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    Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) offer new and existing entrepreneurs all the tools they need to start and grow their businesses. In addition to the one-on-one counselling, Elgin/St Thomas SBEC delivers government supported programs, bootcamps, events, resource links, mentors, and direction to other learning initiatives.

    Below you will find information and links to some of the on and offline resources that will help you build your skills and knowledge to start, run, or grow your business.



    Successful businesses are at the heart of our communities. They employ people and serve others. Successful businesses make Ontario strong, and we want to see even more of them.

    That’s why Meridian, Innovation Factory, Innovate Niagara, MaRS, and the Spark Centre – member organizations of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) – and other partners have joined together to make starting, running and growing a business in Ontario easier.

    We know there are many Ontarians who have the passion to become successful business owners. bizsmarts.ca is the tool to help them realize that passion.

    bizsmarts.ca offers free information on how to Start, Run and Grow your business, click the link Your business starts here.

    Explore these topics

    • Start – Business structures, Business Planning, Start-up Costs, Operations Costs, Bookkeeping Basics,  Banking and insurance, Key Dates, Accountants and bookkeepers, Taxation basics
    • Run – Managing cash, Payroll, Forecasting, Tax credits, Budgeting, Year end, Run payroll, Performance metrics, Tracking finances, Hiring key roles, Marketing and sales, Management systems, Governance, Commercial property and location
    • Grow – Fundraising, Valuation,  Growing the team, Hiring a CFO, Mergers & Acquisitions, Operating in the US, Strategic finance, International taxation, Accounting policies and procedures



    Educating, Engaging and Inspiring Entrepreneurs

    GoForth offers Canada’s leading small business training program, helping entrepreneurs across the country run better businesses, become better leaders, embrace change and face the future with more confidence.

    Big challenges need big solutions. The challenge? To reduce the failure rate of small business in Canada through comprehensive, affordable and accessible education. The solution? GoForth Institute.

    GoForth Institute offers Canada’s leading online small business training program – delivered over the web – by streaming video. Since 2009, thousands of Canadian entrepreneurs have used GoForth education to help them “know what they don’t know” about running a small biz.

    Get Free access to over 60 guides at


    • Getting Started Guides (15)
    • Templates & Checklists (17)
    • Business Calculators (9)
    • Entrepreneur Library (23)
    • Essential Links (1)





    Established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, a successful pharmaceutical entrepreneur, baseball team owner and philanthropist. Kauffman Foundation is among the largest private foundations in the United States with an asset base of approximately $2 billion.

    Focused on education and entrepreneurship, their vision is to foster a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens in their communities.

    The Kauffman Foundation created Entrepreneurship.org as an online resource to help entrepreneurs grow great ideas. The site provides innovative educational tools and informative resources covering the latest issues and insights affecting entrepreneurs. The school taps the potential of online education, presenting a robust curriculum from which entrepreneurs can learn anywhere, anytime.

    Entrepreneur’s Resource – Find resources for all aspects of starting and growing a business.  Designed with entrepreneurs in mind, the resource center allows you to find materials to grow great ideas.

    Resource Centre

    Kauffman’s Founder School – Subject experts present video lectures designed to give entrepreneurs the knowledge they need to start, manage, or grow their business.  Get the skills and tools to build your idea into something big.

    Founders School

    In Founders School’s featured expert video series, you’ll find subject experts presenting video lectures designed to give entrepreneurs the knowledge they need to start, manage, or grow their business. The expert videos are embedded into meaningful topic-based modules lending to a rich learning experience, where content can be absorbed in reasonable amounts at a time.

    Within the expert video series modules, you’ll also find:

    • Suggested readings
    • Questions for founders and their teams
    • Tools and resources for implementation
    • Relevant founder genius videos

    Visit: Entrepreneurship.org


    Futurpreneur Canada has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for nearly two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors.

    Futurpreneur offers free Start-up Business Planning information from creating a business plan, financial templates, to finding your Audience in Social Media. Check out this link:

    Start-up Business Planning




    Never stop learning. Whether you’re looking for college-level, professional development, or personal enrichment courses, St. Thomas Public Library now offers hundreds of online courses that are accessible anywhere online, 24/7. Gale Courses offer well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction, and interaction with fellow students.

    • Courses are free for all patrons interested in any discipline
    • Gale Courses is easy to use; you use your library account to sign up and log in
    • With six-week courses, you can join programs year-round



    “Lean Startup isn’t about being cheap [but is about] being less wasteful and still doing things that are big.” Eric Ries



    The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

    Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

    The Lean Startup

    How to Build a Startup – The Lean LaunchPad

    In an introduction to the basics of the famous Customer Development Process, Steve Blank provides insight into the key steps needed to build a successful startup.

    This is a free course provided on Udacity, sign up is required.


    Create a Lean Canvas

    The Lean Canvas is based on Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas; Optimized for Lean Startup.





    JA Canada has been inspiring and preparing youth to succeed by providing opportunities to learn financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness skills with engaging programs and the help of dedicated volunteers.

    JA graduates are more likely to launch businesses and create jobs. Through our entrepreneurship programs, students gain firsthand experience in running a business. They work with mentors from their local business communities to create strategies and manage companies. Many business leaders cite JA’s Company Program as the catalyst that gave them the ambition to launch a business and the skills to do so successfully.

    JA programs inspire students to understand their potential, set life goals and succeed at school and in business. We accomplish this by partnering with teachers and dedicated volunteers who bring the “real world” into the classroom.

    Each year, $425 million can be attributed directly to the entrepreneurial activity of Achievers.

    JA-Canadas-LYBE-OrgBy providing youth with the skills necessary to become innovative, productive, and contributing citizens, JA ensures the competitive well-being of Canada’s economy.


    Visit JA Canada for more information on their programs.



    Contact North | Contact Nord was established by the Government of Ontario in 1986. It receives annual funding of $10 million from the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

    Over 4 million Ontarians in 600 small, remote, rural, Aboriginal and Francophone communities across the province can participate in online and distance programs and courses from Ontario’s 24 public colleges, 22 public universities and 250 literacy and basic skills and training providers without having to leave their community by accessing the services available from Contact North | Contact Nord.

    Staff at 112 local online learning centres across the province provides students and prospective students with information on online and distance programs and courses from Ontario’s public colleges, universities and literacy and basic skills and training providers and assistance with registering in the program or course. Students can also participate in their classes by using the web conferencing, videoconferencing and audioconferencing platforms available at each centre. Full technical support and assistance are available from the local staff in each centre.

    • Students have free use of computers with high-speed Internet at local centres to connect to their online courses and complete their course work.
    • Students have a quiet place to complete their course work, link with other students in informal support groups and write supervised exams.
    • There is no cost for students to use the local online learning centres.

    The local online learning centre is located within Elgin-St. Thomas Youth Employment Counselling Centre c/o Employment Services Elgin at 400 Talbot Street St. Thomas ON, N5P 1B8.


    Annette Morrison
    Online Learning Recruitment Officer
    Contact North | Contact Nord
    400 Talbot Street
    St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 1B8
    T: 1-855-451-7516 F: 519-631-4268



    Fanshawe is a leader in applied education attracting tens of thousands of talented students from more than 40 countries every year. With options ranging from one-year preparatory certificates to four-year applied degrees, and plenty of other choices in between, plus hundreds of articulation agreements and curriculum-delivery partnerships with colleges and universities worldwide, Fanshawe can set anyone on the right path.

    London campus offers an Entrepreneurship program that provides insight into the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship and assists in acquiring the skills for long-term management of the business and development as entrepreneurs. Studies include the ins and outs of marketing, finance, and market research, along with hands on experience with Quickbooks.

    St.Thomas/Elgin Regional Campus

    120 Bill Martyn Parkway

    St. Thomas, ON N5R 6A7

    Tel: 1-519-633-2030

    Email: stthomaselgin@fanshawec.ca


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