In an article on small business in Canada that came across my desk in 2009, the statistics were both heartening and disheartening: in Canada, more than 90% of businesses are small businesses (great!). In our region (one of the fastest growing regions in Canada, just north of Toronto, Ontario), the study reported less than 3% of businesses endure to become sustainable, profitable businesses (yikes).

So many thoughts and emotions came to me as I looked at those statistics. Why is successful business ownership so difficult for people?

I did a quick web search on what the general consensus might be as to the reason for the failures (primarily to see whether anything had changed in the last decade). Truthfully, many are listed, but it seems to me it boils down to the owner not being sufficiently educated. Do I mean they’re not schooled, bright or resourceful? Absolutely not! It just appeared that perhaps they might be missing a key ingredient in their information or experience that would help improve things, such as how to market, or how to lead, or how to finance, or how to sell, or how to implement programs, or how to not do it all alone, or…well, you get the idea.

When discussing my frustration with these statistics, and how I felt we needed to reach out and help wherever possible, our team rallied.  We have decided that we will help to improve the sustainability of small entrepreneurial businesses through education and training.  If we can help business owners by sharing our knowledge and experience, and assist them in successfully achieving their goals, then we will have achieved our goal.

Through the process we asked ourselves, “what is the best way to reach this wide and diverse audience in a highly cost-effective and timely way?”  The answer became clear: we need to teach. And so, we launched our workshops in February 2010.

Now that the summer session is closing, the workshop roster is regularly being updated as we receive feedback from our attendees about the topics that best suit their needs. It is our hope that through the hands-on, interactive methods we use in our classes, that we will impact that 3% in a highly positive way.  We hope you’ll join us on this ride.

Wishing you every success,