Why SMARTstart?

Small business plays a very important role in our local economy. In most Canadian cities, 99% of businesses are small businesses.  But, the reality is, running a business can be tough. Studies show only 35% of new businesses survive in the first five years.

That’s where the SMARTstart program can play an important role

It’s proven. Business owners with education in entrepreneurship, or previous entrepreneur experience, have an 80–90% chance of success with a new start up business.

Through online learning, in-person seminars and mentorship, SMARTstart gives Entrepreneurs with an idea and new business owners the tools to help build a plan to set up their business up for success.

Build Your Community

SMARTstart not only is a training program – it is a community builder. Creating a community that supports entrepreneurs leads to new businesses starting and expanding – a key part of your business sector growth. Studies have shown that small business is the driver for the economy. For every 100 jobs created in the private sector…

  • 55 jobs will be created by the expansion of existing local businesses
  • 44 jobs will be created by new start-up companies
  • 1 new job will be created by a greenfield corporate relocation

SMARTstart is a big commitment – with big rewards! However, you will not be alone, the SMARTstart program manager will support and guide you along the way. Early bird registration is on now! $250 until July 15th, $300 until August 31st, and $350 until applications close on September 25th!

 Want to apply for SMARTstart as a mentor or entrepreneur? Click here!


Volunteer for the 2022 SMARTstart Program!

We are looking for individuals with a passion for helping small businesses and are willing to set aside up to 8 hours a month for the 8-month duration of the SMARTstart program. 

If you would like to apply to volunteer please email [email protected] 


Contact Us

14 McRae Street
PO Box 1599
Okotoks, AB  T1S 1B5
P: 403-995-4151


Communities Served

Aldersyde, Blackie, Carmangay, Cayley, De Winton, Diamond Valley, Foothills County, High River, Kananaskis Improvement District, Lomond, Longview, MD of Willow Creek, Millarville, Milo, Mossleigh, Nanton, Okotoks, Priddis, Vulcan, and Vulcan County.