Here’s how the SMARTstart success story began:
- 2012 – Community Futures Centre West (CFCWest) piloted a program in Canmore
- 2013 – CFCWest brought the program to Airdrie and established partnerships with the City of Airdrie Economic Development, Airdrie Chamber of Commerce
- 2014 – SMARTstart program was officially launched in Airdrie
- 2014-present – SMARTstart has operated as a highly successful program in Airdrie
While it is not in the mandate of the Airdrie partners to expand the program, Community Futures, as a regional organization, would like to share the success of the program and expand SMARTstart into other communities.
Small business plays a very important role in our local economy. In most Canadian cities, 99% of businesses are small businesses. But, the reality is, running a business can be tough. Studies show only 35% of new businesses survive in the first five years.
That’s where the SMARTstart program can play an important role.
It’s proven. Business owners with education in entrepreneurship, or previous entrepreneur experience, have an 80–90% chance of success with a new start up business.
SMARTstart was designed by a group of local partners who understand small business. Its purpose is to provide real-world business skills, access to tailor-made advice and create a support network to increase the chance of new businesses surviving those first crucial years.
Through online learning, in-person seminars and mentorship, SMARTstart gives Entrepreneurs with an idea and new business owners the tools to help build a plan to set up their business up for success.