Succession Planning

All upcoming sessions, etc. will be posted on both of the above pages

This project was put in place to address the lack of resources for business owners who would like to transition out of their businesses. It is a collaboration of 8 Community Futures offices, covering most of Southern Alberta (with the exception of the Brooks, Taber, and the Medicine Hat regions and the City of Calgary). Our respective service regions are seeing an increasing number of businesses close as the entrepreneurs are preparing for retirement or are moving on to other endeavours. In order to keep these businesses operating in the affected communities, we decided to assist these entrepreneurs in preparing for this move and to ideally get their businesses to a stage where they are an attractive sales prospect for potential buyers. Our Succession Planning project offers a large variety of workshops as well as access to a business buy/sell site. We are working with three vendors on this project, each with their own area of expertise:

• The Alberta Business Family Institute (ABFI). Focused on family transitions – what does it take to let the next generation take on the business, what needs to be put in place to make the transition successful, what are pitfalls too watch out for and strategies to ensure a smooth transition. ABFI will be offering an 8-week Masterclass starting in September, to assist entrepreneurial families in planning for this transition. Registration is open at:

• Commercial Ventures (CV) – a company that specializes in Small Business Exit Planning and Transaction Services. Focused on educating entrepreneurs about the steps that are necessary to successfully sell your business on the general market. CV will be offering a 7 week Masterclass starting in September (and another one starting in October), running once every two weeks, that will get entrepreneurs started on their formal Succession Plan. Registration is open at:

• (SXMN) – a company that has created a confidential online platform for commercial sellers and buyers. Participants who are ready to sell (or buy), can approach the Community Futures office in their respective region for a coupon (this is the only item that we are charging for: $25), that will give them access to the SXMN site for 3 years (usually a cost of $2,000). SXMN will also be offering some standalone workshops on succession planning, including a well-reviewed workshop for Not-for-Profit Organizations. Registration for the upcoming Not-for-Profit Succession Planning workshop is open at:



Building Business Resiliency

LinkedIn Page:
Community Futures Highwood Facebook page:

All upcoming sessions, etc. will be posted on both of the above pages

This project was created to address the challenges a number of entrepreneurs find themselves in following the shut down during COVID-19 and the very changed business landscape. It is a collaboration of 3 Community Futures (CF) offices, CF Alberta Southwest, covering the Fort MacLeod, Pincher Creek, Cardston, and Claresholm regions, CF Crowsnest Pass, covering Crowsnest Pass and Blairmore regions and CF Highwood, covering the Foothills County, Vulcan County and northern part of the MD of Willowcreek area. Once again we want to ensure that rural entrepreneurs have the resources available to assist them with the changes that are required to keep their businesses running and ensure a successful operation. We have recruited 4 business coaches for this project and will provide 3 types of resources/services:

• Group Coaching sessions, with the first session on Personal Resilience taking place on Aug 26:

• One-on-one coaching sessions with one of the participating coaches with up to 15 hours/business

• Educational Sessions (3 sessions in three weeks) with a variety of topics and presenters, including topics such as Finance, HR, and more. The first session on Finance will start on September 8th.


SMARTstart Okotoks


1. Online learning via GoForth Institute

100 Essential Business Skills™ program
Modules to complete on your own time
Short video lessons – plus downloadable e-book, worksheets and quizzes
2. Seminars

In-person small group sessions
11 sessions (1.5 hours each), alternating between lunch & evening sessions to accommodate work and personal schedules
Topics include financing, marketing, taxation, networking and more
Delivered by local experts
Plus 2-3 interactive Peer-to-Peer sessions to share ideas with fellow participants and mentors in an informal setting
3. Mentoring

Each entrepreneur is paired with an experienced local business owner (Volunteer mentor)
Mentors share their experiences and effective small business management practices
Mentors provide guidance to entrepreneurs as they develop their plan
Learn more about being a mentor.

Plan Creation
Having a plan is what SMARTstart is all about.

Each entrepreneur walks away from SMARTstart with a plan they have created to set their business up for success.

One of three plan are completed: a business plan, feasibility study or strategic plan
Mentors and program organizers provide tools and support
The creation of a plan is foundational to SMARTstart. It is expected all participants complete or update a plan by the end of the program.

? Top

Get in Touch

Community Futures Highwood
14 McRae Street
PO Box 1599
Okotoks, AB T1S 1B5


Our newsletter

Submit your email address to receive periodic updates.

Message Us

Communities Served

Black Diamond, 
De Winton, 
High River, 
Turner Valley, 


Facebook icon
Twitter icon
Google icon
Pinterest icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon