It’s one of the best resources for small businesses in the Kootenay region, and very few people know about it.
“(Community Futures) is there to help people succeed in business,” said Golden’s Isabelle Simard who currently holds the position of Vice Chair for the organization.
The organization provides business loans, and sometimes training and other support, for small business owners across British Columbia, and Canada.
The Kootenay region of Community Futures has helped countless businesses get off the ground, including several right here in Golden.
“It’s such a great organization and resource, but a lot of people don’t know that it exists,” said Simard. “Because it is our mandate to help local businesses, we can take a bigger risk and give a loan to someone the bank might have turned down.”
Every year all the CFs get together for a conference, and this year the Kootenays are hosting it in Kimberly. The event includes speakers, and workshops, and will give Golden and the Kootenays the opportunity to show other business advocates throughout the province what the area has to offer.
Community Futures is also working on bringing a Junior Dragons’ Den competition to the area soon. As the representative for Golden and Invermere, Simard will be working on making the competition available to youth here.
“I think it’s going to be a really cool thing for the kids here,” said Simard.
Community Futures has done it in the past in the West Kootenays (hosted in the Greater Trail area) with great success.
It was modelled after CBC’s The Dragons’ Den, where qualifying entrepreneurs pitch their business idea to a group of potential investors. the Junior Dragons’ Den started as a West Kootenay-Boundary-wide student business competition two years ago, and is expanding through the Columbia Basin this fall.
To learn more about what Community Futures offers in the East Kootenays, go to www.cfek.ca.