Supporting mature workers’ transition to business ownership

As CEDEC’s Entrepreneurial Approach Team winds-down their tour of community consultations along the Lower North Shore, one common concern raised by participants across the region was the need for support to write a business plan.

This idea stood out prominently as the team discussed development opportunities for the region during their consultation in Bonne Esperance on November 20, 2012. Many residents in the Lower North Shore have skills that could help them excel in the tourism industry. Such skills include exceptional hospitality and customer service, as well as the know-how in operating a business. On the other hand, these same people look at the business plan as a technical, frustrating and unnecessary step in starting a business.

The Lower North Shore’s 6,000 residents are mostly baby boomers who have relied heavily on their trade-skills in the past as fishermen or fish plant processors.

With the downturn of the fishing industry, they are now undertaking the transition into the tourism industry and using their skills for new purposes and business ventures.

Many are quickly discovering that opening a business today is not what it was 25-30 years ago.  The business plan is a necessity to gain any type of support, especially financial, and for some this can be an overwhelming process.

“I know some people who could have had businesses, and businesses that could have become great, but because of the need for a business plan they gave up and walked away from it,” says Garland Nadeau, resident of St. Paul’s River and owner of Eskimo Island boat tours.

“They felt they didn’t have the requirements to fill out the papers, and the problem is the business plan itself. It’s not what the older people are accustomed to,” he said adding that it would be very beneficial to have a session or workshop on how to create the business plan.

In response to this feedback, CEDEC’s Entrepreneurial Approach team is planning relevant workshops with the help of partners such as the CLD-Basse-Cote-Nord. The team is also tapping into the CEDEC Small Business Support Network to get relevant information and resources to support the business community of the Lower North Shore.

If you want to know more, contact us!