City of Barrie and Georgian College make connections for entrepreneurs
October 08, 2014

Student David Kantanka (centre) shows Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman and Georgian President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes the new Barrie Entrepreneurs Connect portal. The initiative helps local entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.

Student David Kantanka (centre) shows Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman and Georgian President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes the new Barrie Entrepreneurs Connect portal. The initiative helps local entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.

The City of Barrie and Georgian College have teamed up to launch Barrie Entrepreneurs Connect (BEC), an initiative to help local entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. A new web portal was unveiled this evening to more than 100 aspiring entrepreneurs attending Startup Weekend at Georgian College’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre.

“We have so many bright and talented people in our community who have amazing ideas, but are either unaware or unable to access the resources to turn their ideas into action,” says City of Barrie CAO Carla Ladd. “BEC is about pooling resources in one placeand providing better access to beneficial information. We want to nurture business and make sure our entrepreneurs get everything they need to succeed. We’re excited about partnering with Georgian College to create a one-stop portal to allow entrepreneurs to connect in our community.”

“Georgian is proud to collaborate with the City of Barrie on this initiative,” says Georgian College President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes. “We’re committed to being an active agent of growth for our students, and also for the communities we serve. Georgian’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre offers training, coaching and mentorship that is driving innovation and helping to accelerate our students’ success as well as the success of local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. The new portal will be an important resource and collaborative tool in this effort.”

BEC puts its focus on four key areas:

  • Entrepreneurial education and training
  • Networking
  • Funding
  • Mentorship

BEC was created to help entrepreneurs get to their objectives faster and with fewer obstacles than they would on their own. The City of Barrie’s Invest Barrie Department and The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre at Georgian College have collaborated to bring entrepreneurs top-of-the-line access to resources that will enable them to create new businesses as well as grow and drive their existing businesses forward. BEC has created a website for aspiring and accomplished entrepreneurs to access required information as well as networking opportunities.