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Investing in your business is the surest possible way to stay competitive and flexible, especially during times of economic instability or transition. Successful business owners know that they must always look to the future, whether it’s by training staff in the latest technology, improving or expanding facilities, or exploring new markets. Community Futures understands the need to assess possibilities and embrace new ideas – and we can help you capitalize on your strength and experience.

Useful links

Tips and Tools

  • Business Plan Template
  • Management Consultant in a Box
  • Industry Canada SME
    Benchmarking Tool
  • Calculators
  • Why Businesses Succeed
  • What does Community Futures Look for in a Business Plan?
  • Productivity Alberta’s Productivity Assessment Tool: The web-based Productivity Assessment Tool will help you identify the areas in which your manufacturing or processing company is performing well and highlight important areas for improvement. Following the assessment, you’ll have a clearer picture of your productivity strengths and weaknesses relative to others in your industry. Then, with the help of Productivity Alberta, you’ll be connected to specific tools and services such as on-site process improvement assessments, value stream mapping, Lean 101 seminars, and process improvement implementation.
  • Alberta Agricultural Business Consultants: This organization provides one-on-one client consultations to review your agricultural/food processing business as well as business assessments and annual reviews. Ask them about their Ag Business Analyzer (ABA) – an excellent tool for getting a handle on your business finances.

COMMUNITY FUTURES PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

  • Loans: Ask your Community Futures office about the BizBuyout, GrowBiz, TrailBlazer, and FlexLine loan products..
    • BizBuyout offers loans to assist with the purchase of an existing and successful rural business
    • GrowBiz provides financing to help you expand or update your existing business – whether by expanding into new markets, responding to increased demand, or updating technology or processes
    • TrailBlazer can provide financing for investments in technology or training to help you grow your business
    • FlexLine offers flexible lines of credit from $5,000 to $50,000 – giving you a fast, convenient and affordable way to access funds
  • GoForth Education for Entrepreneurs: This comprehensive training program teaches you the 100 essential skills necessary for running a successful business. Training is delivered through streaming web video, so you can learn when you want to. Contact your Community Futures office to get $25 off the cost of GoForth training!
  • Business Counselling and Advice: Ask your Community Futures office about their business counselling and business plan assistance services. These services are typically free of charge for the first 4 hours.

Our history

In 1985, Community Futures was launched as part of the Canada Jobs Strategy. Community Futures remains a national program with overall program aim to:

  • Support to local rural communities and small and medium-sized enterprises in meeting their economic needs
  • Help to rural communities to develop and implement long-term community strategic plans leading to the sustainable development of their local economies
  • Provide support for the building of community capacity as a means of helping rural adapt to and manage change

The aim of the Community Futures program in Western Canada is to:

  • Support Community Economic Development (CED)
  • Diversify the economy
  • Support the creation and expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Maintain and create new employment
  • Maintain Canada’s capacity to deliver business services to rural communities in Western Canada.

In 1995, the responsibility for Community Futures was transferred to Western Economic Diversification Canada(WD). With core funding assistance provided by WD, the Community Futures program is delivered through a network of 90 non-profit Community Futures organizations:

  • 34 in B.C.
  • 27 in Alberta
  • 13 in Saskatchewan
  • 16 in Manitoba

These are supported by four provincial associations, including the Community Futures Network of Alberta (CFNA). These associations, and the 90 Community Futures offices they represent, work in partnership through the Community Futures Pan West organization.

The history of the CFNA stretches back to 1994, when the province’s Community Futures organization decided to form a provincial association that would speak with a single voice and create opportunities through a common network. Since then CFNA has evolved into an incorporated not-for-profit that advocates on behalf of its membership and provides a wide range of member programs and services.