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Canadian En(tour)preneur


We are inviting young Canadians from across the country to apply to join us in Ottawa from August 13 to 15, 2017, to share ideas on tourism and learn about entrepreneurship in the sector, as well as network and engage with tourism operators and industry partners.


Applicants must be:

  • 18 to 24 years old;
  • interested in tourism and entrepreneurship;
  • thinking about starting a tourism business;
  • passionate about travel, especially within Canada; and
  • interested in sharing input on how to make tourism experiences great for millennials.

Selected participants will:

  • travel to Ottawa to meet tourism operators and youth from across Canada;
  • mingle with representatives from the top five tourism-related service sectors—accommodations, food and beverage, recreation and entertainment, transportation, and travel services;
  • find out how entrepreneurs are promoting their business ventures and experiences; and
  • learn more about entrepreneurial opportunities in tourism.

This is a great opportunity to learn from some of Canada's most creative tourism movers and shakers.

Interested young Canadians should visit to apply. The deadline is Friday, June 30 at 5:00 p.m. (ET).

J'ai le plaisir de vous faire part de l'Expérience canadienne en[tour]preneur, une initiative très excitante destinée aux jeunes Canadiens de 18 à 24 ans qui ont un intérêt pour l'entrepreneuriat et le tourisme.

Alberta Tourism – Crowdfunding Campaign

Alberta Tourism is partnering with ATB on a crowdfunding campaign and event for Tourism entrepreneurs.  The campaign will begin in September and we are currently looking for tourism start-up and expansion businesses to participate in the crowdfunding campaign.  The deadline for applications for the crowdfunding campaign is September 17th (though the earlier they apply the better).   We are looking for about 20-25 tourism businesses province wide to participate in the campaign with the possibility of raising from about $5k – 30k per business. 


Of the 20-25 businesses that conduct a crowdfunding campaign, 4-6 of them will be selected to pitch to a live audience on October 21st in Banff.  The audience will be members of the travel industry as well as members of the public.  There will be prizes and cash for the winners (up to $6000).  For more information on the Tourism BoostR campaign please go to:


Interested businesses should contact Bruce Tannas at for additional information and on how to apply.

Alberta Helps Entreprenuers Create New Job Opportunties


The Government of Alberta is supporting enterprising Albertans during the current economic downturn by providing training on running their own business.

Albertans looking to take new products, services or ideas to market can work with experts and mentors to create business plans, connect with investors and learn best practices as part of the Alberta government’s Self-Employment training program.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and our government is committed to helping them grow and thrive. This is a valued program that’s equipping aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and confidence they need to achieve their dreams.”

Christina Gray, Minister of Labour

“Entrepreneurs put a lot on the line to start their own business, and collectively they play an important role in strengthening and diversifying our economy. We want to be there for them from the drawing board and throughout their start-up experience.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

“The Self-Employment program uses seasoned entrepreneur trainers to help Albertans make the transition to business ownership. Through a combination of group sessions and personal coaching, this program gives students the technical skills and confidence to greatly improve their likelihood of success as they venture into the world of self-employment.”

Paul Anderson, President, Anderson Career Training Institute (ACTI)

“Graduating from this program through ACTI provided me with the confidence and crucial tools needed to successfully start my own business. I am now a proud owner of a local business that provides employment to other insurance professionals.”

Evelinne Teichgraber, President and owner, Caliber Insurance Brokers Ltd.

The Self-Employment program is up to 26 weeks in length and provides formal instruction on all aspects of business operation including business plan development, business counseling, coaching and guidance. At the end of the program, participants are expected to be operating their business on a full-time basis.

Starting this month, the Alberta government is partnering with Anderson Career Training Institute and Microbusiness Training Centre to expand capacity in the Edmonton-area to support more Albertans. Similar programs are also available in Calgary, Lethbridge and other parts of the province.

Approximately $1.9 million is allocated to Self-Employment training for 2016-17 in partnership with the Government of Canada.

The Self-Employment training program is one of several programs under the Alberta government’s Training for Work initiative. More information about Self-Employment training and other Training for Work programs is available at


Training Opportunity

SMARTstart wins the 2015-2016 Minister's Innovation Award

The Airdrie Business Resource Partnership (ABRP) wished to create a program combining online training, in-person workshops and a mentorship component that would target entrepreneurs in the development phase or in the first three years of business.  Over the course of the program the businesses would either develope a business plan or update their current business plan.

In 2014 the SMARTstart Entrepreneur Training Program was created with components of online training, workshops and local mentors. Partner contributions were leveraged with an Alberta Government Community Initiatives Project Grant for year one and in January 2014 the first sponsorship was welcomed.  By December 2014, sponsorships had been pledged for the 2015 program. The second SMARTstart program located in Airdrie launched late February 2015.

Project goals included: Increased capacity through training education and networking, building collaborative partnerships with government, private business and industry leaders to implement strategies to increase productivity, investment in research, development, growth and innovation. It was imperative to partner with organizations and/or communities to improve the business support system to early stage business and youth entrepreneurs.

Click link to hear some of our entrepreneurs share their experiences and the value of being part of this inaugural program. 

Entrepreneurs share their experiences and the value of having a mentor. 



Training for Your Board of Directors

Community Futures is your Board Training Partner
Board Members are dedicated, hardworking volunteers. They are highly skilled in a variety of areas of governance. Regardless of their experience with boards, operations and financial management, Board Training will ensure that they continue to be effective in their governance roles.
Make your board be the best it can be with with Community Futures Leadership Institute Board training for Community and Not-For-Profit Organizations.
We offer proven, effective Board Development Training in the following areas:
  • Operations-Board and Staff
  • Legal Responsibilities of Boards
  • Financial Management 
  • Board Development and Evaluation
  • Management, Recruitment, Performance and Evaluation
  • Board Leadership
  • So You Want to be a Chair-Chairing with Confidence

How it Works

Community Futures Centre West will work with interested parties to select and schedule a training session that is of interest to your board. 

For more information contact Dianne Graham at 403 464-2572



What if?

If nobody asked “What if?”, what a boring world it would be. Fortunately, there are entrepreneurs in big cities and small towns who do. People who are driven to create, build networks, find markets, and grow ideas into reality. Every single advancement in history was developed by somebody who had the curiosity and courage to ask “What if?”. It’s no different in rural Western Canada where opportunity is there for those who seek it. If you’re one of those people, we’d like to talk. We're Community Futures, an organization that provides affordable and flexible financing to help you start, expand, buy or move a small business. If you’re willing to ask “What if?”, we may well ask you “why not?”. For more information, get in touch today.



Rocky Mountain Ventures Hosts Successful Grizzly's Den

Rocky Mountain Ventures, a not for profit volunteer driven organization intent on stimulating the Bow Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, held its inaugural Grizzly’s Den business pitch competition on Wednesday September 24, 2014 at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff.

Inspired by the popular Dragon’s Den show airing on CBC, Rocky Mountain Ventures’ Grizzly’s Den event aimed to give thriving entrepreneurs the opportunity to present business opportunities to qualified investors from the area and across Alberta.  “The Bow Valley is home to highly skilled entrepreneurs and experienced investors – which makes for a perfect recipe for new and fast growing business opportunities,” says Eric Schmadtke, founder of Rocky Mountain Venture, Vice-President for Enertech Capital and resident of Canmore.

Rocky Mountain Ventures launched in June and has been quick to form a solid board representing entrepreneurs and investors with expertise in a wide range of sectors including information technologies, wearables, specialty products, engineering, consulting as well as representatives from municipal and provincial economic development agencies.  “Our goal is to leverage existing strengths and attract new players in order to make the Bow Valley a hub for innovation and economic growth in fast-paced industries,” adds Schmadtke. “The Grizzly’s Den is our first effort in creating an engaging dialogue between entrepreneurs and investors in the area and we hope to build on this event in the future with more initiatives.”

Rocky Mountain Ventures would like to thank Banff Venture Forum for providing the room at the Banff Springs Hotel - four companies pitched to a standing room only crowd.  "It was exciting, fast paced and truly tested the companies ability to pitch - just like the Dragon's Den," said Jodie Eckert of Community Futures Centre West.

For more information about Rocky Mountain Ventures please see


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Community Futures Centre West
3209 2nd Floor, Building B
101 Sunset Drive
Cochrane, AB T4C 0B4


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Communities Served

Bragg Creek, 
Dead Mans Flats, 
Ghost Lake, 
Harvie Heights, 
Poplar Bay, 
Redwood Meadows, 


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