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Business Resources Online

Doing your research is an important first step to starting your business. This research will help you write a strong business plan to guide your start-up and also lead you to free training, financial supports and mentors. Begin by researching your industry and potential competitors and finally research your target community and population. We have put together a list of valuable online resources and agencies to help you get started.

Visit this page for a list of Local Small Business Resources in Powell River.

Business Plans and Financing:

Not sure how to write a business plan? Bplans offers free sample business plans.

Small Business Accelerator (BC)
A one-stop information source for new entrepreneurs the Small Business Accelerator offers instructions on starting your business research, curated business resources, and industry specific how-to guides.  Don’t miss the sections on writing a business plan and funding and financing.

Rural BC
A grant database of funding opportunities for rural communities.

Small Business BC
This is a must-visit resource for small business owners. Their range of supports include free business plan templates, access to seminar and webinars, one-on-one expert advisories and programs. Take advantage the personalized advice and learn how to build resiliency for long-term growth.

Small Business Solver
Through self-diagnostic tools this website helps problem solve to help expand your marketing, troubleshoot financial barriers and increase sales. It also comes with a variety of business plans, templates and videos.

Venture Connect
With a priority on rural BC, Venture Connect provides a directory of businesses that are being sold in the province and supports both buyers and sellers through the process. This is also a great place to look for business ideas, resources, and is associated with Community Futures, providing business loans.

Market Research and Statistics:

BC Stats
Provides current and historical tables and maps of demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the people living in British Columbia.

BC Work Futures
Check this site for employment predictions and geographic distribution of BC’s workforce.

Market analysis is a crucial step in developing your business plan and getting strategic. Small Business BC has created this tool to assist you in this process.

Industry Canada
In-depth, industry-specific analysis and information on Canadian business.

Statistics Canada
Official government data including the latest census information. Enter a postal code or place name on the Census Profiles page to find regional demographic data.

SME Benchmarking Tool
Through this Industry Canada link you can find balance sheets and income statements for small and medium sized businesses in Canada. This is a great tool for estimating operating costs and finding industry averages for financial projections.  

Mentorship and Further Resources:

Aboriginal BEST
Aboriginal BEST is training for those who are Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit, status or not, who are interested in becoming self-employed or starting their own business. The program benefits people in all stages of business development who want to turn their dreams into reality. Sponsored by BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

British Columbia Codes
Full text of the BC Building Code, Fire Code, and Plumbing Code.

Canada Business Network
This Government of Canada site for entrepreneurs provides information on financing, permits and other legal obligations as well as links to regional business centres.

Export Navigator
To help expand your market, Small Business BC has developed this platform to assist business owners who want to export their products.

If you are 18-39 in Canada, this non-profit organization will support your vision from pre-vision to launch, along with coaching, start-up financing and mentoring to help sustain successful small businesses. Includes a free, interactive business plan writer template.

Immigrant Services Society – Spark & Ignite
Spark is for newcomers who are interested in exploring self-employment. Ignite is for newcomers who have a clear business idea and want to pursue entrepreneurship, or need help to improve an existing business.

LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning is an online learning resource available for free with your library card, which offers thousands of courses on a wide variety of topics. Learn technology, marketing, management and other business skills online. Learn more.