The Town of Cochrane's Economic Development Department is set to kick off its eight-month entrepreneurial development program in October, all it needs is a few savvy businessmen and women to volunteer their expertise.
SmartStart Cochrane launched in May when the town began accepting applications from fledgling entrepreneurs looking to set up new businesses in the community. Last month, 12 candidates - who paid a $300 registration fee - were accepted into the program.
Mike Kormann, economic development manager with the town, said the goal of the program is to develop a viable business that has the capacity to be launched and working in town.
The program is designed to impart critical business development skills that new entrepreneurs might be missing, and that is where the mentors come in.
"We're looking for people who have started a business in Cochrane and who have a good depth of experience," said Korman. "We have two or three signed up and we need three or four more."
Mentors do not have to pay to be part of the program.
"The cost is their time, which is very valuable," said Korman, adding the mentor commitment to the program will be approximately once per week.
Those interested in being a mentor can contact Korman at 403-851-2502 or email Robert Kalinovich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentor application forms can be found at https://www.smartstartyourbusiness.ca/mentor-application/.
Aside from mentorship, program candidates also receive information and education sessions, materials, and peer support, which culminates in the development of a plan to set their business up for success.
SmartStart programs are also available in Airdrie and Hinton.