Steve Hubbard is the co-founder and Sales, Marketing and Business Development Director for Lightenco (Lighting Enhancement Corporation) with offices in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. Lightenco provides subsidized, turnkey LED lighting products and services and since inception in 2011, has developed strong relationships with clients, suppliers and partners throughout Ontario and Quebec.
Steve offers this advice to current and aspiring entrepreneurs:
- Join a co-working community like HUB or the Centre for Social Innovation. They host networking events involving social innovators, entrepreneurs and mentors / investors. The benefits include gaining access to a collaborative working space, meeting rooms, coffee, printer, wi-fi, networking – all of which are invaluable for start-ups.
- Reach out to like-minded, well-established organizations. They are often willing to build partnerships when common goals can be achieved. This will really help in developing your brand.
- Build a strong social media strategy and contribute to the community by sharing information or providing educational tools. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even Instagram can be immensely powerful tools to forge alliances.
- Be confident. It seems like simple advice but never sell yourself short. You never know where help will come from and confidence is key to attracting supporters.
- Find a social cause. Even if you’re just starting up and financial contributions are not possible, a little bit of time volunteered can go a long way to help integrate your organization into the community.