We are so grateful to the Self Employment Program! It is hard to imagine having started our business journey without the wealth of support, encouragement, and expertise from our SEP mentors. We are confident in the foundation we've built for our business, and as we begin year 2 as self employed people we feel the mark of SEP on our lives every day!
Live Well Landscaping
After working for a large university for 8 years helping to establish an advanced lecture capture and live streaming technology for the various schools and associated teaching groups I saw the opportunity to take the service beyond the campus environment into the event-based corporate, government and private markets. When the university decided to withdraw from doing anything other than campus-only academic services I found myself out of work. Using equipment I had accumulated over years of working in the video and audio business I made an effort to retain my off-campus clients and worked to set up a streaming webcast service that includes live-streaming special events for the various health authorities, engineering associations, large convention centres and many specialized groups that support large niche groups of the public.
The Community Futures program helped me clarify my business vision, and provided me with highly effective training on the essentials of operating a business in today's complex digital marketplace. They provided the support to ensure the financial processes and profitability analysis of the business plan made sense and gave me the foundation to go forward confidently. The people working within the program did a great job to help network the various local entrepreneurs to support each other's efforts and to involve each of us in community activities to help the individual businesses get exposure and connection with the Chamber of Commerce, business activity groups and many more areas that ensure and expand opportunities to succeed. Anyone who has a seed of an idea to start a business will be highly served and supported by working with the excellent organizers, trainer/instructors and groups that Community Futures offers.
Mark Van Driel - Owner
NEXUS Webcast Services (formerly dba TargetPro Web Event Services)
"I have been connected in one form or other to Community Futures since 1999! They are the reason I'm here. They are amazing at working with entrepreneurs and trying to meet their needs at the point they are at."
Doris Woodman-McMillan - Numbers Unlimited
Thank you Community Futures, Your professional, efficient & supportive resources have provided me with top notch industry professionals who have given me all the tools and organization to create an impressive business plan and precision financials. The loan I received will help me move forward with my business. This journey has given me the insight necessary to execute a successful business expansion.
Gillian Keys - Purple Mango Organic Skincare & Laser
Purple Mango Organic Skincare & Laser
205-1945 McCallum Road,
The Self-Employment Program helped change my life. When I couldn't find work, the staff at WorkBC, were so helpful and suggested I check out the Self-Employment Program. This program has helped me do great research about my idea and focus on my dream business. The workshops really helped me with the tools to be successful and my business advisor and the social media coach were outstanding! I couldn't have done it without you, thanks so much!
We are Fraser Valley's prepared meals experts! We want to help you save time, money and ultimately enjoy your life without having to worry about what's for dinner. We understand life gets busy. Let us make you healthy, delicious, chef-inspired meals that will keep you feeling amazing.
Fraser Valley's Prepared Meals Experts
When I first went to Work BC and met with my case manager she was very helpful and suggested I consider the Self-Employment Program. The staff at SEP have had a huge impact on my life and have helped me fulfill my dream to be self-employed in something I love! The process was an absolute learning and growing experience! Everything about this program was excellent and provided everything I needed to get to where I am today and will forever be grateful for this opportunity!
The Gentle Gardener
I attended the Community Futures Self Employment program from Spring 2010 until March 2011. I found the staff to be extremely supportive and helpful, giving me the advice, information and support I needed to successfully launch my business as a mediator and organizational consultant.
Community Futures provides a valuable service to our community through workshops and other instruction, as well as one-to-one support for new business owners. I doubt I would have successfully launched my business without this. Small business is a key component of our community, and it is "forward thinking" for our government to fund programs like this, enabling citizens to be successful in a variety of entrepreneurial endeavours. This support translates into business success, which in turn provides tax revenue for the government as well. I hope that others will be able to benefit from Community Futures as I have.
Colette Squires and Associates
My name is Joan Rourke and I have been in the Self Employment Program in South Fraser Abbotsford, B.C. for 7 months. Before that I had thought about starting my own business for 2 months after ending up on EI but I was very overwhelmed trying to do it on my own. A friend told me about the SEP program and after talking to Suzanne Blakley-Oaks at the Abbotsford office, I felt quite relieved - I was no longer alone. I enthusiastically took all the classes they offered and learned so much that I was energized to keep going. The classes were all very professional, friendly and informative. It would have taken me years to learn it on my own! From the Business Plan to Marketing to Social Media - they have all helped me so much. I am now almost at full speed in my new business and loving it! It would not have happened without all the SEP support at South Fraser. They helped save me in more ways than I can name.
Thanks to everyone!
J.R. Training Center
I have found the Self Employment program invaluable in helping get my business started. The information that we learn and the resources we get to keep (like our binders) taught me know how to set up my business correctly from the beginning, saving a lot of research and trial and error. And the networking among the instructors and our "classmates" has been a huge confidence booster. It's helpful to connect with other people who are also in the process of leaving the security of a regular pay-cheque to do their own thing. In our class, the cross-section of industries that were represented added another layer of learning.
Mostly, I like knowing that I have trustworthy people I can call on for advice or assistance without having to worry if they have my best interest at heart. I know the business world can be harsh, and it's nice to have a shortcut to such a solid support network, right off the bat. It is also great to have to be reporting my progress which keeps me focused and accountable. Otherwise the things I don't like to do might pile up and get stressful
I'm looking forward to evolving my business under the awesome guidance from the SE program!
Nail Therapy, Abbotsford, B.C.
I would like to take a few moments to say thank you for administering the Self Employment program.
The workshops were excellent. I learned a lot about starting, running and establishing a business. The workshops were well thought out and well delivered. While I had a few personal favourites (Pikes among them), they were all very well done. They were informative, challenging and yet fun at the same time. I appreciated the camaraderie among the attendees and my business is benefiting from strategic alliances made in those workshops.
My business advisor took the time to understand me and my business idea, she asked the hard questions that I had to answer concerning running the business, and kept my feet to the fire regarding my weekly reports. She led me to useful resources I needed and supported me when the going was tough and I wasn't sure if I could continue. She has been a great support and I doubt I would have got this far as a start up without her advice.
My goal was to publish a new Christian lifestyle magazine for the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver. That goal has been achieved. Less than a year ago I was on E.I., today I have a growing business employing 5 people, as well as creating partial income streams for writers and delivery drivers. Thank you.
The Light Magazine
“Growing up we always had pets, or things that followed us home,” she says. “I made sure my children grew up with dogs and cats and birds! We’ve had a few different critters over the years. I’ve rescued injured animals found on the side of the road. One time I even rescued a seagull with a broken wing. I simply love all animals, big and small.”
After being laid off from her job at a dog-grooming salon, Nancy felt discouraged and fragile. She went to WorkBC and after working with her case manager she was referred to the Community Futures Self Employment Program. She decided to sign up, even though the notion of self-employment made her nervous.
Ultimately, the program supported her in realizing a life long dream. In the spring of 2014 she opened Nancy’s Dog Grooming. She renovated her garage into a luxurious spa for dogs, and once she opened up shop, “wonderful people and their beloved furry companions” started pounding down her door. Today, she is tremendously happy and fully booked. She says she will never look back.
Kristin spent most of her twenties working for an international development charity that helped poor communities gain access to clean water. But when the Executive Director she had been assisting for 6 years had to step back to fight a battle with cancer, she found herself needing to rethink her professional options. Laid off from the organization, she met with a caseworker through WorkBC, who referred her to the Community Futures Self Employment Program.
She had already heard that the Self Employment Program was her best bet for succeeding in launching her own freelance writing career, so she joined up.
“Looking back now,” she says, “I would have 100% thrown in the towel and assumed self-employment wasn’t the right option for me if I’d tried to do it on my own. Which would have been a shame, because as it turns out, I’m exactly suited to this path.”
Putting the principles and strategies she learned through the program into action, she slowly built up a reputation as a copywriter and ghostwriter who could help executives and entrepreneurs to create and publish their own books. Now approaching the end of her second years in business, she has already written an Amazon best-selling book and is about to add two other books to her portfolio.