startSMART Program

startSMART Program

Obtain the skills to start and run a business with confidence. The investment of time and energy prior to opening your doors will more than save you time and money once you open your doors.  Research shows that the primary reason startups fail or fail to thrive, is a lack of training, experience, and knowledge on the part of the entrepreneur. startSMART provides you with the essentials you need to make informed decisions prior to opening your doors and as such, increases your chances for a sustainable future.

Full Time

  • Suitable for entrepreneurs that can commit to:
    • 12 weeks full-time training
    • Plus 26 weeks of business launch and operations
  • Minimum 30 hours/week in your business
  • 80+ modules
  • Start dates: January, April, July, and October each year

The program is intended to provide an entrepreneur with the knowledge and skills they need to start and run a business.  Some of the topics covered include:

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • Business Planning
  • Research Techniques
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Operational Strategies
  • Human Resources
  • Financial Strategy
  • Business Communication
  • Entrepreneurial Management
  • Technology Management

Training is delivered in three phases

Phase 1 – Management Training / Plan Development – 12 weeks

  • In class workshops (1 hour to 2.5 days each)
  • Research / writing time included
  • Presentation of business plan to business panel
  • Formal review and written feedback from Chartered Professional Accountant

Phase 2 – Start-Up – 14 weeks

  • Activate business plan, look for funding, start company, make sales
  • 4-6 workshops relevant to opening
  • Status update presentation to business panel

Phase 3 – Operations – 12 weeks

  • Focus on sales, operations, creating sustainable business
  • 2-4 workshops relevant to operations
  • Status update presentation to business panel

Program features / benefits

  • Use of comprehensive Praxis Proprietary Business Plan / Forecasting Tool
  • Creation of a Citrix account so you can access proprietary tools and templates easily from any computer that can access the internet
  • Progressive learning and evaluation
  • Atypical collaborative training environment
  • Entrepreneurs teaching / coaching entrepreneurs
  • Guest speakers / professionals / service providers / associations
  • Weekly / bi-weekly individual coaching sessions
  • Access to office equipment / co-working space
  • Peer coaching / support
  • Regular updates on entrepreneurial events / information
  • Networking activities
  • 24/7 access for questions
  • Practical and applied directly to your business
  • Access to other Praxis alumni
  • Access to ongoing training at alumni rates
  • Access to a local crowdfunding portal
  • Access to broad range of contacts in the business community
  • Access to our partners / collaborators
  • Access to being listed on the Praxis Alumni Directory

Distance Option

  • Suitable for entrepreneurs in remote or rural locations; working full time; or already in operation
  • 26 weeks in two phases – a minimum of 30 hours per week
  • 40+ modules
  • Continuous intake
  • Computer with internet access required.  Special accommodation can be arranged if there is no computer or internet

This program is a combination of web-based, home study supported by significant individual coaching sessions and online support.  It is intended to provide an entrepreneur with the basic knowledge and skills they need to start and run a business.  Some of the topics covered include:

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • Business Planning
  • Research Techniques
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Operational Strategies
  • Human Resources
  • Financial Strategy
  • Business Communication
  • Entrepreneurial Management
  • Technology Management

Training is delivered in two phases

Phase 1 – Business Development – 10 weeks

  • Module and task completion
  • Access to limited in person modules upon request
  • Tasks can take up to 3-4 weeks to complete (eg Market Survey)
  • Business Plan Development
  • Presentation of business plan to business panel
  • Formal review and written feedback from Chartered Professional Accountant

Phase 2 – Business Implementation – 16 weeks

  • Activate business plan, look for funding, start company, make sales
  • Status update presentation to business panel

Program features / benefits

  • Use of comprehensive Praxis Proprietary Business Plan / Forecasting Tool
  • Access to secure private cloud so you can access proprietary tools and templates easily from any computer that can access the internet
  • Progressive learning and evaluation
  • Entrepreneurs teaching / coaching entrepreneurs
  • Weekly / bi-weekly individual coaching sessions
  • Regular updates on entrepreneurial events / information
  • 24/7 access for questions
  • Practical and applied directly to your business
  • Access to other Praxis alumni
  • Access to ongoing training at alumni rates
  • Access to a local crowdfunding portal
  • Access to broad range of contacts in the business community
  • Access to our partners / collaborators
  • Access to being listed on the Praxis Alumni Directory
  • Independent review by third party Chartered Accountant

Selection Process

Not everyone is ready for the life of an entrepreneur.  To ensure that this is the best choice for applicants, we have an in-depth selection process to help determine whether this is the right time, career, or business idea.  Included:

  • Completion of an application form
  • Completion of a workplace personality tool designed to help you and us determine your suitability for the business idea you have
  • Completion of a Personal Financial profile to determine what you need for your personal needs and how it fits with the potential of the business idea
  • A 1 hour interview to review your idea and goals in more depth

At the end of the selection process, individuals will be notified officially about the status of their application.  In most cases, the outcome will have been jointly determined with the applicant.

Responsibilities of the Learner

Being an entrepreneur is a lot of work and requires a deep commitment. In order to be a sustainable business that will live up to client expectations and provide a full-time income, it is expected that they will:

  • Complete all activities as requested and on time
  • Attend workshops
  • Support each other if in group learning environment
  • Actively participate in coaching sessions and follow up on checklist activities
  • Request additional assistance if and when you require it
  • Be willing to adapt to change quickly
  • Notify us immediately if and when major events occur that may affect achievement of the goals

The Next Step