Local Entrepreneur Accelerator Program LEAP! 

Since 2013 Community Futures Sunshine Coast,  in collaboration with the Community Economic Development program at Simon Fraser University, has offered the Local Entrepreneur Accelerator Program.  This program helps local entrepreneurs take their existing idea of how to improve the local community, and in eight weeks assists them in exploring, and testing out their idea while gaining the confidence and knowledge to launch.

For more than 25 years the Community Futures Sunshine Coast has provided significant financial support and resources to entrepreneurs who want to deliver lasting economic impact. We sponsor the LEAP program as part of our ongoing support of entrepreneurs and social enterprises regionally and beyond by connecting local entrepreneurs to free business advice, potential investors,business partners and customers.

Past participants have started businesses to expand transportation options on the Sunshine Coast, process or grow local food, create employment for people with barriers to employment, as well as protect the environment.

For more information, please call or text Dawn at (604) 989-7224, or e-mail dawn.smithatcommunityfutures.org (dawn.smithatcommunityfutures.org).

'Signing up for the LEAP workshop was the best thing I have done to insure the success of my business. The instructors and fellow students of the course have played an important part in helping me launch my company, The Sunshine Coast Salt Company. I encourage anyone who wants to start a business to apply for a spot. It may just be your best business move too!'

-Tracee Lang, Sunshine Coast Salt Co

Program available for Social Enterprise Start-ups


LEAP! Local Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program


How to apply:

Please send us a one-page essay along with your bio, LinkedIn profile or resume.

Your essay should include:

  1. A brief description of your business or start-up idea.

  2. An explanation of what social, economic, and environmental problems your business will seek to solve.

This program is for people who are passionate, driven and committed to seeing their idea through.

You do not have to have experience; you just need to have an entrepreneurial spirit. What's that? Some comfort with risk, a dollop of creativity and a whole lot of tenacity.

If this sounds like you, go on and apply. These opportunities don't come around every day! There is a $100 registration fee. If this registration fee is a barrier to your involvement, please mention so in your application and alternative arrangements will be made.

SEND YOUR ONE-PAGE ESSAY AND BIO TO dawn.smithatcommunityfutures.org

                 https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-ash2/v/t1.0-1/p160x160/557811_10150769602539138_1378614534_n.jpg?oh=a7d14f3b70005e8ed306648a0c6eb639&oe=555A7585&__gda__=1432751989_f9109e41c9e8824d5b8b067fc727606a                               http://www.sfu.ca/content/sfu/publicsquare/community-summit/2014-summit/innovations-economy/_jcr_content/main_content/image_2.img.jpg/1410905759785.jpgdawn.smithatcommunityfutures.org ()




What is a social enterprise? A social enterprise is a for-profit business whose purpose is achieving some type of social, cultural, community, economic and/or environmental outcomes. Social enterprises come in every imaginable shape, size, scale, and composition. What they all have in common is the overlapping drive to achieve good in the work through their core business model.

Social enterprises are businesses which do more than just philanthropic work: they solve social or environmental problems in the heart of the business. What are some BC examples?

Potluck Cafe (http://potluckcatering.org/)

“Potluck Café & Catering creates jobs for neighborhood residents with barriers to traditional employment and earns revenue to support its community programs.”

The Cleaning Solution (http://www.cleaningsolution.ca/)

“The Cleaning Solution is a contract cleaning company with a focus on quality, health and environmental safety. At the same time, we’re a socially progressive organization with a mandate to help individuals living with a mental illness who are ready and able to return to the workplace and want to grow their careers in the cleaning industry.”



Tell me more about What is a social enterprise? 

“Social enterprises use a business model to deliver social change. The majority of a social enterprise’s revenue comes from market sales and the community benefit is baked into the operations of the organization, not tacked onto the side. Past entrepreneurs have started car-share co-operatives, local food markets, agri-food tours and sugar shacks to name a few.”

  • Nicole Chaland, Director of SFU’s Community Economic Development Program

Past LEAP! graduates 

BeEco is a fashion awareness blog aimed at promoting eco-fashion. In addition to sharing top eco-friendly fashion brands, I share advice on how to become an eco-conscious individual and why it is important to be aware of the negative impacts "fast fashion" has on our planet. BeEco's goal is to take the guesswork out of becoming an eco-conscious fashion consumer

Annette Clark started the Exotic Fruit Nursery in Roberts Creek BC to offer uncommon fruit trees and bushes for the West Coast climate. Her exotic fruit tree nursery sells rare hardy plants, such as Sweet Fuyu Persimmons or the hardy 'Flying Dragon' citrus tree. Exotic Fruit Nursary also features an uncommon orchard where they plant, grow and test all the trees and plants they sell. Annette's nursary is organic, and they even make their own organic top soil! 


Share-There provides convenient free ride sharing on the Sunshine Coast. We also support community events, small transportation providers and local businesses by providing on-line ticket sales and services. https://share-there.com/ It was started by Michelle Morton and her husband Sean.






Western Economic Diversification Canada