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SMARTstart Information Session

Participant Testimonial

SMARTstart Mentor Testimonial

Did you know, according to Canadian studies only 35% of new businesses survive their first 5 years?

Statistics also show that business owners with education in entrepreneurship, or previous entrepreneur experience, have an 80-90% chance of success with a new business.

This is why SMARTstart was developed - to increase the odds of success for businesses.

What is SMARTstart?

SMARTstart is an 8-month entrepreneurial training program designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.  It provides entrepreneurs with tools, business planning, and a mentor.  This program provides the knowledge and skills needed to succeed with your business. SMARTstart supports the continued growth, development, and success of our business community.

SMARTstart consists of 3 main components:

  1. GoForth's 100 Essential Small Business Skills Online Training — It contains 15 modules on a wide range of topics from human resources to marketing to accounting.  For more detailed information, please click here.
  2. Workshops/Sessions — Primarily, workshops are comprised of small groups which provide an opportunity to network with fellow participants and mentors.  All workshops are delivered in-person and virtually by local experts.  Topics range from taxation to branding to insurance.  These workshops supplement the online training.  Workshops are held mid-day (11:45 am to 1:15 pm) or in the evenings from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.  
  3. Mentorship — Past participants think this is one of the most valuable parts of the program.  Participants will be paired with a local, experienced business owner that will guide them through the business plan development process.  Participants will have one-on-one time with their mentors to discuss concerns and challenges, or obtain guidance on business development.  Mentors and mentees will be paired based on the entrepreneur's needs and the mentor's experience and skill set.  There will be a speed networking event at the beginning of the program that allows applicants and mentors to meet.

Who is it for?

  • Entrepreneurs with an idea for a business, whether already in operations or still determining the viability of the idea.
  • Entrepreneurs who own a business that has been operating for less than 3 years.
  • Residents of West Yellowhead OR entrepreneurs intending to start their business here.
  • Entrepreneurs must be at least 18 years old.
  • All types of businesses are eligible. Big or small - we take them all!

Program Outcome

To complete the program, applicants must submit a final business plan, feasibility study or strategic plan.  The type of plan will depend on their particular situation. For example, if you have a business idea, it's very likely that you would work on a feasibility study/analysis to determine if your idea is viable. Research very strongly shows that businesses with a PLAN will be more successful.


This is your last chance to participate!  Complete the course and we will reimburse your application fee!  That's right, finish the program and we'll return your initial $299 application fee.    

The cost is just $299*/person and includes: 

  • License fee
  • Online training registration
  • All workshops, sessions and events

Have questions?

Contact Us

221 Pembina Ave.
Hinton, AB  T7V 2B3
P: 780-865-1224


Communities Served

Bickerdike, Big Eddy, Brule, Bryan Spur, Cadomin, Carrot Creek, Coal Valley, Dalehurst, Diss, Edson, Eirth, Embarras, Entrance, Evansburg, Galloway, Grande Cache, Grey, Hanlon, Hargwen, Hinton, Holloway East, Holloway West, Hornbeck, Jasper, Leadman, Leyland, Luscar, MacKay, Marlboro, Medicine Lodge, Mercoal, Mountain Park, Niton Junction, Nojack, Pedley, Peers, Pocahontas, Robb, Shaw Fidler, Solomon, Steeper, Sterco, Swan Landing, Thordarson, Wild Hay, Wildwood, Winniandy North, Winniandy South, Wolf Creek, and Yates