WHAT WE DO
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We are proud to offer the following services:
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WHAT WE DO
Our free business consultation is our most popular offering. This one-hour initial consultation has helped thousands of people on the Sunshine Coast start a new business, refine their business plans, or address challenges related to growth or get through a trouble spot. The consultation takes place with our Business Advisor over the phone or in person at our Sechelt office.
This consult will help you:
- Improve your business plan for financing purposes
- Understand and access debt or equity financing
- Guide your research into potential markets for your business
- Gain feedback on your financial projections
- Connect you to other programs and organizations that may help
To set up your business consultation, please email us here,
or call (604) 885-1959 Ex 227
Preparing for your meeting with us
You’ll get the most out of your consultation with our Business Advisor by preparing in advance. Consider the following questions before you arrive:
- What exactly is your business idea? (be as specific as you can!)
- What makes this a good business idea?
- What is the rough price you charge for your service or product? How did you arrive at this number? How does this price compare to similar offerings?
- What equipment, permits, or licenses do you think you need?
- What obstacles do you need to address to take the next step?
Spreadsheets, calculators, and financing forms
Below are links and resources to help you crunch the numbers, find the research, and define your vision.
FINANCING APPLICATION FORMS
We lend between $5,000 and $150,000. In combination with other partners we can arrange loans for more than $150,000. The first step in getting a loan is a free one-hour business consultation with our Business Advisor. Learn more about our business loans and financing options here.
You’ve decided to pursue a loan from Community Futures, and have already talked with our Business Advisor. Once your paperwork is submitted to the Business Advisor, he or she will bring it before a monthly committee meeting for adjudication.
These forms must be returned to your Business Advisor before the first of the month, or your application could be delayed 4 to 6 weeks. We look forward to working with you and helping you build your business; let’s get started.
Applying for under $10,000?
To start processing your loan, we will need you to complete the following three forms below.
Personal financial statement
This form grants permission to check your credit report, and gather basic information about you like your name and mailing address. Your credit history is only part of our review, and we take a holistic approach to evaluating our entrepreneurs and what they contribute to the community.
Business concept form
You’ve already discussed your idea with our Business Advisor, now we just need the idea on paper. This business concept guide will help you break down your idea and explain the plan.
Business cashflow for one year
This template will help you build your cashflow as a spreadsheet. Give yourself a little extra time to complete the spreadsheet if you haven’t completed one before. If you have trouble, please contact your Business Advisor well in advance of the first of the month deadline so he or she can offer assistance.
Applying for more than $10,000?
If you are applying for more than $10,000, you may also be asked to complete some, or all, of the forms below.
This is a more in depth version of the Business Concept form above.
Additional supporting documents
Your Business Advisor will let you know what these are.
Developing a great business idea takes more than just spreadsheets and calculators. These websites will open the door to specialists, advisors, technology experts, industry groups and more to help further develop your idea. For a list of local entrepreneurial resources on the Sunshine Coast, please see our community partners section.
WHAT WE DO
Community Futures is committed to building a diverse, strong, and vibrant rural community on the Sunshine Coast. The backbone of this vision, and the core clients we serve, are businesses which solve a social or environmental problem. The term to describe this type of business is a “social enterprise”.
What is social enterprise?
Social enterprises blend profit with a social and environmental purpose. Social enterprises are created in every imaginable shape, size, scale, and composition but each one solves a social or environmental problem at the heart of the business model. We have specific tools and programs to support the development, growth, and financing for social enterprises.
A growing number of social enterprises choose to become certified B-Corporations (or B-Corps). Community Futures Sunshine Coast encourages business clients to consider B-Corp certification because it increases the effectiveness and efficiency of a business and helps to retain skilled, committed employees. This increases the overall growth and stability of the company. Learn more about Why become a B-Corp. We even offer financial incentives to clients who are certified B-Corps. Learn more about the B-Corp certification here, and visit the B-labs website.
Persphone Brewing in Gibsons is a great example of a local B-Corp and social entrepreneurship. Persephone brewing not only makes award winning beers, they support local food security, create meaningful employment, and host community events.
Gibsons resident Brian Smith is the CEO of Persephone Brewing. What did he learn about developing a social enterprise on the Sunshine Coast? Watch this video to learn more.
Social entrepreneurs are as dynamic and diverse as the communities they come from. What they have in common is the motivation and intention to use a business model to address a social or environmental challenge. If you want to be a social entrepreneur, join our mailing list and apply for our LEAP! program.
Want to learn more about how to start a social enterprise?
Interview with one of our local social entrepreneurs, Aaron Joe, CEO of Salish Soils in Sechelt. Salish Soils diverts waste from the landfill and produces a high-quality value added garden compost.
You’ll find more great videos like this one of our Sunshine Coast social entrepreneur Candace Campo of Talaysay Tours in Sechelt.
Subscribe to the SFU Community Economic Development channel on Youtube.
Another outstanding resource on how to start a social enterprise is the Entrepreneur’s Toolkit on the MaRs website. MaRS offers a free online course on how to start a business, and they have an extensive library of information on social enterprises.
Check out our friends at Purppl here. Purppl is a mashup of the words PURposeful PeoPLe. Purppl’s purpose is to accelerate the development and implementation of social enterprises.
Financing a social enterprise
Social enterprises have unique needs and opportunities when it comes to accessing finance. Their main advantage is that they appeal to investors who want to invest in social and environmental impacts alongside financial profits.
Community Futures Sunshine Coast has collaborated to create two new sources of equity finance for social enterprises: impact first investing through the Coast Community Investment Co-op, and Rhiza Capital, which invests in blended social, environmental, and financial returns. Meet with our Business Advisor to further discuss your options. What’s the difference between equity and debt?
Social Enterprises can also be incorporated into different types of legal entities. No single incorporation model is the perfect fit for a social enterprise, and many social enterprises evolve from one model to another over time as they develop and grow. The incorporation model of a business also affects what kind of financing the business can take on.
This table that summarizes
some of the main advantages, disadvantages, and financing notes for each incorporation model.
Why become a B-Corp?
Organisations can demonstrate how they are contributing genuine social and ecological value back into the community by becoming a certified B-Corporation. This certifies social enterprises in a similar way to “fair trade” or “organic” products. These social enterprises use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
The process of becoming a certified B-Corporation involves three steps.
- First, the business answers a detailed questionnaire. This questionnaire is broad and deep; it digs deeply into an organization to see how the business interacts with the social and ecological environment.
- Secondly the organization must ensure that its governing documents, such as bylaws, consider the needs and concerns of stakeholders.
- Finally, the organization must pay a fee of between $500 and $25,000 to register the company.
Organizations choose to become certified B-corporations for a variety of reasons, including
• employee retention,
• attracting investors, and
• boosting positive public image.
There are forty-two certified B-Corporations across BC, including Persephone Beer Co. on the Sunshine Coast.
Community Futures Sunshine Coast encourages business clients to consider certified B-Corps certification for two main reasons.
First, the process of becoming a B-Corp corporation leads to improved effectiveness and efficiency, as the internal systems in the company become focused and clear.
- Secondly, becoming a B-Corp helps differentiate from competitors, and retain skilled, committed employees. This increases the overall growth and stability of the company.
WHAT WE DO
Education and events to strengthen your business
Our educational opportunities and events increase the capacity, skills, and vision of the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the Sunshine Coast. We invite you to attend our upcoming events, register for a workshop, or attend other events hosted by our community partners. To receive an invitation to our upcoming events, please join our mailing list.
Are you pursuing a formal education in entrepreneurship? Consider applying for the Barrie Wilbee bursary. The Barrie Wilbee bursary was created to honour our long-term volunteer and board member Barrie Willbee. The bursary supports entrepreneurs to further their education and knowledge in community economic development, and business skills. Find out more here.
The Local Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (LEAP!) is a nine week accelerator program for aspiring business owners on the Sunshine Coast. More than 30 past participants have created many of the well-known and loved businesses on the Sunshine Coast, such as the Coast Car Coop, Share-There, Coast Canning Cooperative, Care for a Lift, Sunshine Coast Salt Company and many others. Learn more about past participants in our gallery of LEAP!
During the program participants will identify a problem in their community, test and refine their business idea to solve the problem, explore revenue streams and profitability, crystallize community and social benefits, and begin marketing their product or services.
LEAP! 2016 cohort
A successful applicant is not someone with the perfect business idea, but rather someone who is aware of a meaningful problem in their community, and has an idea for a business which could solve the problem. Being resourceful and determined is more important than business experience! The registration cost is only $100 per participant as Community Futures and SFU are underwriting the cost of the program for eight promising entrepreneurial leaders.
For more information, please contact the Community Futures Sunshine Coast office, or visit SFU’s LEAP! website.
WHAT WE DO
Work Hub – Currently closed due to Covid19. We look forward to seeing you again.
Conveniently located in downtown Sechelt, the Work Hub is a shared work space for students, professionals, and entrepreneurs. Join us at our friendly, distraction-free space, and enjoy our amenity filled sunny bright kitchen.
Rent a desk or a private meeting room at affordable rates.
Contact email@example.com or call (604) 885-1959 for more information or for a tour of our accessible, modern, centrally-located shared work space.
Available during Office hours only (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm).
$10 per hour
All access use of desk, kitchen, wifi, printer/copier, etc.
$15 per hour
All access use of kitchen, wifi, printer, whiteboard, hdmi screen.
Seats ten comfortably.