Business owners and start-up prospectors have a wealth of training tools at their disposal thanks to Community Futures and its 13 offices scattered throughout the province. Through a cooperative agreement, agencies like Sagehill Community Futures in Bruno and Sunrise Community Futures with its main office in Weyburn independently develop programs for use by their clients and share them throughout the system for province-wide availability.
“Instead of all of us incurring costs to put on similar or the same learning opportunities for our clients, we decided to collaborate to bring an even higher calibre of learning for the businesses and entrepreneurs that we work with,” says Andria Brady, general manager of Community Futures Sunrise.”
One such set of programs is the Communtiy Futures Business Training Initiative, spearheaded by Sunrise Community Futures. Funding from the Rural Opportunities Fund allows the organization to provide three years of virtual training in what’s called the CF Webinar Series.
Community Futures is just wrapping up its first year of virtual sessions, and it’s entering the second go-round with a stable of strong business-oriented offerings. Sessions running through 2025 have already been planned and are being marketed, says Brady.
Each of the sessions is a stand-alone topic that business owners can select according to individual needs. One such example is the upcoming “Transitioning to Retirement” session, geared for those who may be looking to exit their business.
“As we all know in business and in non-profits, volunteer recruitment is always a stressor, so we’ve got a session coming up at the beginning of March about volunteer recruitment. Of course, artificial intelligence is always a hot topic now, and on March 14, we’ve got on unlocking the possibilities with AI.”
At the end of March, a session on community economic development is sure to appeal to a wide audience. Sessions like this one appeal not only to businesses, but also to civic leaders, municipalities, non-profit organizations and economic development leaders. The sessions are all led by Saskatchewan business owners and field experts in each discipline.
“Across the province we work closely with our Chambers of Commerce, and many of our offices, including ours in Weyburn, share physical space with the Chambers since we do work with many of the same clientele. There are overlapping interests in supporting our businesses.”
Best of all, the sessions are free through the Community Futures offices or through the provincial site at cfsask.ca. To look at the full catalogue of training offered and register for sessions, interested parties in the Sagehill CF region can head to cfsask.ca/sagehill or call the office at (306) 369-2610 for more details.