Calgary social entrepreneurs with a desire to grow and improve business skills are invited to apply for Thrive’s spring Accelerator program. The program is also designed for existing entrepreneurs that are curious about integrating social and environmental impact into their business.
Accelerator is a four-month program with weekly in-class learning and business coaching. Participants have two additional months of business coaching after the classes are complete. Capped at 10 participants, the program is geared to entrepreneurs that have been in business at least a year.
“I love working with these businesses and all their great ideas,” says Chas Young, the program’s facilitator.
“Just being in a room of these brilliant entrepreneurs is energizing and it gets everyone’s creative brains working more,” she says. “Calgary is full of brilliant entrepreneurs that find fantastic solutions for problems, and really – that’s what business is – there’s a problem in our economy or in the market let’s fix it with our business.”
Doing business differently is part of The City of Calgary’s Enough for All strategy that looks to reduce poverty in the city and create stronger communities. Social entrepreneurship has become a “hot new topic” and businesses are wanting to do more for their communities, she notes.
Participants will create a strategic plan, marketing plan and financial plan. The curriculum includes how to measure social change and how to implement social and environmental practices into your business.
“We believe you can’t create social change unless you have strong business practices, which is a flaw in many nonprofits. People with hearts of gold want to change the planet but they don’t necessarily have the strong business practices to make that happen,” Chas tells NewScoop YYC.
She enjoys working with individual entrepreneurs and seeing how their businesses change throughout the program. Participants gain confidence, business skills and a support network that solo entrepreneurs often don’t have.
Past participants are seeing success. “This program gives you the essential tools you need to run your business in a short amount of time,” states Kye Kocher, founder of Grand Trunk Veggies.
“I’m passionate about social businesses and the potential that it has for doing business differently and changing communities and changing people’s lives,” Chas says. “I can’t wait to see what comes out of this group.”
Thrive’s spring Accelerator program runs Tuesday evenings, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., starting March 14, 2017. For more information or to apply, contact Chas: firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-204-2670.