2017 was another fantastic year at Square One.
2017 was another fantastic year at Square One. We secured another 3 years of funding from Western Economic Diversification and increased our partnership with Economic Development Regina to have a full time person available to assist clients in Regina. We launched a new website, the Business Growth Tools luncheon series and created a webinar version of our Start at Square One Seminar so everyone in the province has access to the education on how to start a business. Increasing our presence across the province was a key goal in 2017, and as a result of our efforts, we assisted clients from over 142 Saskatchewan towns and cities.
The importance of entrepreneurship and small businesses continues to remain high. Over 99% of businesses in Saskatchewan are small business and these businesses contributed 31% of Saskatchewan’s GDP in 2016, according to the Saskatchewan Small Business Profile 2017. Access to information and support for these businesses is so important and the stats greatly support the work we do at Square One.
The staff at Square One has been busy helping clients with the first steps of starting and growing their businesses. In 2017, we had inquiries from over 4000 clients, many coming back multiple times for assistance. We couldn’t do what we do without dedicated and passionate people working with us and I want to take this opportunity to recognize Anne, Shenuka, Yang, Jasmine, Julia and Kara for all that they do. Thank you!
We often get asked who our target market is. We pride ourselves on being the one organization in Saskatchewan that serves all demographics. We partner with high schools and post-secondary institutes, newcomer centres and Indigenous organizations, banks and credit unions, for profits and not for profits. In 2017, we held 377 meetings with partner organizations and businesses. Everyone is a potential client and working together to ensure that potential business owners have access to our services is always at the forefront of what we do.
In the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “What is not started will never get finished”. Let’s make 2018 your year. Start at Square One to make that happen.
Director, Programs & Operations