Thursday, March 10, 2016

The International Ave BRZ partners with CIES to run Entrepreneurial Focus Group

Working in partnership with The International Avenue BRZ, CIES recently conducted a survey of our higher level clientèle regarding entrepreneurial  home business ideas. From that survey CIES established a focus group for International Ave's BRZ.  With focus groups being used more and more often in health and human services research, the purpose was not to achieve consensus but instead to gather information that focuses on priorities.

In this project, both questionnaires and focus group discussions are being used. The reason for using both of these tools is that more in-depth information can be drawn from a smaller group of people. This allows for an understanding of the context behind the answers given in the written survey and helps to explore topics in more detail.

Participants, some with home business ideas, some who have already started a small business of their own, were asked to imagine that they were part of a committee of people designing courses for new Canadians who want to open a business and then directed questions like the one's below. 
  • What are the factors that you will make sure the committee considers in creating these courses? What are the things that you are sure would attract people like you to these courses?
  • Remember, these can be in many areas: the curriculum, the course length, the time of day it’s offered, the teaching style, the course materials, whether the course is offered online or anything else you can think of. 
  • What type of course do you think people like you are most interested in: those that lead to some sort of certificate, or those that can be taken to gain specific skills? What are the upsides and downsides of each type of course?
  • What topics would be important? This can be a wide range of services- business orientation, advising, assistance with access to financial capital, marketing, helping to navigate the rules here.
  • What influences you in your decision to start a business here? If you can list one factor most important to you what would that be?
  • If you could have one thing to help you realize your business dream what would that look like?What are some obstacles or reasons why you might be hesitant to start a business here?
  • Are there any services available to you now that you know of to help you start a business here?
In the end, interesting ideas and concerns were shared and the entrepreneurial spirit was well presented. As always, we are happy to work with International Ave's BRZ in working towards their goal of promoting, improving and creating a more pleasant community in which to shop and live here in Forest Lawn. For more pictures of the event CLICK HERE. Next up and coming soon... Earth Day!

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