Supporting Business Growth and Entrepreneurship in Oakville

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Oakville, Ontario is one of the best places in Canada in which to live. The town’s unparalleled quality of life and proximity to Toronto has attracted a community of highly educated, highly-skilled, and highly creative residents.

This concentration of talent has resulted in a rapidly growing community of entrepreneurs and small business startups. Companies spanning from digital media and gaming, to innovation in life sciences continue to emerge and grow.

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Ecosystem of Opportunity

Oakville boasts an extensive ecosystem of agencies, programs and flexible work spaces to support small businesses at every stage of growth.

Ace Coworking and Alternawork are Oakville’s newest co-working spaces offering benefits beyond square-footage, providing entrepreneurs with the opportunity to collaborate, connect and share ideas with like-minded individuals.

Silicon Halton, a local grassroots organization, supports the regional tech community with networking, programming and events. The Tech Under 20 Program is geared towards students aged 15 – 20 years with an interest in engineering, coding, graphic design, technology and marketing, supporting the next generation of business leaders.

Opportunities can be found around every corner in the community. Government offices provide connections to funding and business coaching. Sheridan College, internationally recognized as the Harvard of animation, offers quality education to the business leaders of tomorrow. Public spaces like the Oakville Public Library Creation Zone offer a tech-focused approach to community learning.

RedBit Development Finds Room to Grow in Oakville

Mark Arteaga, a long-time Oakville resident and Silicon Halton community member, began RedBit Development in 2003 as an independent consultant.

Through software consulting and design, RedBit helps companies reach new audiences, drive revenue channels and increase brand awareness.

RedBit’s success skyrocketed early on, and a small staff team was brought onboard to meet demand. Initially working from home in the early stages of business, Mark found himself in need of physical office space to consolidate operations.

Arteaga narrowed in on Apple Suites on Third Line. Its location on the Lakeshore West GO line meant convenient transit connections for staff, access to local talent, and an important work-life balance for Mark, with offices located just minutes from home.

With clients across Canada and the United States like Microsoft, Bell Media, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, RedBit continues to experience exponential growth. Recently, the company expanded operations into the newly opened Alternawork space, located on South Service Road. The company has scaled to 1,500 square-feet of office space in a brand new facility, providing RedBit with the same proximity to transit connections, flexibility and opportunity for continued growth.

 

Little by Little IC Finds Success with the Halton Region Small Business Centre

In April 2017, the Halton Region Small Business Centre launched its Starter Company Plus program designed to assist Canadian entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into reality. Starter Company Plus provides participants with training and mentoring from top business consultants, along with advice from a panel of experienced professionals. After carefully considering 10 finalists for the program’s $4,500 grant, eight were selected to receive funding.

One of the eight finalists was Sarah Janson, founder of Little by Little IC. Janson’s desire to advocate for the importance of ethical and compassionate living gave rise to Little by Little IC. The company is a testament of the journey Janson undertook to integrate mindful lifestyle choices in her own life and the lives of others. The ‘IC’ represents Janson’s quest to ‘I’nspire ‘C’ompassion with her line of cruelty-free apparel.

The Halton Region Small Business Centre helped provide the tools and resources needed to begin my entrepreneurial journey,” says Janson. “Although I had a multitude of expertise, I quickly discovered a learning curve was ahead, and that running a business is very different than running a department.”

Little by Little IC pays it forward by providing business support to new and growing plant-based businesses, as well as those who are dedicated to promoting animal welfare. With every purchase from Janson’s statement-driven line of compassionate apparel, eight per cent of the proceeds are given back to animal advocacy and rescue organizations.

“The Halton Region Small Business Centre provided access to knowledgeable staff and professional mentors, guidance through the startup process, and the opportunity to participate in the Starter Company Plus program.” says Janson.

Read the full Perspective Oakville Fall 2017 feature here.