ESTEVAN - Even though it’s been operating for less than two years, Southeast Business Startup, based in Estevan, has already eclipsed objectives it had established.
Jeff Taylor, the manager for the organization, is surprised at the success they have enjoyed, which looks to provide guidance for those looking to open their own business.
“I knew there was a lot of drive in this region, but I’ve been seeing more than one new business (idea) a week, which I think is absolutely incredible for an area of this size, and I think it really speaks to the spirit of the people here,” said Smith.
Thus far, the company has consulted with businesses that have opened and created 15 full-time jobs, which is triple the target they hoped to reach by 2023.
Thirty jobs for self-employed people have also been added to the local economy.
Combined annual income from all jobs added to the community, between the self-employed and the new full-time jobs, has been more than $2.48 million.
Not only is he impressed with the number of businesses and the jobs they can create, Taylor marvels at the variety of businesses. It hasn’t been people coming in with the same type of business idea.
In the first 18 months that Southeast Business Startup was open, Taylor saw nine prospective construction, contractors and mechanic businesses, eight potential retail operations and five hopeful food services entrepreneurs. But there were four food production/alternative agriculture companies, four personal care companies and four service industry entrepreneurs, and then everything from financial services to real estate, hospitality and tourism to weddings and special events, and recycling to vending machines.
“I think that’s one of the things to be most proud of, is how successful the people of Estevan … and surrounding areas have been in coming up with business ideas to meet needs in the community and … follow their passions,” said Taylor.
There have been success stories in the areas people would think of for a new business, but there have been accomplishments in other industries, with people moving out to work on their own, such as oilfield contractors.
And there have some businesses that are already well-known in the community that Taylor has assisted, and he says it’s always a rewarding feeling to walk into a business run by a Southeast Business Startup client.
“I love seeing those successes that both help the person who started the business … but also improve the community as a whole,” said Taylor.
When someone comes in to see Taylor about starting a new business, he then dedicates time to those clients. In some cases, a business will be up and running within a few days of coming to see him. Others will need at least a year.
“A lot of it depends on the type of business and the industry,” said Taylor. “Depending on the complexity of the business, some of them take quite a long time, and it’s where they are at with the business as well. Some people just need that last little bit … in terms of getting everything registered, making sure they’re in compliance, making sure they have a business plan for financing.”
Renovations are underway to the Southeast Business Startup building, located adjacent to Affinity Credit Union, that will expand the space and allow them to provide more services and resources to hopeful entrepreneurs.
Those renovations should be finished in the new year.
Previously Southeast Business Startup only had access to one-third of the building, but now it is renting out the entire building and making it into a broader range business centre. It will allow for a greater flow of ideas, and allow people to come in and work on their concepts.