Business Skills Workshops for Entrepreneurs

Partner with us to bring customized courses to your community!

Covering a wide range of business topics, our success-oriented workshops are developed by industry experts to help business owners develop practical, applied skills.

Our workshops are customized for your needs and each is specifically tailored to the audience—reflecting their demographics, business or professional experience, industry and geographic region.

We can deliver live workshops, teleconferences or webinars around BC.

Download Our Current Workshop Offerings

Contact our Director, Programs and Partnerships at 1.800.643.7014 ext. 107 or send us an email to discuss your needs.

Business owners: See a workshop you’d like to attend? View our workshops and events calendar to see if it’s coming soon to your area.

Workshops for Entrepreneurs

Starting a Business

So You Want to Be an Entrepreneur!

Have you always dreamed of having your own business? Do you have an idea or an answer to “there’s got to be a better way” to do something… Are you unsure about what it takes to be a successful

If you answered YES to any of these questions this workshop is for YOU.

During this workshop we will:

  • Explore the characteristics and mindset traits of successful entrepreneurs
  • Analyze your potential to consider small business ownership as a viable career option
  • Provide additional resources and tools that are available to support you to your business success.

Launch Your Dream Series for Immigrant Women: Exploring Entrepreneurship, Together!

How to Use Your Global Experience to Build a Great Business

Are you a new immigrant to Canada who’s thinking of being your own boss? Good news – studies show that your international experience makes you more likely to start and run a successful business!

Many skills, such as good communication, tech expertise, and sales, are portable skills. As an Immigrant entrepreneur, you can profitably use these skills in Canada.  We invite you to join Women’s Enterprise Centre Business Advisor, Alpana Sharma, for an interactive session to zero in on the skills you already have that can help you launch your own business.

Together, we’ll explore:

  • How you can use your transferable skills to launch and grow a business
  • Why your international experience can give you competitive edge

Join us to learn how you can leverage networks and professional experience and be a successful entrepreneur.

How to Identify Business Opportunities

Entrepreneurship can be a great career option for immigrants to Canada, but the decision to launch a business in a new country can come with many questions about this new market.

Join Alpana Sharma, WEC Business Advisor and Immigrant entrepreneur, who will teach you how to find new opportunities that match your skills and experience.

In this interactive session, you’ll learn how to answer some key questions, like:

  • What skills can you use to start or grow a business?
  • How can you use these skills to identify new opportunities?
  • Will your business idea work in BC?
  • What do you need to know about your potential customers?
  • Where can you find support and information to research new opportunities?

You will also hear from Immigrant women entrepreneurs who will share how they zeroed in on the right business opportunity. 

How to Find Sources of Funding as an Immigrant Entrepreneur

So, you’ve identified a great business opportunity and have done your market research. You’re almost ready to start your company! But, now you need money to make your dream a reality.

Women’s Enterprise Centre knows that accessing funding can be a barrier for many newcomer entrepreneurs, because they may have little to no credit history or few assets in their new home country.

Join Alpana Sharma, Women’s Enterprise Centre Business Advisor and immigrant entrepreneur for a free, interactive session to learn about the different types of funding support that can help make your business dreams a success!

As a development lender, we can often provide business loans when other funders cannot because we look at your skills and opportunities, not just your credit score. And we’re part of a large network of funding sources that may be able to support you.

During this interactive session Alpana will share:

  • How to overcome barriers to funding for immigrant entrepreneurs
  • Funding programs available to support immigrant entrepreneurs in BC
  • What you will need to apply for funding

Join us for this session to chat about funding opportunities. Our panelists will share how accessing funds at the right time helped them in business growth and success.

Financial Understanding

The Ins and Outs of Cash Flow

If you run a business, you need to know when cash will be going in and out. With cash in the bank, you can buy the supplies you need to fulfill your next big sale, deal with unexpected or forgotten expenses and make sure YOU get paid at the end of the day.

Setting up your cash flow management system is step one for getting your business finances in order, yet many business owners only deal with it once they have a problem. In fact, 82% of businesses that close fail because they experience cash flow problems.

This webinar is designed for business owners with little to no experience managing cash flow, who want to set up their business for financial success. This workshop will help you:

  • Understand how your revenue model impacts your cash flow
  • Figure out how much it costs you to do business (cost of goods sold, labour costs)
  • Estimate the size and timing of your expenses
  • Develop a cash flow management process for your own business
Financial Understanding: Income Statements and Balance Sheets

Even if you use a bookkeeper and/or accountant, it is imperative that you understand the financial side of your business. This introductory‐level workshop takes you through practical exercises to help you understand the type of financial statements you should be using, and what they are telling you.

After this session you will be better equipped to:

  • Describe the connection between your personal finances and your business
  • Explain the key categories on the Balance Sheet
  • Discuss the importance of the Income Statement
  • Give examples of the difference between the Cash Flow Statement and Income Statement

Financial Management

Financial Management: Know Your Numbers

One of the keys to business success is an ability to interpret financial statements.

In fact, a primary cause of business failure is poor financial management, including the misinterpretation of financial statements and inappropriate action taken as a result.

This workshop will explain basic financial principles that you can use to inform your decision‐making on a daily basis, and answer your questions so you can feel more confident discussing your numbers.

The material covers the functions of, and how to interpret, cash flow management, credit and collections, the cost/profit/volume relationship, and business ratios. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Use info from financial statements to make better business decisions
  • Calculate four key financial ratios for your business
  • Compare and analyze changes in your numbers from year to year

By the end of the workshop, entrepreneurs will be able to speak more confidently to their accountant and banker about their financial statements.


6 Keys to Common-sense Marketing

One of the challenges of owning a small business is to know how to market effectively on a tight budget.

In any business, particularly in small business, marketing is most effective when it is both strategic and creative. A lot of marketing is common sense; but don’t make the same mistakes that your competitors are making!

After this workshop you will:

  • Understand the 6 key marketing concepts
  • Determine the best ways to ensure that your marketing dollars and efforts are properly targeted to attract the customers you want for your business.
Focused Marketing: Targeted Effort, Tangible Results

When a business owner is asked about their marketing strategy, too many think about their website, ads or word of mouth. All those things are a part of marketing, but they are not strategy. They are tactics.

Tactics are only as effective as the strategy behind them— the WHY of marketing.

This practical workshop guides the business owner through the process of building a sound marketing strategy for their business to reveal the tactics that make the most sense for their motivation, market and money.

This workshop will help you understand:

  • WHY you need a clear understanding of who your best customer is
  • WHAT message and tools will work best for YOU and your ideal customers
  • HOW you will reach your ideal customers using marketing tools
  • WHAT actions you will take to achieve your marketing goals

Sales Strategy

The Power of One: How Small Changes Can Increase Sales

We all know that great success happens just one day at a time, just one step at a time.

This workshop is one of those “just one more” experiences that will move you forward in your business. We will talk about one more person, one more activity, and one more question that you can add to your daily routine in order to increase productivity and grow your business into the profitable venture that you have envisioned.

In this session participants will learn how to:

  • Identify the most effective networking activities for them
  • Determine which activities they need to focus their energy on
  • Learn how to ask focused questions be successful in closing more sale

Human Resources Webinar Series

Recruiting 101: Tools to Find the Right Person for Your Team

What is the key to business success? Engaged and productive employees!

Recruiting is more than just finding workers to fill jobs. It’s a thoughtful process of attracting, evaluating, and selecting candidates, so you hire someone who’s the “right fit” for your business. 

Each person and each business is unique, but there are some solid practices that help you find those “unicorns” who have the right balance of knowledge, experience and personality – and entice them to join your team!

Join us for an interactive workshop to ask your recruiting questions and learn:

  • How to write a job description that’s accurate, appealing and inclusive
  • Where to advertise so you have a strong pool of candidates
  • Tips to shortlist applicants and conduct interviews that will make your decision‐making easier
Employee Retention Toolkit for Business Owners

Once you’ve compiled your dream team, the next step is making sure they stay.

Fortunately for small business owners, salary is only one part of the equation. Studies show that engaged employees are 59% less likely to seek out a new job in the next year, and there are many practices you can implement to keep your employees engaged.

Join us on this session to learn:

  • Simple communication techniques that can unite your team
  • Ideas to create a retention plan that will keep employees motivated and engaged so they want to stay
Managing HR: Tools to Unite Your Team

As a business owner, are you managing a group of people or a high‐performance team? There are many strategies you can use to unite your employees, and most can be successful without spending much cash.

During this session, we will take you through a series of exercises to help you:

  • Identify your unique team characteristics
  • Focus on your own leadership and communication abilities so you can better manage your employees
  • Create a safe and respectful work environment

Join us to learn the secrets to building a high‐performance work team!

Leadership Development

Stepping Up: Uncover Your True Leadership Potential

Leaders come from all walks of life, and they create businesses and communities through their actions. Every action a person takes, every conversation they have moves them ahead as a leader.

In this workshop, participants will learn about their unique leadership style and learn how to improve on the strengths they already have—even if they don’t think they’re a leader!

Leadership is much more than a “to‐do” list; effective leadership is an art and a science and, most importantly, it can be learned. It can
be improved through skills, practice and self‐knowledge.

At the end of the workshop, participants will have their unique answers to these questions:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of my communication style?
  • How do I manage change, transition and transformation in my business? In my life?
  • What are my core values and how do they show up when I’m leading?
  • Where can I find the courage and support to develop as a leader?
Negotiate Naturally: Tips for Women Entrepreneurs

Negotiation skills are so valuable because you use them in every aspect of your life. While some of us are natural born negotiators, most of us would like to feel more confident going into important negotiation meetings.

When you re‐frame negotiation as an opportunity for all sides to prosper, everyone wins! In this session, you’ll acquire the skills to negotiate effectively, preserve your integrity and learn how to be yourself while getting what you really want.

This session will help you:

  • Recognize the importance of negotiating for women entrepreneurs
  • Avoid common negotiation mistakes that limit your business and financial rewards
  • Identify three opportunities where stronger negotiation will benefit you and your business
Mindset Mastery for Business Growth

Unleash your ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ to support innovation that is critical to generating business growth.

Understanding the entrepreneurial mindset is a critically valuable 21st century skill. Those who learn it well will experience more success in their careers — no matter what they choose to do — because by definition they become resourceful and adaptable.

During this workshop our panelists will relate their Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile™ (EMP) results to their own personal experiences, successes, and failures. We will learn how the panelists’ personality
traits and skill sets impact the decisions they make on a daily basis, what they have done, and will do, to foster an entrepreneurial mindset

Workshop key takeaways:

  • Receiving your own Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile™ Assessment* and Development Guide
  • Understanding the 14 EMP personality and skill scales
  • Understanding your own entrepreneurial mindset strengths which you can leverage for success
  • Learning which skill scales you can focus on improving for an improved entrepreneurial mindset

*Additional fees apply for EMP assessments

Business Growth Strategy

Grow Your Business So It’s Right for YOU!

This workshop is for entrepreneurs who are enthusiastic about growing their business but are not sure where to focus their energies.

You may want to increase sales or profits with innovative new products or services or more customers. Or perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the options and the pressure to make good decisions.

This workshop is designed to help business owners like you make the choices about growing your business so it’s right for you!

During this workshop you will:

  • Clearly identify your vision and motivations for business growth
  • Determine the best growth strategies for your business
  • Recognize the items/resources your business needs to support growth
Moving Up! Business Growth Strategies

How can you find and sell to more of your ideal customers? One option may be to partner up with other businesses and organizations that also serve them.

This energizing workshop will help you move your business to the next level with insights and advice about strategy, marketing, and the latest small business trend: strategic alliances.

Women’s Enterprise Centre will help you with what those partnerships could look like by exploring:

  • Strategic alliances: Exploring new ways to partner up to expand the marketing and/or operational capacity in the business.
  • Strategic edge: When having the best “customer service” isn’t enough, how does a business become the supplier of choice for its customers?

During this session you will:

  • Understand the how’s and why’s of strategic alliances
  • Understand how to create your strategic edge
  • Recognize strategic alliances as a way to build business capacity
Ready, Set Grow: Preparing to Grow Your Business

This workshop is for entrepreneurs who have already started their business and may now be thinking about what changes they need to make to grow their business, make more money, be more efficient, or take more time off.

This workshop explores the typical business cycle, where growth/change typically happens, and what kind of change is reasonable or desirable.

During this workshop you will learn how to:

  • Understand the business life cycle and where you are in it
  • Recognize the issues relevant to growth and how your control and outside influences determine growth
  • Determine if you are prepared for business growth
Setting New Goal Posts: Growing Your Business from a Tactical Perspective

Are you looking for new direction in your business? Are you feeling like your business is pulling you in multiple directions? Do you wonder whether you need to return to your initial business vision? Are you frustrated by wasted time and energy due to conflicting priorities?

If any of these resonate with you, this workshop is for you!

In this strategic planning workshop we will help you separate valuable business strategies from the clutter using a straightforward, practical tool that will help clear your path to success.

In this workshop you will:

  • Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Learn how to use those strengths to create strategies to reach your business vision
  • Create an action plan to ultimately achieve success.

Exporting Series

Are You Ready to Export? Exploring Your Options

Are you a small‐ or medium‐sized business thinking of selling your goods and services outside of BC, but not sure where to start? Exploring new markets is a smart business strategy, and you don’t need to be a big business to do it. In fact, 84% of BC exporters have fewer than 50 employees.

During this interactive session, Alpana Sharma, WEC Export Business Advisor will share some of the benefits and challenges involved in exporting to help you:

  • Determine if exporting aligns with your business goals
  • Evaluate your “export readiness”
  • Connect with support services that can assist you, including information on grants, funding and government programs

Join us for this beginner‐level session to have your export questions answered!

Where Should You Export? Researching New Markets

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to export your goods or services, you need to decide where you’re going to expand.

The international marketplace can be very competitive, so you need to research and understand your target market(s). Market research will ensure that your export plan accounts for cultural differences,
regulations, logistics and other key factors so that your resources are well spent.

In this session, Alpana Sharma, WEC Export Business Advisor, will walk you through the key steps that will help you answer the big question: “Should I sell X in X region?”

Join us for this workshop to learn how to:

  • Identify and evaluate potential target export markets
  • Create a strong market entry strategy based on research
  • Ask the right questions to create a sound export plan
  • Find the right support services that can help you fill your knowledge gaps
How Will You Export? Building Your Plan

A good export plan is the key to success in international markets. Just as you built a business plan before you launched your business, you can apply the same principles to competitively grow your business through exporting.

We have created a simple plan outline to help you in writing your export plan. During this interactive session we will walk you through each step.

In this free, interactive session you’ll learn how to:

  • Define your export goals and make sure they align with your overall business objectives
  • Understand the key concepts involved in international trade
  • Do a risk assessment to minimize the impact of unforeseen circumstances
  • Identify the best market entry strategy for your business

Join us to complete the next step to selling your goods or services outside of BC!

To inform your export plan, we recommend you also join us for the previous session in this series: Where Should You Export: Researching New Markets.

Youth Workshops

Become a Diversity Champion!

People are diverse in a number of ways, not just in ways we can see. What assumptions and conclusions do you jump to without thinking? This is “unconscious bias.” We live in a world of diversity, and bias matters when people are excluded or treated unfairly based on things like the colour of their skin, gender, age, or wealth.

During this interactive workshop participants will discover how they can battle bias to help build inclusive schools, workplaces and society that honours diversity. They will be inspired by storytellers who share their encounters with unconscious bias and what they did to battle it.

Cultivate your Entrepreneurial Spirit

What will you be known for in 2037? Will you own a successful business? Be a leader in your community? Will an invention of yours be saving the world?

Cultivating entrepreneurial skills and mindset will prepare you for any path you choose. An entrepreneurial mindset gives you the ability to see opportunities, gather resources and create value.

This workshop session will help participants understand the traits and skills they can develop to make an impact and drive success wherever their career leads them. Our storytellers will share how tapping into their entrepreneurial mindset helped them start and grow their business.

Picture of Kerrilee Auger, Skills Development Manager

Kerrilee Auger
Director, Programs & Partnerships