These interactive, hands-on sessions are offered regularly throughout the year. They have been developed to guide you through three distinct stages: exploring the concept of entrepreneurship (Welcome to Business); planning your business (Business Plan Development Series); and gathering tools and knowledge that you can immediately apply to the operation of your business (Thursday Evening Seminars). The Thursday Evening sessions are clustered below according to topic.
A new on-line business plan series is also available. This allows participants to develop a comprehensive business plan at a time and in a location that works best for them.
Advance registration is required for all seminars and workshops.
View a printable training calendar or scroll through the list below for session descriptions, dates, times and prices. Click on the date or ‘online session’ for more details and to register.
If you’re a woman starting a business, this ‘how to’ session will give you essential information about tools, techniques, challenges and pitfalls. Based on our deep knowledge and experience with countless business starts over a 20-year period, this short video could save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours. Make all of your mistakes on paper and then go on to be a successful business woman where it really counts.No Charge Register
Starting a business is an appealing idea for many women, but do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? This session helps you explore the advantages and challenges of being self-employed. It will also provide you with answers to frequently asked question including: How do I register my business name? Do I require any special licenses and permits? How do I finance this idea? Skilled business advisors from the Women's Enterprise Centre will guide you through the resources available at the Centre and throughout the community to help you put your dream into action. No Charge
What is a business plan and why do I need one? A business plan is a critical tool for outlining the strategy and developing the tactics to manage your business. This document organizes all the information derived from your research and explains how you will start and operate your business.This interactive six-part series is delivered on Tuesday evenings over six weeks and provides in-depth instruction on preparing each section of the business plan. The descriptions below explain the content for in each class. $180 + GST for the six-part series. Individual sessions are $50 + GST each.
April 23 to May 28 (Tuesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 pm)
July 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 (9 am to noon)
You can also register for individual sessions by clicking on the dates below ($50 + GST each)
In this session you will explore and begin to refine your business concept. Various primary and secondary research tools and techniques will be discussed so that you can evaluate what research you need to obtain in order to have the necessary information to develop a realistic and effective plan.
Once you have conducted the research there needs to be an analysis of that information. In this session, you will learn how to evaluate and assess the information you have collected so that you have a strong foundation for the next stage which is developing the marketing and operational strategies.
Marketing is a very important aspect of every business. In the first class devoted to marketing, you will explore the importance of differentiation, positioning, and establishing a well thought out brand/image for your business and product/service. There will also be discussion about pricing strategies and how your costing and pricing model will affect sales and profit potential. The class ends with a review of sales methods and the channels of distribution you will use to get your product/service into the marketplace.
The marketing discussion continues with an exploration of marketing options. You will look at various traditional promotion tools (advertising, public relations, personal selling, sales promotion) and then consider on-line strategies (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, You Tube, Pinterest, blogging). The class finishes with an examination of the marketing plan which is the packaging of the elements discussed in these two classes into a strategic action plan to create awareness about your product/service and get it to your target customers.
In this session you will explore the operations plan with a focus on identifying effective processes and systems. You will also take into consideration the physical and human resources required to ensure the business is able to meet its sales and marketing objectives. Potential risks to your business will be reviewed and a template to assess and mitigate those risks will be provided. The class wraps up with a discussion of sales forecasting methods.
Financial Planning and Management (Workshop 6))
In the final session of the series, you will learn how to apply the research and planning from the previous workshops to develop realistic financial projections for the business. Cash flow budgets, income statements and balance sheets will be reviewed and tools will be provided to support analysis of the feasibility of your business strategy based on the financial projections.
The Women's Enterprise Centre offers seminars on a variety of topics. Each has been designed so that you can immediately apply the information to the operation of your business. Some of the courses are delivered by guest facilitators, others by WEC staff with expertise in a particular area. Some sessions are delivered online, others take place on Thursday evenings at the Centre. Sessions have been divided into topic areas for easy reference.
Understanding the basics of bookkeeping will help you gain and maintain control of your business. You must be organized to track and document the movement of funds in your business. Learn what financial information you need to collect and how to develop systems for monitoring and reporting that information, including basic requirements for income tax, GST and PST. You will also gain an understanding of how to develop a manual bookkeeping system that is straightforward and easy to manage. By the end of the session, you will have gained a basic understanding of good record keeping practices and how they relate to your business. $35 + GST
Designed specifically for self-employed individuals, the session covers a lot of ground in just two hours. You will learn which expenses are deductible and which are not; the taxation rules that apply to sole proprietors, partnerships and corporations; important considerations to evaluate when making buying vs. leasing decisions; and how to keep appropriate documentation (bookkeeping and receipt keeping). You will also be exposed to miscellaneous tax tips and traps and there will be discussion about GST, payroll deductions and things you can do to be in accordance with all taxation requirements so that your return does not trigger an audit.
Basic accounting principles will be used to demonstrate key activities in QuickBooks and Simply Accounting software. By the end of the session, you will know how to complete basic transactions using the software, with a general overview of payables, receivables and payroll functions.
Technology for small businesses can be as simple as improvements to your website or as complex as implementing a Customer Relations Management (CRM) system. As a business owner, you likely use many forms of technology but hear about new and ‘better’ tools. With so many choices, finding a place to introduce (and justify) productive and profit-making technology can be overwhelming. We have developed a straight-forward process to help entrepreneurs evaluate the business technology tools they have and identify what they need to achieve their business objectives. This session provides an overview of this assessment process and will help you develop a plan to make your future technology decisions simpler and more effe ctive for the health and growth of your business. $25 + GST Register
If you’ve done any research lately into technology options for your business, or simply viewed an ad for the iPhone 4S which touts iCloud functionality, you may be wondering what this cloud stuff is all about. In this session, you will gain insight into overall Cloud technology and learn about innovative and cost-effective ways that your business may be able to benefit from incorporating leading-edge cloud techniques into your technology planning. $25 + GST Register
Each year the Canadian Government purchases approximately $20 billion dollars in goods and services. As a business owner, wouldn’t it be great to be a supplier to this massive purchasing entity? Darlene Chuka, Supply Team Leader with the Office of Small and Medium Enterprise will share information and insight into selling to the government. Her presentation will help you understand the procurement process, guide you on how to build relationships and outline the process to find opportunities. On June 1st the government will begin advertising all tendering opportunities on the Buy and Sell website so she will also focus on how to use that supplier database.No Charge