A new initiative from Trent University Durham, the Trent Small Business Institute (TSBI), is poised to offer a plethora of benefits to small businesses in Durham. The program, set to launch this fall, will offer courses – ranging from full-term courses to weekend seminars to lunch-and-learn sessions in person or online – in more than 200 individual competencies covering 15 areas of small business competence, from starting a business to insurance to marketing and social media.
Focus groups vetted the subjects, helping to identify where small business owners and employees need and wanted instruction, and that led to the selection of courses for the first year. The TSBI will provide a comprehensive approach that combines services from existing agencies and institutions throughout the region.
The participants, including the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, will ask their members to “self-evaluate” areas in which they need or want further instruction. And members of TSBI can track the participation and completion of the courses, potentially identifying a skills gap in the region. This will allow the TSBI to refine the course selection to meet local needs, as well as allow the businesses to see where they have gaps in knowledge and training so they can address those and continue to grow.
“More than 54 per cent of all small businesses do not make it into their fifth year of operations, and almost one-quarter do not even make it into their second year,” says Ambrose Samulski, director of the TSBI. “The TSBI will provide small businesses with a mechanism to self-assess which necessary competencies they have and, more importantly, which ones they lack to succeed at entrepreneurship. Simply put, the TSBI will enable a greater percentage of small businesses to succeed.”
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