CEDEC’s links to other community economic development organizations throughout Canada opens doors to innovative ideas, tools and proven methodologies that can be brought to Quebec.
To date, two Quebec communities have benefited from CEDEC’s introduction of the Business Vitality Initiative (BVI), first developed by the Centre for Entrepreneurial and Innovative Leadership (CIEL) in Nelson, British Columbia.
The BVI provides tools and a proven process to measure and assess a community’s “friendliness” to business. It puts local citizens in the driver’s seat to determine their town’s future and develop strategies to ensure its continued economic vitality.
CEDEC’s first introduction of BVI to Quebec was in Campbell’s Bay in 2009 to build on the very successful Bikes in the Bay Festival, a community economic development initiative supported by CEDEC. Until a community entrepreneurship strategy is finalized based on the priorities illuminated from the BVI process, Campbell’s Bay citizens are taking small and deliberate steps, working closely with the municipality, to beautify the town and preserve and promote the historical integrity of many buildings. Along the way, we have learned important lessons such as integrating leadership succession planning, time management, and broadening stakeholder involvement.
Lessons learned from Campbell’s Bay are influencing how we use the BVI in other communities. With the Town of Temiscaming and the Kipawa/Temiscaming Chamber of Commerce as sponsors, CEDEC introduced the BVI as a tool to revitalize the local economy.
“The Business Vitality Initiative was an excellent tool for CEDEC to get involved with us. CEDEC’s leadership got us motivated and working together. The process made people realize that there is so much more potential in this community.”
With financial support from Industry Canada and Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, focus groups with community stakeholders in Temiscaming were held on January 26 and February 23, 2011. Economic vulnerabilities of resource-based industries, diversification, and promotion of the region’s tourism opportunities emerged as hot topics among the near 60 participants. Following the BVI, citizen-driven committees are looking at these issues with the goal of developing tangible, results-driven projects that the community will get behind and support.
For more information about the Business Vitality Initiative in Quebec: www.cedec.ca/bvi