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Vaughan Small Business Week 2020

Celebrating the contributions and resiliency of our small business owners and entrepreneurs

October 20 - 22, 2020

The beginning of October marks the beginning of Small Business Month, dedicated to celebrating the contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners to our local communities and economies. In Vaughan, 87% of our more than 19,000 businesses are small business.

This year, we recognize the courage, resiliency and adaptability of the small business owners and entrepreneurs who help make Vaughan a vibrant community. Vaughan Small Business Week 2020 features five events to help Vaughan’s talented entrepreneurs and small business owners have real conversations, leverage local resources and connections, and learn from industry experts to help your business grow and adapt to a changing landscape in uncertain times.

Celebrate and get connected with your local business community! Space is limited.


Calendar of Events

Tuesday, October 20

Small Business Week Launch: Fireside Chat & Virtual Networking with the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce
10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Join us as we kick-off Vaughan Small Business Week 2020 in partnership with the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce. Hear from Summer Company 2020 alumnus and inspiring local teenage entrepreneur Ananya Vishwanath, CEO of VQueues in a fireside chat with Brian Shifman, President & CEO of Vaughan Chamber of Commerce on finding opportunity during uncertain times and adapting to a changing environment as a young entrepreneur. Afterwards, build new connections in interactive virtual networking. This event will feature a virtual address from Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua.

This event is presented in partnership with the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce.

Learn more and register

Wednesday, October 21

Five Healthcare Marketing Secrets
10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Receive practical, hands-on advice that will help you attract buyers and accelerate your sales. The workshop will cover:

  • The one characteristic that must permeate all your marketing materials
  • Who you need to cultivate in order to win deals more quickly
  • The one thing healthcare buyers appreciate the most
  • What digital health has in common with a refrigerator

This workshop is presented in partnership with ventureLAB. It is also a part of programming for Activate!Vaughan Innovation Challenge

Learn more and register

How to Create Consumer Products that Sell
3 to 4 p.m.

This workshop helps innovators evaluate opportunities, build unique food business concepts and develop food products people want to buy and retailers want to carry. Exercises and concrete examples will be used to demonstrate how to create solid value propositions and identify high value market positions. This workshop will change the way food entrepreneurs, business strategists and product developers think about R&D.

This workshop is presented in partnership with Yspace and their York Region Food Accelerator. Learn more about other food and beverage programming for Vaughan entrepreneurs taking place in October.

Learn more and register

Thursday, October 22

Getting Started as a Young Entrepreneur
10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Ready to turn your business idea into a reality? Ask burning questions about how to develop your business successfully and explore services and programs available to launch your business.  Join Faaria Wali, Business Development Manager at Futurpreneur Canada as she walks you through the tools and programs offered to help aspiring young entrepreneurs (aged 18-39) turn great ideas into thriving businesses.

This workshop is presented in partnership with Futurpreneur Canada.

Learn more and register

Hiring Incentives for Employers
2 to 4 p.m.

Your company’s success is tied to your employees – get valuable insights into hiring in Vaughan and learn how to make get the most of your next hire. COSTI Vaughan Employment Services will walk local businesses through available funding that will help them to hire their next employees.

This workshop is presented in partnership with COSTI Vaughan Employment Services.

Learn more and register

 

Places to Network

Vaughan has the talent, resources, networks and transportation connections to help enterprises of all sizes scale and expand.

Start connecting with them by getting involved in these local business organizations, events and platforms:

Related Tools & Resources

Vaughan Small Business Week 2020

Celebrating the contributions and resiliency of our small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Learn More

Starter Company Plus

The Vaughan Starter Company Plus program is designed for you and your business. Receive tailored...

Learn More

Summer Company

Summer Company is a great opportunity for students between the ages of 15 and 29...

Learn More

Activate!Vaughan

Activate!Vaughan is a new innovation program that connects high-potential entrepreneurs to market-driven entrepreneurship opportunities and...

Learn More

Programming for Tech Entrepreneurs

The City of Vaughan and ventureLAB have partnered to provide enhanced services to help entrepreneurs...

Learn More

Vaughan Business Expo

The Vaughan Business Expo is our annual business-to-business event. It brings hundreds of businesses and...

Learn More

Vaughan Business Café

Have you ever had a question that you wish you could ask another entrepreneur or...

Learn More
View all resources

Starter Company Plus

The Vaughan Starter Company Plus program is designed for you and your business. Receive tailored training, mentorship and the opportunity to apply for a provincial grant of up to $5,000 to help your business grow.

The Starter Company Plus program is offered at the Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre through the support of the Government of Ontario and the City of Vaughan. Qualified applicants will receive:

  • Mentoring from successful local entrepreneurs
  • Training tailored to your specific sector
  • Advice services for business
  • Access to business workshops and valuable networking opportunities
  • Opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $5,000 in provincial funding

To receive further information about the program, please complete the Starter Company Plus eligibility survey. All eligible participants will be invited to attend training sessions on an ongoing basis.

Applications for the Starter Company Plus program Winter 2020 cohort are closed. Please check back for updates on future programming intakes.

Bonus offer: All program participants will receive 50% off two weeks of co-working space at the HUB Vaughan.

Successful grant applicants will receive a $200 credit voucher to the HUB Vaughan services.

Starter Company Success Story

Summer Company

Summer Company is a great opportunity for students between the ages of 15 and 29 who want to run their own summer business. It provides them with access to up to $3,000 in provincial funding, as well as business training, advice and mentorship to get up and running. The Summer Company Program is offered at the Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre through the support of the Government of Ontario and the City of Vaughan.

View all eligibility criteria and program requirements

The 2020 Summer Company program is now in progress. Applications for the 2021 Summer Company program will reopen early in the new year.

For more information, please visit the Ontario Summer Company webpage or fill in an information request form to begin working with a small business advisor on your business idea and application.

2020 Summer Company Students

View the 2020 Summer Company Directory

Program Alumni

View the 2019 Summer Company Directory

Activate!Vaughan

Activate!Vaughan Innovation Program

Activate!Vaughan is a new innovation program that connects high-potential entrepreneurs to market-driven entrepreneurship opportunities and mentorship from industry leaders. The City of Vaughan will deliver five Activate!Vaughan pitch challenges from 2019–2021, each focused on a specific opportunity for innovation.

Check out this recap of the Activate!Vaughan Sustainable Transformation Challenge.

Activate!Vaughan Health Innovation Challenge

Presented by the Province of Ontario and Sterling Industries

Imagine a healthcare system that anticipates individuals’ needs, improves communication between patients and care providers, and delivers as much care as possible to people in their homes, workplaces and communities. The future of healthcare is one where powerful technology will allow for parts of the hospital or clinical experience to happen beyond traditional physical spaces, improving healthcare systems for both providers and patients.

In partnership with Mackenzie Health and the Mackenzie Innovation Institute (Mi2), SE Health, Sterling Industries and ventureLAB, the Activate!Vaughan Health Innovation Challenge has called on entrepreneurs to advance a technology-enabled healthcare system by presenting solutions to four important healthcare and data challenges.

After two months of training and mentorship, five finalists have been selected to pitch their solutions to each of the four problem statements. Tune into our live broadcasts to watch these innovators pitch their solutions for the chance to win funding from a pool of $45,000!

Register to attend the live broadcasts:

Judging Panel: 

  • Dr. Aviv Gladman, CIO/CMIO, Mackenzie Health 
  • Amir Soheili, Program Director, Clinical Support Services, Mackenzie Health 
  • Kiran Govind, Director Digital Strategy and Enablement, SE Health 
  • David Van Slingerland, CEO, Sterling Industries
  • Jane Gertner, VP, Partnerships, ventureLAB 

For information regarding future Activate!Vaughan challenges, please contact ecd@vaughan.ca

Challenge Briefing

To launch the Activate!Vaughan Health Innovation Challenge, Mackenzie Health and the Mackenzie Innovation Institute (Mi2), SE Health, Sterling Industries are presenting “reverse pitches” which describe pressing healthcare challenges in need of innovative solutions.

Participating entrepreneurs will be invited to present solutions to one of four problem statements present by our program partners. To learn more about each problem statement, check out the Challenge Briefing below.

READ THE CHALLENGE BRIEFING

Program Phases

Programming for Tech Entrepreneurs

The City of Vaughan and ventureLAB have partnered to provide enhanced services to help entrepreneurs market their ideas, develop new and innovative services, and remain ahead of the competition. 

This partnership expands ventureLAB’s reach across York Region to offer better access to professional coaching, mentoring and strategic advice from an experienced growth advisor for Vaughan-based businesses.

2020 dates to be announced soon!

*Please note: To attend the Investment Readiness Clinic, you must be registered with ventureLAB and have attended an orientation session.

Vaughan logo

Vaughan Business Expo

The Vaughan Business Expo is our annual business-to-business trade show. It brings hundreds of businesses and organizations together for targeted networking and learning opportunities to help grow your business.

The 19th Annual Vaughan Business Expo will be taking place virtually on February 23, 2021. To be the first to get more information on programming and event details, subscribe below!

Subscribe

Vaughan Business Café

Have you ever had a question that you wish you could ask another entrepreneur or business leader?  

Diverse connections are at the core of innovation and company growth. This is why the City of Vaughan is excited to announce a new way that entrepreneurs, small business owners and corporate partners can connect to ask questions, share ideas and form new professional relationships.

How Does the Vaughan Business Café Work?

  • You’ll receive a monthly introduction to a fellow member based on your interests and goals.
  • Suggest a time to chat, in person, at a coffee shop or online from the comfort of your home, to share your advice and experience.
  • Once you join, all introductions are sent directly to your inbox with your match’s email, so you don’t need to use another tool!

Connect with Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs in Vaughan

  • Join the online community and get matched with business experts.
  • Find a mentor or strategic partner.
  • Become a mentor and share your expertise.
  • Engage and share ideas to help your business grow.

Register online for the Vaughan Business Café.