CORNER BROOK — Entrepreneurs today face a lot of challenges when it comes to finding information and support to help them grow their businesses.
"There's a lot of wonderful information out there and a lot of people to support and help you, however, navigating the labyrinth that is government assistance, just accessing all the resources can be very challenging," said Rosanne Hicks.
To figure out how to combat the challenges of being an entrepreneur is what lead Hicks to travel from Millertown to Corner Brook on Thursday.
The owner of Apothecary Garden was one of 26 entrepreneurs and people who provide support to entrepreneurs, to attend a town hall session hosted by Startup Canada at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland on Thursday.
The Corner Brook event was facilitated by Rick Spence, a writer, speaker and consultant on business growth, entrepreneurship and opportunity, and hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI).
As a business owner, Hicks said she's a member of different groups and organizations that help her advance her business. So, when she heard about the Startup Canada town hall she thought it sounded like a worthwhile trip to make.
"I always glean a little information from wherever I go, something I can take away with me that helps me move forward with my business," she said.
Victoria Lennox is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Startup Canada. The non-profit organization is fully volunteer run by entrepreneurs.
She said Startup Canada was started to bring together the entrepreneurial network across Canada.
"To get all of those entrepreneurs out of the woodwork talking to each other."
To do that, she said the organization is holding town halls across the country to talk to entrepreneurs.
"Asking them what we could be doing together as an entrepreneurial community to better support each other."
She said the tour is a fact-finding mission that will help direct the organization's future.
"So what we're really looking for are solutions that we can bring to life ourselves, which is something that is a bit different."
Hick's solution to the challenges she sees is a resource that outlines everything.
"There needs to be some sort of body that takes you in and gives you all the pertinent information. And not only the information, but at what stage in your business will that information be pertinent to you," she said.
"It's all right to tell you this is here to help you go global, but maybe I'm, realistically speaking and not knowing it, two years away from being ready to even research that."
She said there is a lot of people throwing a lot of information at you that's maybe not pertinent to what you're doing or where you are at the stage your business is at.
And it's things like Hicks had to say that Startup Canada is hearing at other stops on its tour.
"What we've been hearing is a great desire to create a one-stop shop to access the support available to entrepreneurs. It's very difficult to navigate that ecosystem, the supporting resources," said Lennox.
She said they are also hearing about a need for increased opportunities for mentorship, access to capital, options for capital and how to make entrepreneurship a part of early education for children.
The Startup Canada tour started in May in Ottawa and so far has visited 27 cities. The tour will conclude in September.
In November the group will launch its action plan and issue a white paper to the prime minister encouraging the formation of a national entrepreneurship strategy.