Whether it’s PCL at one end of the scale, Duchess Bakery and its expanding business in the middle, or a start up sole entrepreneur, Edmonton is home to 47,000 businesses that got their launch here. Yet, there’s a sense that there is a lack of promotion to the locals how good Edmonton is to start a company.
That’s the thinking behind a pilot project that was announced Monday, to help promote and strengthen those companies that call Edmonton home. It’s called Edmonton Made, and it’s been created by Edmonton Economic Development, and city council’s Emerging Economies Initiative.
“We really have done in my opinion a poor job of helping local entrepreneurs grow their business,” Coun. Michael Oshry told reporters at the kick off. “This is another tool that they’ll have to help them grow their business.”
The pilot is a three pronged initiative. Edmonton Made branding will be used on these company’s websites, store fronts and products, they’ll build relationships as the entrepreneurs will look out for each other, and they’ll grow the pie as they try to attract new business owners who set up in Edmonton.
“First of all help promote these businesses but then also help those entrepreneurs grow their businesses and make them more successful,” Oshry said. “That’s newcomers coming to Edmonton to help them start a business.”
“If somebody has a really small business and they want to grow it but they’re not sure how, or if somebody has a home-based business and they want to take the next step and take it out to a commercial building, so it’s all these things that will help foster and support entrepreneurs and just increase the strength of our local business economy.”
Carmen Douville, the project facilitator for Edmonton Made with EEDC, said the mentorship will evolve over time.
“That mentorship, it’s so valuable, that some one who’s been through it before and they can help set the building blocks ahead for them,” she said.
“Some of the businesses have made comments about when their businesses scaled really really fast, potentially a mentorship would have been a really valuable resource for them. So that’s why at some point we would like to look at that, as an addition to the Edmonton Made program.”