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IEDC Course: Entrepreneurial & Small Business Development Strategies

  • 05 Nov 2015
  • 8:00 AM
  • 06 Nov 2015
  • 5:00 PM
  • OITC 250 Young Street, Toronto

This multi-faceted, Canadian-focused course explores the core aspects of entrepreneurial and small business development including value-add partnerships, technical assistance programs, financing, business incubation and more. Entrepreneurs and small businesses stimulate job creation, develop crucial innovations in both products and services and promote the diversification of the economic base. In this course, you will learn the financial and managerial tools economic developers use to create a climate that encourages entrepreneurial and small business development. Also, practitioners will examine the barriers they face and how communities can leverage their economic development resources to build highly integrated networks to help businesses thrive in the global economy.

While anyone is welcome to take this course, financing sessions will focus on tools and programs relevant to the Canadian economic developer. 

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Course Highlights:

  • Identifying and addressing the needs of entrepreneurs
  • Defining urban v. rural-focused entrepreneurial and small business strategies
  • Managing technical assistance (e.g., economic gardening) programs
  • Development and management of business incubators
  • Understanding federal and state government resources (e.g., SBDCs)
  • Financing programs including micro-lending, venture capital, and angel networks
  • Creating a technical assistance tracking system to measure job growth and etc.


November 5

8:30 - 9:00 am


9:00 - 10:15 am

Introduction to Entrepreneurship: Who are Entrepreneurs?
This course begins with a description and deeper analysis of entrepreneurial trends, survival rates, job creation, patents and etc. Specifically, this session will lay out the characteristics of entrepreneurs and small business owners, the barriers they face and how economic development organizations can promote entrepreneurial development by making their regions more fertile for entrepreneurs. Also, this session will review the different types of entrepreneurial businesses (e.g., survival, micro-enterprise, lifestyle, second-stage growth and etc.) to help practitioners better understand what resources are needed to assist an array of entrepreneurs.

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Economic Gardening
This session will introduce attendees to economic gardening and how it fits into a comprehensive entrepreneurial development strategy. Having a deep understanding of your regional labor market is critical to making effective economic development policy decisions. In addition, this session will help practitioners understand ways to benchmark their economic development strategies using multiple data points.

12:00 - 1:30 pm

Lunch on your own

1:30 - 3:00 pm

The Role of Economic Development Organizations
This session will discuss the types of assistance (e.g., micro-lending, economic gardening, rural entrepreneurship, tech-based economic development, university connections/partnerships and etc.) typically available to entrepreneurs. In today's knowledge economy, the role entrepreneurs (e.g.: individuals that transform ideas into commercial and industrial uses) are key concerns to a community's business climate. Economic development organizations need to have an entrepreneurial and small business development strategy that augments the business climate of their respective community.

3:15 - 4:30 pm

Interactive Case Study
This session will focus on targeting public and private resources to assist entrepreneurs and small business in different stages of growth and maturity. Practitioners need to treat entrepreneurs and small businesses differently depending on their level of growth and development. This session will help EDOs learn how to successfully diversify the business climate within their community and add to the overall distinctiveness of your economic base by targeting ED resources more effectively.


November 6

9:00 - 10:15 am

Rural Entrepreneurship

Encouraging entrepreneurship is a growing strategy in rural America and beyond. This session addresses how to provide rural entrepreneurs and small business owners with the necessary skills to help them establish networks of business service providers, manage a wide-variety of clients and employ the most recent innovations in technology to help grow their businesses.

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Small Business Lending

Capital is critical at every stage of business development - start-up, expansion and to remain competitive. After evaluating how much cash a small business owner has on hand, an economic developer can guide owners to capital that can be used to translate business ideas into products and services, and purchase fixed assets, such as buildings and equipment. This session will highlight financial programs that support small business development and will teach you how to help make small businesses more attractive to private investors and lenders.

12:00 - 1:15 pm

Lunch on your own

1:15 - 2:30 pm

Financing and Equity Options for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

There are other viable options for entrepreneurs to acquire small business development funding such as commercial banks and angel investors. This session will help practitioners better understand the diverse set of funding sources available. Also, this session will improve the practitioners understanding of what lenders and angel investors are typically looking for in a start-up venture.

2:45 - 4:30 pm

Incubator Support

In order for businesses to be successful, they need to identify a location where it can operate, sell and/or manufacture products or services and where it can have access to a network of business support services. Incubators across the country support small and emerging businesses by fulfilling these basic needs. During this session attendees will learn how to develop business incubators to foster small business growth in their community.

4:30 - 4:45 pm

Wrap-up and Certificates


* Agenda subject to change

200 Victoria St 
Toronto, ON M5B 1V8 
(866) 852-1777 
IEDC Room Rate: $169 
Cut off Date: October 5, 2015



By Sept 24

Sept 25 - Oct 22

*After Oct 22

EDCO Member

$493.00 +HST

$493.00 +HST

$493.00 +HST


$535 USD

$675 USD

$695 USD

Full Time Student**

$105 USD

$125 USD

$145 USD

**PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive full IEDC certification credit for this course and a certificate indicating course completion, participants must attend the entire course and stay through the final session on the last day. Please make travel plans accordingly.**

This course meets the professional development requirements for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. CEcDs earn recertification credits for participation.

Those with AICP credentials can earn Certification Maintenance (CM) credits for this activity. When CM credits are available, they are noted at the end of an activity description. More information about AICP's CM program can be found at

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