Our Business Programs
The Export Navigator Program offers free expert guidance to businesses on exporting. Whether your business already exports at volume or you run a smaller enterprise that hasn’t yet crossed borders, you will be put in touch with a helpful advisor who will demystify the export process. Although the current climate has disrupted the flow of goods and services, we can help you diversify your market and strengthen your business.
The program is available to all B.C. businesses located outside of Greater Vancouver and Greater Victoria and offers specialized advisors for businesses owned by Indigenous Peoples, youth (under 30 years of age), and women.
Who is the program for?
Export Navigator was designed to help businesses located in non-metropolitan areas expand. If your business is looking to grow and is in one of our regions, we can help you on your export journey!
Supporting under-represented groups is important to us. We offer specialized services for businesses owned by women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples located in the regions Export Navigator serves.
How Export Navigator’s Advisors help
Exporting can seem intimidating, but your advisor will guide you through each step of the process in a way that is easy to understand and applicable to your business.
Your advisor will provide
Hours of export advice at no charge
Step-by-step guidance tailored to your pac
Help with business growth strategy and planning
Connections and information specific to your market and industry
Access to the most up-to-date resources for interprovincial or international exporting
An assessment of your business’s export readiness
How to join the program
Fill out our online form
Your advisor will reach out to you to learn more about your business
If accepted into the program, your advisor will offer one-on-one guidance to help your business reach its exporting potential.
BC Business Match
BC Business Match is a business transition service that connects business buyers, sellers and communities across BC. It's a Network 34 initiative from Community Futures designed for:
Business owners thinking of exiting their business
Business owners already in the process of trying to sell their business
Entrepreneurs looking to expand their business by acquiring another one
Anyone considering entrepreneurship
The program helps buyers find the right business for their skills, interests and needs, and helps business owners professionally prepare their businesses for sale. This is a full scope program with assistance available at every step of the way.
Tools and training to understand the business purchase process
Access to business listings & exclusive unlisted business opportunities
A custom Business Match Report of available opportunities
Ongoing professional business valuation & advisory services
Advice, support & business mediation during a business purchase
Connections to community resources & local business support
Exposure to buyers across western Canada and beyond
The option for a confidential business listing
Access to a pool of serious, qualified buyers
Assistance creating a comprehensive Sales Information Package for buyers
BC Business Match aims to sustain and grow the local economies of non-metropolitan BC communities, support business owners as they make their exit, and lead the way for new owners to set up shop and continue to offer the goods and services their communities need.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.
Entrepreneurs With Disabilities
Persons with disabilities may face unique barriers to business creation and development. In recognition of this, The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP) was established in 1997 through funding from Western Economic Diversification and the support of the Community Futures network.
At Community Futures, we see the business and the person’s ability first, then strive to provide extra support to entrepreneurs who are also managing disability and health issues. The goal of EDP is to increase access to business services and repayable financing to level the playing field for these entrepreneurs.
The EDP loans program, BizAble is available for people who self-declare a disability or health condition and who have completed a viable business plan. Business loans are repayable and through the EDP, loan terms are designed to be flexible and are tailored to meet your needs.
Through the EDP, specialized support and mentorship may be available for entrepreneurs in need of additional business skills training. This support is for people with disabilities who have a viable business concept and are in need of enhanced services to move their business forward.
Contact us for more information.
Community Futures Shuswap is proud to be a community partner of Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation). Futurepreneur is a national charity providing pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring to help you start your own successful business. If you are between the age of 18-39 and have a business idea… they can help! You may be eligible to receive up to a total of $45,000 to launch your business. CYBF offers up to $15,000 in start-up financing and you could receive up to twice your approved CYBF amount through their partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). CYBF’s world-class mentoring program matches you with a mentor who will coach and support you as you establish and grow your business.
Taking over an existing business? They help with that too! Applicants must meet the same criteria as start-up loan applicants and attain 51 per cent ownership of the company by the fifth year of operation.
For more information about this program or to apply for funding, please visit their website. When applying for assistance from CYBF, please be sure to mention that you were referred to them by Community Futures Shuswap.
We believe 4-H is a great way for children and youth to get involved in their communities and “Learn to do by Doing.” We have specialized loan programs to assist with the purchase and care of a marketable animal for a 4-H Beef or Swine project.
Applicant must be a member in good standing with a 4-H Club in the
Maximum of $2500 for Beef, $400 for Swine.
Repayment and Interest Rate
No payments are required during the term of the loan which is due by October 1 each year A 5% administration fee is charged on the outstanding balance each month, and the loan will be repaid when your animal is sold at the annual stock show and sale. The administration fee collected is donated back to the participating 4H club.
Promissory Note and Letter of Offer must be signed by the applicant and a Parent/Guardian.
For more information, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you.
Advice & Support For "Generation Exit"
We all know that the “baby boomers” are getting older and starting to retire – and some of them are small business owners. We call these individuals “Generation Exit” – a whole generation of business owners wanting to exit the small business world. Are you one of these people?
In 2006 it was estimated that more than 40% of small business owners planned to leave their businesses in the next five years, and more than 70% within the next ten years. Yet up to 71% of these business owners didn’t have a plan on how to exit their business.
It is anticipated that over the next 20 years there will be many more businesses than there are owners and employees – resulting in the potential closure of many small businesses throughout the Shuswap. This will have an impact on employment, economic output, business formation and the availability of services in our region.
We at Community Futures Shuswap recognize the importance of succession planning – of the need for services and resources for business owners wanting to retire from their business.
For more information about the potential impacts of “Generation Exit” please contact us.
Venture Connect is a valuable resource for business owners who are ready to plan for the transition and selling of their business. They are the succession planning experts – find out more information at www.ventureconnect.ca.