It has been a very rewarding journey for me with being able to give back, make a difference, and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs. I am so excited to watch these new businesses grow and flourish!
SMARTstart covered every aspect of starting or growing a new business. But more than that, the fact that it includes one-on-one mentoring, in person presentations, great networking opportunities and an online course makes it personal and comprehensive with truly long term benefits.
I enjoy being able to help new entrepreneurs relieve a little bit of anxiety by encouraging them and letting them know they aren’t the only ones dealing with the stress and challenges of starting a business. My favorite thing is when I offer someone suggestions and they turn out to be valuable, whether it saves them a bit of time or helps them increase their sales.
I sponsor the SMARTstart because I believe in helping our city grow by assisting new businesses and creating jobs. The new entrepreneur gets a hand-up quick to prepare them for the challenges and excitement of owning and operating a company. This program would have been a dream come true when I first started.
SMARTstart helped us to think bigger. We opened our business to have a place to do what we love. With the help of SMARTstart, we are now building Tri Fit Training to be a successful business. We are so grateful to have been part of such a forward-thinking program.
As a sponsor, SMARTstart allows me to stay in contact with our business community and help it grow. A community with a strong business sector is a STRONG community.
Having the opportunity to offer insight to an entrepreneur who is starting out and walking alongside them as they reach new heights and seeing their potential is an amazing feeling.
SMARTstart gave me the ‘kick in the pants’ that I needed to start shooting for higher levels with my business. If this is something you are ‘thinking’ about doing, I recommend that you stop thinking and you start doing. That is what I learned in the program and it has benefited me greatly.
I didn’t realize how fulfilling being a mentor in the SMARTstart program was going to be when I signed up. To be in a position to offer support, reassurance and guidance to another on their adventure of business building is rewarding for all involved. You cannot help but grow yourself along the way!
I came here thinking that I was going to get help with my business plan for three years from now to own my own clinic. And, today I do own my own clinic and it’s all because of SMARTstart. They helped me with my business plan, they helped me get in touch with the people who would help me get to where I needed to go, and right now I am a business owner because of them.
SMARTstart superseded any of my expectations and truly opened my eyes as to why small business is so important and that is why I became sponsor. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the growth in all communities.
I am leaving the program knowing that my passion is not just a dream. With this program my life and my family’s life has changed forever.
I have been involved since the inception of SMARTstart and value the chance to give back to the community. I particularly enjoy experiencing the passion of the entrepreneurs and watching them develop and grow their businesses.
Through the program, I have been inspired by some of Airdrie's most amazing business people, made lifelong connections and learnt critical business skills. I can absolutely say I feel 100 per cent more confident opening my doors after having completed SMARTstart.
I love the program as it reminds me of why I became an entrepreneur. I have developed many lifelong friendships and been a part of watching some amazing businesses grow. SMARTstart also teaches me to look back and remember how far I have come and what an amazing ride business truly is!
SMARTstart has become one of my guilty pleasures. The enthusiasm and comradery of the entrepreneurs each year is infectious! In marketing we talk about finding our tribe… well, it has been my privilege and honor to be a part this one.
I always knew I was great at my job. It was when I decided to open a business in that same field that I realized how little I knew about running a company. SMARTStart gave me the skills and the resources I needed to make my business thrive. With the help of my mentor and the seminars, I developed many skills that I use on a daily basis.
I love being involved with SMARTstart! Being able to work with someone who is new to business helped to remind me of the passion and excitement I had when I first started.
The program really helped take a lot of the mystery and fear out of starting a business as well as provided a ton of reality checks! I highly recommend this program to anyone who is currently contemplating starting a business.
Being a mentor gave me the opportunity to work directly with entrepreneurs and share my business story and the challenges that I faced. What I didn’t know is how much it would benefit me as an entrepreneur, small business owner and leader.
We discovered SMARTstart at the perfect time, when we decided to take the leap and open a business in Airdrie. We learned the basics of everything we needed to know to get started and met so many like-minded individuals and mentors to help us succeed.
The SMARTstart program is fantastic! The information you learn is wonderful, but more than that… it’s about making connections with other professionals in the business community. The support network you create is invaluable.
I truly believe I learn as much from the entrepreneurs as I am able to help them. I had many mentors along my business career but I sure wish I could have had an opportunity like SMARTstart when I started.
For me, the most value came from having the opportunity to get to know, interact with and learn from existing business owners who had already accomplished many of the things that we are trying to achieve. This was, and continues to be, incredibly motivating, inspiring and helpful. I believe it has played a large role in our success to date.
SMARTstart gave me the knowledge and skills that I needed in order to assess, and execute my business idea. It helped me to take betters decisions and avoid common pitfalls. The mentorship part is an amazing value added to the program!