delivered in classroom, individually or for specific groups. A feasibility plan is usually created and our approach is to help our participants answer these 3 questions:
- Will this enterprise meet my or my organization’s financial and social needs or goals?
- Is this enterprise a good fit for me or my organization? In other words, am I qualified?
- For an individual this may require having industry experience and or necessary training or certification
- For an organization this may require board readiness and support/capacity
- Am I, or is my organization cut out for the entrepreneurial or revenue generating lifestyle or structure. In other words, am I ready?
- For an individual this may require having adequate family supports and/or the ability to meet family or personal needs during startup
- For an organization this may require adequate management capacity and human resources and clearly identified goals that the enterprise is expected reach within the organization
Phase 2 – Pre-launch
Entry into this Phase is for those participants that are very likely to move forward to launching their business or enterprise. This stage continues with the business (plan) development process and is tailored to the specific needs of the participant’s enterprise. This phase may also incorporate training in cooperative development, social enterprise development, board and bylaw development and other governance needs where applicable and is delivered in classroom, individually or for specific groups.
Upon completion of Phase 2, the business plan and any related governance and board development work will have been completed or well underway. The plan will be complete to the point of submission to funding organizations and financial institutions if external financing is required, or as a learning and planning tool.
Phase 3 – Business or Enterprise Launch and Aftercare Stage
This stage is where the participant actively begins operations, or implements changes to stabilize or expand their enterprise if already in operation. This stage is client led, and supported by SEED staff and will vary by the type of client. It will consist of preparation and implementation of systems and the materials necessary to launch and operate the enterprise.
In this stage the new business or enterprise will meet with their Business Development Facilitator (Business Consultant) once per month or as needed to help monitor regular as well as unanticipated events, and assure that the operation is moving forward in a stable manner. These meetings can take place on-site or at SEED’s offices, and SEED suggests they continue for the first year of operation. Although SEED’s staff will be available on an ongoing basis, the purpose of this stage is to develop the participant’s self-reliance so that their work with SEED will come to a natural end with the target being at completion of the first year’s operations.
Eligibility Criteria for SEED’s programs
- must be a resident of Winnipeg
- must fall within our Low Income Cut Off guidelines or face barriers to employment (ask SEED staff for details)
- have a business idea that will help create a stronger and healthier community
- have some skill, experience or training in the area desired to start a business