Self Employment Program

Self Employment Program


Community Futures
Self Employment Program (SEP), is a strategic combination of one-on-one assistance, workshops, mentoring, and specialty counselling.
Our primary objective is to help you a make well-thought-out, lasting transition from unemployment or under- employment to self-employment. Our client specific program delivers the information and help to you in a manner and timeframe that suits you best.

The SEP is designed to fit the specific needs of unemployed individuals in Abbotsford, Langley and Chilliwack. It is available to people on Employment Insurance, or people that have been on EI in the last three years and are still not employed or people with disabilities. We also offer the program on a fee basis and may be able to help you with this fee through the microbusiness assistance program.

As well as one-on-one coaching this program includes the following:

Market Research Workshops and Counselling

Offered as two three-hour sessions (modules), along with one-on-one counselling when needed, these sessions are designed to help you determine the viability of your business concept, develop and conduct comprehensive and relevant surveys, and summarize your findings to arrive at a strong conclusion.

Business Plan Workshop and Development

This workshop includes step-by-step instructions, in a group setting, on the preparation of a business and financial plan for the first year of business. Your Business Advisor will meet one-on-one with you to clarify and expand on these instructions.

Entrepreneurial Workshops

Respectful, engaging, interactive, thought provoking…and fun!

We have strategically placed these workshops after the business-plan phase, just before you fully launch your businesses. Included in this “boot camp” are:

Ⅰ   Marketing

  • Review positioning and how it flows through everything we do.
  • Features and Benefits—what are you really selling?
  • The different ways we market—promotional activities for small business.
  • Marketing materials—the different types and how to begin them.

Ⅱ   Networking to Success

  • Why network? What’s in it for me, what’s in it for the other guy?
  • How can I start to network? How can I make and keep connections?
  • Who wants to network with me? With whom do I want to network?
  • What do I talk about? What subjects do I avoid?
  • When is it the right time to network?
  • Where do people network?

Clients will be invited to attend their next local Chamber of Commerce, Valley Women’s Network, or Toastmasters International meeting; at least one SEP staff member will attend with them.

Ⅲ   Everybody Makes a Difference: Superior Customer Service in an Increasingly “Same” Society

  • Why customer service is one of the most important concepts to understand.
  • How great have you decided to be?
  • Engagement—it’s the heart of customer service.
  • Managing relationships.
  • Develop a customer service plan.

Clients will be motivated to start a customer service plan immediately and will understand how this will make or break them.

Ⅳ   Selling Skills for the Selling Shy

Unlike 15 years ago, when fast-talking sales managers told you, “Close! Close! Close!” today’s selling is more about problem solving, communicating, and relationships. Clients will:

  • Identify the problems they need to solve;
  • Practice solving problems through role-play;
  • Practice making the phone call that starts the process;
  • Learn how to manage the relationship; and
  • Gain effective communication skills.

Ⅴ   Web sites and Social Media

In today’s world, everyone in business needs a web presence of some kind. As well, they need a basic knowledge of how the Internet can help them move towards success. We will cover the following:

  • The purpose of a website and the different types;
  • How to get started and what to watch out for;
  • How much to invest and the value of working with a professional; and
  • Finding clients and marketing to them on the Internet.
  • Linkedin, blogs, Twitter, Google Plus and more….

Ⅵ   Financial Management for New Business

A successful business starts with a sound base. This workshop will cover the steps from registering/licensing the business, obtaining sales/tax numbers to bookkeeping and financial reporting

  • Various business structures, Proprietorship, Partnership, Incorporation.
  • Business Registration, Licensing.
  • GST and PST.
  • Payroll and Import/Export registration.
  • Taxation and the sole Proprietor/partnership vs. Incorporated.
  • Insurance- Liability, WorkSafe (WCB) Insurance and Liability.
  • Preparing the business Opening Balance Sheet.
  • Review Startup Expenses.
  • Vehicle Logs.
  • Preparing a Financial Management POLICY MANUAL.
  • Government/Tax Requirements for business/personal record keeping.
  • The business owners need to KNOW.
  • Establish a CHART OF ACCOUNTS,
  • Types of bookkeeping methods.
  • Demonstration on how bookkeeping can be made easy.
  • Review of what participants need to prepare for the next and ongoing bookkeeping/financial management mentoring sessions.
  • Question Period.

Ⅶ   Time Management

Two of the biggest challenges home-based and new business owners face are managing their time and staying focused. Those who are successful have learned how to work at home and create a life in balance. We will cover:

  • Organizing the space;
  • Telephones and equipment;
  • Professionalism;
  • Priorities;
  • Accountability partners; and
  • Family involvement.

Ⅷ   Goal Setting

Goal setting and action planning are two critical keys to business and life success. We will cover:

  • Why goal setting works;
  • How our brain works;
  • Getting out of our comfort zone—intentionally;
  • The importance of “being” it before you “get” it;
  • How to prioritize; and
  • How to write out an action plan that is not overwhelming.

One of the keys to our success is our committed and passionate staff. All the SEP staff are experienced business advisors and trainers who have been successful entrepreneurs.

We believe that each client has very individual needs while in the process of establishing entrepreneurial self-sufficiency. Our SE Program model addresses these needs, effectively balancing group work with one-on-one mentoring by a business advisor or team of advisors. In addition, South Fraser is in a position to provide additional supports in the areas of business funding, information, networking and specialized services for individuals with disabling conditions that prevent them from traditional employment but not self-employment.

Staff Members

  • Teresa Pippus - Program Manager and Marketing Guru
  • Suzanne Oaks - Business Advisor Abbotsford
  • Sharon Unger - Office Administrator
  • Bruce Fatkin – Business Advisor Chilliwack
  • Dale Enns – workshop facilitator

Community Futures Self Employment Program Brochure

Community Futures Self Employment Program Brochure




If you are interested in accessing this program or would like more information please call Teresa Pippus or Suzanne Blakely Oaks at 604 864-5770.

Client Testimonials

Business Boot Camp

Business Plan Workshop

Market Research Workshop