Business Resources and Supports
Are you looking for resources, programs, services and support for your business or business idea? Check out the list of available organizations, programs, and services below!
Mentorship and One-on-One Support
Business Link is Alberta’s small business hub and is a non-profit organization that helps people navigate the steps toward starting their businesses. One-on-one support and guidance, market research, access to experts, training, networking opportunities, and specialized support for Indigenous entrepreneurs are available through Business Link.
Futurpreneur Mentorship + Financing program offers start-up small business owners ages 18-39 the opportunity to receive funding and mentorship. Please note mentorship is only available through financing.
Women's Enterprise Organization of Canada WEOC’s diverse membership includes non-profit organizations from across Canada that support women entrepreneurs through business and financial planning, advising and mentorship programs.
Chambers of Commerce
Membership with your local Chambers of Commerce provides you, the business owner and professional, value-added benefits, networking opportunities, training programs and workshops, and more. Reach out to your local Chamber to see what benefits await your membership!
- Grimshaw Chamber of Commerce: Check out their website and Facebook page.
- High Level Chamber of Commerce: Check out their website and Facebook page.
- Manning & District Chamber of Commerce: Check out their website and Facebook page.
- Peace River & District Chamber of Commerce: Check out their website and Facebook page.
Business & Economic Development Specialists
Peace Regional Economic Development Alliance (PREDA) is one of 9 regional economic development alliances (aka REDA) in the province of Alberta. PREDA is a partnership of 47 municipalities, educational institutions, business groups and Community Futures working together to guide the regional economic development of Alberta’s northwest – affectionately referred to as the Peace Region. Check out the data for the PREDA service area here.
A PREDA membership offers
- Access to PREDA studies and research project summaries
- Networking opportunities for a unified voice to raise funds and utilize human resources for regional economic development
- Access to economic trends and intelligence
- Free space in PREDA’s newsletter
- Free link to your website on peacecountrycanada.com
- Access to economic development educational opportunities, including events and conferences
- Access to value-added, fee-based services when desired
Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network (GPRIN) is led by local community organizations with a vast network of partnerships and is the Innovation Network serving northwestern Alberta. GPRIN helps innovators, entrepreneurs, and companies move their ideas forward by offering access to various services and professionals throughout the Alberta innovation ecosystem. In addition, GPRIN has access to resources and expertise in multiple areas in Alberta and across Canada.
Alberta Innovates is Alberta's largest research and innovation agency. From funding to commercialization, they are Alberta’s innovation engine. In addition, the Technology Development Advisors provide Coaching, Community, and Capital to high potential, high growth, Technology or Knowledge-based Alberta small & medium-size enterprises (SMEs) who are at the committing, validating or scaling stage of their client journey.
Community Futures Peace Country is a non-profit organization dedicated to building an economically diverse future for the communities of our beautiful Peace region. CF services are designed for small businesses to help Peace Country region residents start, grow, expand, franchise, or sell their businesses. With many specialized business training programs, regular business networking events, and flexible business loans on offer, CF is here to help you achieve your business goals.
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC): BDC has a Canada-wide network of over 500 business consultants that will help you build a successful and resilient business. BDC Consultants can help you and your business with sales and marketing, business strategies, eCommerce, leadership, operational efficiencies, and more.
Free Business Plan Creators
- Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) free business plan template
- Business Link free interactive Business Plan Builder
- Futurpreneur interactive business plan creator.
- Scotiabank Business Plan Creator
- Community Futures provides training, counselling, and consulting to support small businesses. In addition, they offer rural business loans with a difference.
- Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) offers business loans and advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow, both at home and abroad. Their subsidiary, BDC Capital, also provides a full spectrum of specialized financing, including venture capital, equity and growth and business transition capital.
- Futurpreneur offers aspiring business owners aged 18-39 financing and mentorship to launch successful businesses across Canada.
- Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) AWE offers loans for women-owned businesses in Alberta. AWE can help provide the financing you need to start or grow your business and has a community to support you along the way.
- Canada Small Business Financing Program makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders.
- Government of Canada Business Grants and Financing offers loans and grants to businesses. Visit the site to see what financial avenues are available.
- Government of Canada Business Benefits Finder provides a detailed list of available benefits for your business based on your information.
- Innovation Canada provides everything from funding to expert advice to driving new collaborations. Innovation Canada designs programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada's economy.
- Scotiabank Women Initiative is bridging the access to the capital gap for women-led businesses in Canada through a range of options to help them reach their ongoing objectives.
Crowd Funding Sources are:
Resources, Research, Guides, and Tools
- Alberta Small Business Resources is a directory of business resources for new and established entrepreneurs in Alberta.
- ATB Entrepreneur Centres Whether you're dreaming, building, or growing, the ATB Entrepreneur Centres offer a robust set of tools to help your business and personal finances grow together.
- Business Link has many free guides, resources, and research for all stages of business, including guides for business ideas, starting a small business, running a business, recorded and live webinars, and more, all for free.
- Canada Digital Adoption Program offers small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to grow their business through launching an e-commerce website and boosting their business technology for free. Experts will assist you through the process. The only commitment you need to make is to dedicate the time.
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce offers free resources plus a range of benefits, services, programs, and more through membership.
- Futurpreneur offers a library of free resources for entrepreneurs and those who have a business idea.
- Start-Up Canada (Free)
- Business Owners Toolbox is a central hub that provides a comprehensive package of foundational knowledge, access points, and resources required to start and scale a business in Canada.
- Resource guides for Women Entrepreneurs, Newcomer Entrepreneurs, and Indigenous Entrepreneurs
- Podcasts: Start-Up Women, Start-Up Canada and Pow Wow Pitch.
- Government of Canada Research and Business Intelligence offers industry sector data, financial benchmarks, labour trends, and business statistics.
This page is just a small view of the many available resources and supports; if you are looking for something that wasn't listed or for something specific, reach out to the County of Northern Lights Economic Development and Community Services Department at 780-836-3348.