Self-Employment and Small Business
Working for yourself has great rewards. It also comes with huge challenges.
You need to be aware of, and weigh, the advantages and disadvantages of being self-employed. For example, self-employment might allow you to:
- work at home or in other settings of your choice
- set your own hours of work
- earn more money than you would working for someone else.
On the other hand, it might also involve:
- working long hours to meet deadlines or deal with problems
- working independently, without a support system of co-workers
- investing and possibly risking your own money.
See the Self-Employment: A Career Option for You? tip sheet and the Self-Employment: Is It for Me? booklet.
Starting your own business is more than having a good idea or a willingness to work long hours each day. You need good strategic information and a well thought out focus on how to build your revenue stream.
Here are current and relevant resources to make the most of your business ventures:
Resources to Help You Get Started
- Self-Employment - Rocket Fuel for Your Biz! Learn what it takes to start and operate or improve your small business.
- The Business Link Connect with entrepreneurial experts and information services to Albertans for business start-ups and expansion.
- Canadian Franchise Association Find out about franchising.
- Community Futures Explore business planning and entrepreneurship in rural Canada.
- Services for Small Business - Western Economic Diversification Canada Get help with business planning and development, and information on government programs and services through a network of business professionals.
- Alberta Women Entrepreneurs Get support from this non-profit organization that helps Alberta women start and expand their businesses.
- Agriculture Financial Services Corporation Learn about alternate sources of business financing.
Resources to Help Build Your Business
- Starting Your Business Find information on the various industry sectors in Alberta.
- Tech Futures Gain a competitive edge through research about agriculture, biotechnology, energy, environment, forestry, information technology and manufacturing.
- Alberta Venture Magazine Online Access this monthly provincial magazine for entrepreneurs and business-minded people.
- Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Learn about innovative financial and consultation services for Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses.
- Better Business Bureau of Central and Northern Alberta Learn about membership and fostering ethical relationships between businesses and the public in Northern and Central Alberta.
- Better Business Bureau of Southern Alberta Learn about membership and fostering ethical relationships between businesses and the public in Southern Alberta.
- Canada Business Network Access federal government resources for entrepreneurs.
- Small Business Week Find information about this annual event to help further your business and entrepreneurial activities.
- Alberta Purchasing Connection Access purchasing opportunities (goods, services and construction) that have been posted by the Government of Alberta, the Province of Alberta's municipalities, academic institutions, school boards and health regions.
- Industry Canada Find Canadian business information at this comprehensive federal government website.
- MERX Register with this centralized electronic tendering service that connects over 50,000 businesses and government purchasers in Canada.
- Writing a Proposal Writing a proposal may be required to get those lucrative contracts.
Resources for Youth
- Alberta Youth Entrepreneurship Camp (AYEC) Learn about business and entrepreneurship at this week-long camp for youth ages 13-15.
- Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) Access this foundation's mentoring, financing and business resources for young Canadians, age 18-34, to create their own successful businesses.
- Junior Achievement of Canada (JACAN) Find out about business programs for elementary, junior high and secondary schools plus awards and scholarships for youth.
- Shad Valley Check out these four-week summer enrichment camps at university campuses which focus on the sciences, technology, and entrepreneurship. (For students currently completing grade 10, 11 or 12.)
- The ManCap Foundation Learn about entrepreneurship, leadership development and education in Alberta, and education grants for aspiring entrepreneurs.
- Aboriginal Business Canada (ABC) Find out about funding for Aboriginal entrepreneurs aged 18-35 through Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
- Enactus Canada Find out about this program which teaches and inspires post-secondary students to create brighter futures for themselves and their communities, and conducts national student entrepreneur competitions.
- Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA) Get information on this program which recognize one bright young entrepreneur in each province every year. (Sponsored by the Government of Canada in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada.)
Resources for Persons With Disabilities
- Opportunities Fund for Persons With Disabilities Check out this program which helps persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment and self-employment.
- Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program Find out about this program which provides services to entrepreneurs with disabilities who live in western Canadian communities and who are seeking to start up or expand a small or medium-sized business.
- Persons with Disabilities —See this overview of resources and information on careers, learning and work for persons with disabilities.