For Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) this week, we have teamed up with Amway Canada to send three ambassadors across the country to report live from the road as they visit Canadian entrepreneurs, small businesses, community partners in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and attend GEW events. Yesterday Colin was on the road in Edmonton, Alberta for the day. Here is a recap of his day and some of the ‘ah-ha’ moments he had along the way.

Colin started his day with a breakfast from a local Futurpreneur supported franchise, Freshii with Futurpreneur Business Development Manager, Hussam. At breakfast Colin learned about how companies find that special recipe for scaling like Freshii has done.

After a good breakfast, Colin headed to the Business Link where he spoke with staff about what support they offer entrepreneurs in Alberta. Followed by a meeting with Alberta Women Entrepreneurs to also learn what they do in the community.


Colin’s Insights:
“It was interesting to learn about the Edmonton ecosystem and what services are available to entrepreneurs. There are some neat organizations such as Business Link who can connect you with the resources you need as a start-up and at various stages of development. Co-working spaces such as Tec Edmonton, Start-up Edmonton and even The Mosaic Centre are important for entrepreneurs who do not want to work in isolation – they get a chance to network, learn from others and even collaborate on new business ideas.”

Next stop was to have a chat with the Government of Alberta’s Economic Development and Trade department about public policy and initiatives for businesses before sitting in on the Edmonton Journal’s Capital Ideas event where they discussed what’s in your marketing toolkit.

Colin’s Insights:
“I found myself drawing the parallels between the NL and AB economies – which were both negatively affected by the downturn in the oil industry. The two provinces share a special bond whereby a large portion of the labour force from NL will come to AB for work. This, however, is a huge opportunity. Imagine all of the people who are now free from having to worry about making that “entrepreneurship leap” and are now in a position to embrace entrepreneurship.”

On he went to make a few quick stops at places like Startup Edmonton, and TEC Edmonton before heading to lunch and doing some sightseeing.

Before heading to the 12th Annual Innovation & Entrepreneurship Dinner by eHub, Colin dropped by the Mosaic Centre, a carbon neutral co-working space.

Colin’s Insights:
“Hussam was able to score me a ticket to the 12th Annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Dinner. Keynote speaker Evan V. Chrapko (Trust Science) was intoxicating to listen to having had successful exits and successful failures. The main draw for me was chatting with the entrepreneurs around our table, one who was selling robots to teach kids how to code and another (who won an award) was recycling waste from beer brewing to act as fertilizer for high-end mushrooms.”

After a long and exhausting day, Colin headed back for a good nights sleep before flying out to Toronto for his final stop on his GEW tour.

Colin’s Insights:
“The best thing about ending the day was chatting with Carlo at the front desk of the hotel who loves cars and food and trying to tie those two different businesses together into a distinct business. I challenged him, after giving him the Futurpreneur rundown, to get out there and talk about his business idea. There are so many resources available that it is impossible not to, and he agrees. Keep an eye on this energetic guy!”

Colin’s biggest lesson about entrepreneurship for the day was: “Entrepreneurs are everywhere and everyone has a bit of entrepreneur in them. On the plane flying in I found out my seat neighbour owned a restaurant. Spending the day with Hussam made me realize how people come up with and run interesting side hustles. Eating at Freshii made me proud of what he was able to accomplish. Hearing a student entrepreneur explain his business idea with the optimism of someone with the world ahead of them (for the conquering) is invigorating. We all have the ability to start our own businesses and with programs like Futurpreneur, there are supports to get you there.”

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