Are you on our Radar?

“Win This Space” Offers an Innovative Business Opportunity in the Village of Vanastra

Win This Space Industrial FHave you always wanted to be your own boss, to manage your own business? The Municipality of Huron East is embarking on an initiative in the spring of 2016 that will help you do just that! If you run a home-based operation or have a bright idea to market, “Win This Space” is the contest for you! As part of a revitalization project within the former RCAF/Canadian Forces Base, now the Village of Vanastra, the Municipality invites budding entrepreneurs to take part in a competition that is sure to kick-start their enterprise.

5D Mark II-Jan-Vanastra-0488_89_90-a_tonemappedThe Village of Vanastra is ideally located in southwestern Ontario, close to major highways, railway lines, large cities, airports, and seaway, less than 15 minutes away. Once the critical centre for radar instruction of Allied forces during World War II, the former Air Base has evolved into a light-industrial, highway-commercial, and residential community with paved roads, treed streets, recreation centres, and green space.

Base004Contestants entering proposals will attend Vanastra’s ”Win This Space” kick-off event, networking evenings, and three mandatory Business Builder Coaching Workshops on “How to Start a Business,” “Business Plan Development,” and “Marketing & Promotions” presented by the Huron Small Business Enterprise Centre, after which they’ll submit their business plan for consideration.

WTS Marketing WorkshopEach submission will be reviewed by a judging panel to determine the finalists, who will then be invited to the Finalé where they’ll have the opportunity to pitch their idea.

Judges deep in thoughtThe winner will be awarded the grand prize of funding for a twelve-month lease of the space for his or her new company, as well as a prize package of professional services from numerous sponsors.  Canadian citizens over age 19, from across Ontario, may submit their “Win This Space” venture propositions by June 17th at 4:00 pm to Huron East’s Economic Development Officer, Jan Hawley, PO Box 610, 72 Main Street, Seaforth, Ontario N0K 1W0 or to jhawley@huroneast.com (519.527.0160).

This could be YOU. (2015 Win This Space Finalists)

Five FinalistsIn addition to the Win This Space windfall, as part of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, Huron’s Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) is overseeing the province’s “Starter Company” programme for entrepreneurs aged 18 to 29 years, who are not attending school or returning to school. As well as training, mentorship and business skills development, applicants could be eligible for a $5,000 grant to start, purchase or expand their business.hsbec_new_logo 11-11-11 HSBEC Business Advisor Kim Postma particularly likes the fact that almost any business can qualify, as long as it includes a good plan and demonstrable income potential. HSBEC advisors will be available to help with these aspects of the programme. And Alison Lobb, HSBEC Business Consultant, reports that the significant two-pronged support consisting of financial assistance and education is integral to the start-up project—advice and mentorship can make the difference in developing a successful business.

The contact for additional Starter Company information and eligibility criteria is Kim Postma, at 519.527.0305 or kpostma@huroncounty.ca. In essence, everyone taking part in the “Space” and “Starter” initiatives will be winners—comprehensive gratis business education and networking opportunities are priceless.

VillageOfVanastra logoHarking back to the raison d’etre of Vanastra’s site, the Royal Canadian Air Force motto: ‘Per Ardua ad Astra”—“Through Adversity to the Stars,’ seems particularly appropriate to the innovative “Win This Space and Starter Company” advantages, both designed to launch local business on a successful trajectory.

3 sponsors

This project was made possible through funding from the County of Huron, Municipality of Huron East, Huron Small Business Entreprise Centre, and Huron Business Development Corporation.

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Contact:
Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer, Municipality of Huron East, Seaforth, Ontario
519.527.0160 jhawley@huroneast.com

Written for the Municipality of Huron East by Carolyn Parks Mintz, Author & Freelance Writer