Entrepreneurship Connections Program Expansion: A Big Success 

ACCES Employment’s Entrepreneurship Connections program has recently expanded to reach newcomer entrepreneurs in Moncton, New Brunswick. 

Eight newcomer entrepreneurs graduated from the program in January 2018 and are now planning to launch their own business in Canada. The graduation event was an exciting day, featuring business pitches, a panel of industry experts whom provided feedback and advice, and a Speed Mentoring® event that gave participants a fantastic networking opportunity with local business mentors. Speakers for the day included: Allison Pond, President & CEO, ACCES Employment; Kari Cheyne, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, MAGMA; and Marie Christine Gingras, Business Centre Manager, BDC, Moncton. 

This program is an innovative example of a collaborative partnership between a non-profit organization (ACCES), government (through support from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) and a crown corporation (Business Development Bank) as well as multiple community based organizations. Each partner is committed to supporting the success of newcomer entrepreneurs. 

Several cities in Ontario have expressed their interest in the program including Belleville, London and Sudbury. Currently, there are program deliveries planned for Vancouver, Hamilton and Ottawa. 

The Entrepreneurship Connections program is geared towards newcomers who are looking to start a business in Canada. The program involves 4 weeks of intensive part-time business training that enables participants to develop a strong business plan. Participants receive mentoring and other support for up to one year following the program. They will also gain an understanding of legal consultation for a business launch, funding and investor opportunities, and will receive business coaching and mentoring. Each participant has the option to be connected with a mentor to help expand their entrepreneurship network and receive hands-on guidance. Nearly 500 newcomers have participated in the program since inception.