SMARTstart is delivered over 8 months. Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the program take part in the following:

Learning

1. Online learning via GoForth Institute

  • 100 Essential Business Skills™ program
  • Modules to complete on your own time
  • Short video lessons – plus downloadable e-book, worksheets and quizzes

2. Seminars

  • In-person small group sessions
  • 11 sessions (1.5 hours each), alternating between lunch & evening sessions to accommodate work and personal schedules
  • Topics include financing, marketing, taxation, networking and more
  • Delivered by local experts
  • Plus 2-3 interactive Peer-to-Peer sessions to share ideas with fellow participants and mentors in an informal setting

3. Mentoring

  • Each entrepreneur is paired with an experienced local business owner (Volunteer mentor)
  • Mentors share their experiences and effective small business management practices
  • Mentors provide guidance to entrepreneurs as they develop their plan

Learn more about being a mentor.

Plan Creation

Having a plan is what SMARTstart is all about.

Each entrepreneur walks away from SMARTstart with a plan they have created to set their business up for success.

  • One of three plan are completed: a business plan, feasibility study or strategic plan
  • Mentors and program organizers provide tools and support

The creation of a plan is foundational to SMARTstart. It is expected all participants complete or update a plan by the end of the program.