Business Boot Camps at COE off to a Great Start!
Centennial College’s award-winning Centre of Entrepreneurship (COE) has been helping entrepreneurs in the GTA through the delivery of the Ontario Self Employment Program for the past 20 years. With a remarkable 95% business start-up success rate since 1995, COE has been developing and hosting a variety of workshops and programs for entrepreneurs, including the pilot Business Boot Camp Series, which was held in conjunction with the Company of Women this past October.
Budding entrepreneur, Heather Keith enrolled in the Boot Camp because she knew that she needed a plan. Having always been captivated by the idea of capturing images, and wielding a keen eye for detail, Heather took up photography classes and workshops at Durham College and decided to start her own photography business. With a full-time job and two teenage sons, Heather found herself without a clear direction for her business. “When I saw information about Centennial’s Business Boot Camp for female entrepreneurs, I thought it looked like a very useful and practical way to help build my plan and find some direction,” she recalls.
Like many of the other entrepreneurs who enrolled in the workshop, Heather enjoyed learning about the lean canvas model. This efficient and innovative planning tool taught the entrepreneurs how to get more buy in from their marketing efforts, target the right customers, sharpen management skills and build a solid business foundation. Over three full days, the women learned a variety of useful skills to help grow their businesses, such as how to create a value proposition, accurate tools to research users of their product or service and how to create a 5-minute pitch. “Each of the three days I felt empowered when I left,” another participant remembers. “The instructor was a great source of information and experience.”
After completing the intensive workshop Heather now has the skills to take her business to new heights. “I now have a good sense of how to clarify my business plan and the direction of my company,” she says. With positive feedback from the past cohort, COE is launching a second Business Boot Camp Workplace in January, 2016, beginning on the last Saturday of the month.
“The series of workshops is designed to help people in business who want to scale up their skills and business from the stage it may be at or want to fine tune what they are doing to make it more productive,” COE’s program coordinator, Rae Cowan said in an article for the Toronto Star. “The goal is to lead business owners towards a realistic and sustainable business model using the lean canvas method.”
To learn more, check out the Business Boot Camp Flyer