National Small Business Month is here! For Canadian business owners, October is a time of education, training, networking and celebration. It is a month full of in-person events, such as conferences and summits.
This year, as we continue to adjust to running our businesses and lives during a pandemic, organizations have had to adapt their gatherings to keep everyone safe. Because most events are online, the number of events has decreased, but there are still many out there to select.
Here are a few that I believe will deliver a useful, touch-free experience for small business owners in Canada.
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Virtual events across Canada
Kicking off my list of Small Business Month events is the Staples Business Advantage Business Expo, happening online October 21-22. You can peruse 40+ exhibitors’ product booths, attend up to 10 webinars and network over two full days from the comfort of your office, home or wherever you find yourself these days.
Inspired to Inspire
The Inspired to Inspire Conference is happening October 7 and 8, online. Participate in stage presentations, networking and an evening VIP event, while learning from international leaders, trainers and speakers in the areas of leadership, mindset, growth and strategy.
Cost: Pricing ranges from $76 to $144 CAD.
BDC Small Business Month
The BDC normally hosts an event and sponsors small business events in October. This year, because of the pandemic, they are focusing on resilience stories of entrepreneurs. You can read these stories and learn more by visiting their website.
RevolutionHer is hosting multiple online events for female entrepreneurs within the month of October.
First up in their Small Business Month offerings is a book club for the month of October. They are reading “Burnout” and will be connecting online during the evening of October 27, 2020.
Cost: This is free to join, though you will need to purchase the book.
Next is a Virtual Support Session: “An Overnight Success in 20 Years” with Carinne Chambers-Saini of DIVA International on October 16, 2020. Come and learn from a leading Canadian female entrepreneur, Carinne Chambers-Saini, as she shares how she went from her kitchen table to getting her product sold in 65,000 North American outlets and in 30+ countries worldwide.
Cost: This is a free event, though you need to register to receive the online link.
Lastly, RevolutionHer is hosting a Virtual Soirée with Holistic Nutritionist Joy McCarthy. Every female business owner needs to take care of themselves first so that they can take care of their businesses. Join in to learn the 7 pillars for joyous health in this evening event. The event date is October 21, 2020.
Cost: Tickets start at $47 CAD (general attendance is free for RevolutionHer Members)
Mentor Works Ltd.
For the month of October, Mentor Works Ltd. is hosting online events to build up and support small business owners.
Mentor Works events are free, though you do need to register to receive the link.
Join in on the webinar Top Government Funding Programs for Fall 2020 on October 6, 2020 to learn what funding is available for small businesses this fall. This event is for businesses that have been incorporated for two or more years.
Check the website for other events as well as resources like their list of government grants and loans for small businesses.
There are also a number of city-run events scheduled for Small Business Month this year.
The SBBC, Small Business of British Columbia, is hosting seven events online. This is a great opportunity for small business owners to learn about:
- Bullying and harassment in the workplace
- What it takes to be an entrepreneur
- Doing business with the Government of Canada
- Business planning for young entrepreneurs
- Small business banking strategies
- Creating an engaging action plan for workplace wellness
- Email and social media marketing
Cost: Check the website above.
The Halifax Chamber of Commerce is hosting a small business week with BDC, October 19-23, 2020. They have yet to announce all the details, including speakers, schedule, fees and whether they are moving the event online. You can use the link above to sign up for more details. BDC is involved, so it is bound to be a great event.
Cost: Check the website above.
The Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference has moved all of their events online and are hosting multiple events in the month October. Business owners can join in online and interact with other business owners, while listening to speakers and visiting virtual booths. Their main event ‘Toronto Entrepreneur Virtual Conference’ is being held on October 6, 2020.
Cost: Fees run from $0 to $995 CAD, depending on your interest and involvement.
The Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference is also hosting other online events for businesses in specific industries. These include:
- Financial advisors
- Corporate controllers
The conference includes a networking event on October 27, 2020.
Cost: Fees can be found at the website above.
Mark your calendar
Whether you attend, one, two or all of these conferences, or you find your own events to attend this Small Business Month, make sure you show up with an open mind, represent your brand as best as you can, connect, meet and grow from each and every event.
Even though in-person events can be more productive and fun, the way of the world right now is online.
I invite you to make the most out of every event you attend in October.
As we are shortly entering 2021, this is a great time to create new strategies, goals and processes for your small business.
Happy National Small Business Month!