Kingston EcDev launches new programs for local entrepreneurs

Two new programs, Starter Company Plus and Social Enterprise Fundamentals, have been launched by Kingston Economic Development Corporation. These programs will support local entrepreneurs in their business journey.

Starter Company Plus is offered through Kingston Economic Development Corporation (Kingston EcDev) with funding from the Government of Ontario. The program is designed to provide training for business owners who are launching a new venture or have been in business for less than five years, Kingston EcDev said in a media release dated Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. The program provides an opportunity for business owners to pitch for up to $5,000 to support their operations.

The business training will be facilitated by Andrew Patricio, owner and founder of BizLaunch, who, according to the release, has trained over 100,000 entrepreneurs worldwide. BizLaunch also works with small business owners who are thinking about starting a business, preparing to launch or currently running one.

“Building a company is already a daunting feat for many individuals, but when coupled with a global pandemic, it’s exponentially more difficult,” says Sean Monteiro, founder of Bounce and a successful Stater Company Plus Kingston participant. “The Starter Company Plus program did an incredible job helping Bounce focus on adapting to these unprecedented times and how to continue building a sustainable business – all in a time efficient manner.”

In partnership with the Centre for Social Innovation, Kingston Economic Development is launching a Social Enterprise Fundamentals program. According to the release, Social Enterprise Fundamentals is an 8-week, part-time online program that covers the foundations of social entrepreneurship, from making sure you’ve identified the right problem, to developing a solution, and turning your idea into a sustainable business model. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, invest in your personal and professional growth, and turn your idea into impact, this may be the right course for you.

Image provided by Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

“This course is extremely useful to individuals wishing to learn more about what it means to be a social entrepreneur,” says Joanna Reynolds, Social Innovation Specialist at Centre of Social Innovation. “You will learn how to holistically understand the roles and driving motivations of a thriving social enterprise and what it means to generate meaningful entrepreneurial impact. Many successful social entrepreneurs begin as socially and environmentally aware citizens who are passionate and in search of meaningful solutions. This is a great opportunity to gain access to incredible tools and learnings towards becoming a social entrepreneur.”

The Social Enterprise Fundamentals program was developed in partnership with experienced social entrepreneurs, coaches, facilitators, and educators, and is based on the learnings of over a decade of training social enterprises, reads the release. Some of the tools and guides being used include: Impact Gaps Canvas, Flourishing Business Model Canvas, Research Plan Template, Research Findings Template, Theory of Change, Evaluating Opportunities Worksheet, Enterprise Golden Circle.

“I’m pleased that we were able to provide grant funding and training to local entrepreneurs this fall through these programs,” says Ian Murdoch, Business Development Officer, Business Retention & Expansion. “It is incredible to see how businesses in the Kingston and surrounding area grew from the Starter Company Program to date. Looking forward to seeing what the Social Enterprise Fundamentals will bring to Kingston and the area.”

Both programs have limited spots and applications close on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Learn more about Starter Company Plus, Social Enterprise Fundamentals, and other programs at<

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