What is the Navigate Program?

The Navigate Program is an initiative of Memorial University – Grenfell Campus and the College of the North Atlantic – Corner Brook Campus. Financial and technical support has been provided by the Government of Canada’s Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Department of Innovation, Business & Rural Development, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador and Memorial University – Grenfell Campus in association with the College of the North Atlantic – Corner Brook Campus. The mandate of the program is to promote, assist and support the creation of new entrepreneurs in the Greater Corner Brook/Western Newfoundland and Labrador region. Its key focus is students, innovation and the environment. The goal is to use innovation and the cluster of regional environmental programming to identify/promote new business opportunities and create new entrepreneurs.

Who should use the services of the Navigate Program?

Memorial University (Grenfell) and College of the North Atlantic students, faculty, staff and alumni can take advantage of the services offered by the Navigate Program.

How can Navigate help a potential Entrepreneur?

The Navigate Program can assist potential entrepreneur by:

  • Providing activities to assess a person’s entrepreneurial potential
  • Idea generation for potential business opportunities
  • Assistance in business planning – how to write a business plan
  • Assessment skills in marketing, finance, product development etc…
  • Direction on where to find information for a business plan, i.e. funding sources, financial planning, market information etc…
  • One on one business counseling service
  • Networking and mentoring opportunities with fellow potential entrepreneurs and established business owners

What does the word entrepreneur mean?

The term was originally borrowed from the french language in the 1700’s and is applied to a person who is willing to help start a new venture or business and accepts full responsibility for any outcome.

What is an entrepreneur?

What are the key characteristics of an entrepreneur?

  • Perseverance
  • A willingness to work harder
  • High degree of self-confidence and enthusiasm
  • Very flexible and creative
  • Ability to understand markets and what customer need
  • Always positive and optimistic
  • Has strong commitment
  • Looks for challenges
  • Independent minded

What is a Small Business?

  • In Atlantic Canada a small business usually employs 1 to 5 employees
  • It’s structure/ownership can be a sole proprietor (owned by one person and unincorporated – the owner has full responsibility for all affairs of the business), partnership (more than one owner and it can be unincorporated or incorporated – the owners has full responsibility for all affairs of the business), corporation (one or more owners and incorporated, meaning that the company has the same legal status of a person – this legal status protects owners from legal responsibility beyond its financial stake in the company) or a cooperative (a not for profit entity that has members, these members are the owners and their legal responsibility is limited to their stake in the cooperative)
  • Small businesses, not large corporations, have been the single biggest creator of jobs in North America over the past 30 years
  • Small business ownership can be a source of extra income and personal fulfillment

Small Business Ownership - Benefits

  • Start up – low cost
  • Time commitment – can be part time
  • Very suited to internet use and opens the world to small business owners at a low cost
  • Can be adaptable to changing markets
  • Able to meet the special needs of customers
  • Personal independence/own boss
  • Well suited for innovative thinkers
  • Can earn extra income

Small Business Ownership - Challenges

  • Access to capital can be a huge barrier
  • Lack of planning (a well-researched business plan is critical to reducing risk and ensures a return on investment
  • Understanding cost, markets and competitors is difficult and time consuming
  • Management skills may be lacking, i.e. financial, human resources, marketing, planning/logistics

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a document that you use to sell yourself, your product or service and demonstrates your understanding of the market place.

A business plan is:

  • Who you are?
  • What you want to do?
  • When you will do it?
  • Where you will operate and sell too.
  • How you will achieve these task.

What should be included in a Business Plan?

  • Executive Summary (Brief description of what you hope to achieve with your business plan)
  • Introduction (Who you are, the name of your company and what you are proposing to do)
  • Background (What is the history of your business idea and experiences to date)
  • Management (Who will run the company and be responsible for monies, production/service delivery, customer services etc…)
  • Product or Service (What will you be making or what service will you be providing)
    • required equipment/process(s)
    • required skills/knowledge and/or experiences
  • Marketing Plan (How will you identify you customers and sell to them)
    • 7s of marketing (product, pricing, people, place, promotional, positioning and packaging)
  • Financial Information/Budget
    • sources of funding, cost, revenues sources and financial projections etc…
  • Regulations/Technical Support – legal requirements, insurances, banking, accounting, permits – municipal, provincial and federal etc…
  • Conclusion

What is an Opportunity and Innovation?

  • Opportunities is seeing what others do not
  • Innovation is the development of new customer value through solutions and that meet new needs, unarticulated needs, or old customer and market needs in new ways, i.e. reusable shopping bags is a way to meet emerging environmental concerns regarding too much household and business waste, cars with a higher mileage per litre of gas meet emerging needs to conserve the earths energy resources etc… Both of these innovations are opportunity for a company to attract or keep customers/clients because they are meeting their evolving financial and/or environmental needs.
  • Opportunities and innovation is about an idea and working to make it a reality
  • What areas offer business opportunities in the Greater Corner Brook area/Western Newfoundland – an aging population, a growing tourism & cultural industries, continuous education/adult learning, recreational services for a variety of ages, a changing fishing industry, emerging aboriginal cultural and business needs, agrifood production, non-timber forest products, renewable energy, environmental products/services and information technology/innovation
  • Research and an innovative mind is what is required
  • 38% plus of men and women in North America have had some period of self-employment during their working careers
  • If you have the interest and drive you can create a business that will give you a financial return on your investment of monies and time

In my second year of business I approached Navigate for guidance – their expert advice helped me to further develop my service offerings and expand my client base. They continue to be an excellent resource and advocate to this day.

My Property Guys franchise is the second business I’ve started with the help of Navigate. If you have a business idea and are willing to put in the work Navigate can provide the tools you need to succeed.

Nine months ago I came to Navigate with an idea for a sushi restaurant. They helped me conduct the research necessary to create my own business plan and turn my dream into reality.

The Navigate program is a fantastic business consulting service. They’ve helped me capitalize on many opportunities since I’ve started my business and continue to do so to this day.

Over the past five years Navigate has helped me find the best resources and introduced me to the contacts and clients needed to grow my business.