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New businesses can get a leg up through SMARTstart Entrepreneurial and Mentorship Program

New businesses can get a leg up through SMARTstart Entrepreneurial and Mentorship Program

Press Release

StartUp Leduc Wetaskiwin Regions launches second year of program

January 16, 2022  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : The StartUp Leduc Wetaskiwin Regions Initiative is a business support initiative through the Leduc, Nisku & Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce funded through municipal partners including the City of Leduc, Leduc County, City of Wetaskiwin and JEDI. One component of the initiative includes a training program called SMARTstart which is for entrepreneurs and new business owners in the Leduc and Wetaskiwin regions within the idea phase or first 3 years of business. This program was developed to address small business start-up needs in our growing communities and increase the chances of the business’ success rate.   

“Last year, being our first year running the program, we had incredibly positive feedback from participants, mentors, partners, sponsors, and session facilitators. The program is a customized business course that helps develop real life business skills and foundations needed to start or run a business. Every element of the program builds on helping entrepreneurs to create a business feasibility study, business plan or strategic plan.” 

 - StartUp Director, Amber Cook 


“Small businesses drive the economy, so we want to do everything we can to help new entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed and the SMARTstart Program is an example of this. Participants also get a free one-year Chamber membership and access to the Leduc StartUp Centre inside The Light House Cowork space.” - Jennifer Garries, CEO, Leduc, Nisku & Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce 


Up to 15 applicants will be accepted into the program and applications are being accepted until the deadline of January 22, 2023, with the 8-month program launching in February. Participants can expect to allocate approximately 2-3 hours per week to working on the program. The program includes partnering participants with a local business mentor, 13 live workshop/seminars, peer to peer networking sessions, access to online training modules, and support with business planning tools. 


The SMARTstart program has been running in communities across Alberta for 10 years and over 100 people have graduated from the program. SMARTstart is proven to increase business success rates: 

         17% of participants have started new businesses, 

         22% have had business continue successfully, and 

         28% of participants have expanded their businesses.  


More Information on this initiative and how to apply is available online at The cost for businesses to register for the program is just $350. 


Experienced business owners who want to give back to new entrepreneurs can also apply to become a SMARTstart mentor. For more information, contact StartUp Director Amber Cook at

 Media inquiries may be directed to: 

Amber Cook, Director 

StartUp Leduc and Wetaskiwin Regions Initiative  


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