Nine entrepreneurs ready to launch new Coast businesses

LEAP Launch Party

Nine local entrepreneurs are preparing to pitch and launch their businesses during Community Futures Sunshine Coast’s LEAP Launch Party at the Gibsons Public Market on Thursday, Nov. 30.

This fun and interactive evening designed to introduce new businesses to friends, relatives, potential investors, and future customers has become a tradition on the Sunshine Coast, and part of graduating LEAP (Local Entrepreneur Accelerator Program). 

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The accelerator program is an eight-week intensive course, delivered in partnership with Simon Fraser University. Over the last four years LEAP has launched 24 new businesses on the Sunshine Coast. LEAP helps social entrepreneurs test their business ideas while preparing to start their business. 

Wes Regan, director of SFU’s Community Economic Development program, is one of two instructors facilitating the learning process in partnership with Community Futures.

“The Sunshine Coast has a range of impressive assets that entrepreneurs in this LEAP cohort are thoughtfully leveraging,” Regan said.

“From trails in the hills, to a temperate growing climate for food, to a creative population that is changing with the in-migration of younger professionals, they see the opportunities here, and are thoughtfully challenging themselves, as they bring their venture ideas to life.” 

Entrepreneurs and small businesses make up the heart of small communities, Janice Iverson, Community Futures executive director, pointed out. “They contribute to the community on multiple fronts: providing employment and unique products and services, while at the same time addressing pressing social or environmental issues.”

Party tickets are $15, with proceeds reinvested during the evening to support the entrepreneurs. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the program to follow at 6:30 p.m. Desserts are provided, along with a cash bar. For more information and for tickets, see or call 604-885-1959, ext. 221. 

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