Community Futures Sunshine Coast is seeking its 2018 fall cohort of social entrepreneurs whose businesses will help address social, environmental, or economic challenges on the Sunshine Coast and beyond.
The Local Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (LEAP) is a nine-week enterprise accelerator program focused on testing and launching innovative business ideas. More than 30 past alumni have gone on to establish businesses and social enterprises including: Sunshine Coast Salt Company, Coast Car Co-op, Davis Bay Tea Company, PRIDE Sunshine Coast, and Jes Urban Farms.
In October, another eight LEAP participants will step up to test and refine their business ideas, explore revenue streams and profitability, crystallize community and social benefits, and begin marketing their products and services. They will be supported with curriculum offered by Simon Fraser University and by the Community Futures staff team.
Through Community Futures Sunshine Coast, participants can also access financing, gain valuable business advice, meet potential investors and coaches, and develop friendships with like-minded thinkers.
Weekly evening classes will be held Tuesday evenings, beginning Oct. 9 in Sechelt and culminate with a LEAP launch party. The cost to participate is $100 per participant as Community Futures and SFU partner to offset program costs for eight promising entrepreneurial leaders.
“I was struggling to launch my dream of building affordable housing on the Sunshine Coast, so when the LEAP program called for students last year, it couldn’t have been better timing,” says Pam Robertson, of Sunshine Tiny Homes. “LEAP allowed me to pare down my large goal, and focus on what I can do for my community right now. It was an amazing experience, and I’ve made invaluable connections as a result.”
The application deadline for LEAP is Friday, Aug. 31. Details on how to apply can be found at communityfutures.org/leap, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Jessica Marola-Hugh at 604-989-8551.