South Simcoe Community Start Up is a group designed for local entrepreneurs and recently recognized at Innisfil Town Council on Jan. 30.
The group was formed back in 2017 by Alcona resident, Joy A. Adams, who is an entrepreneur herself with Covenant Wealth Financial Services.
“I think I was always an entrepreneur,” explained Adams.
“I just knew that I wanted to create, I knew I wanted to start a business, I wanted to control my destiny,” she explained on her venture into business ownership.
She moved to the area in 2012 from Toronto, and over the years started taking note of the many businesses in the community closing up shop.
“Every morning I used to just walk along Innisfil Beach Road to the beach and just realized there was a lot of high turnover of businesses,” she explained.
She added, “I know as an entrepreneur you put your time, energy, resources into starting a business, so it’s really sad when a business has to close.”
She described it as “heartbreaking” and wanted to do something to help business owners in the community.
While living in Toronto, Adams was part of a business startup group that helped one another in terms of support of resources.
“I saw the difference these communities would make in terms of the success rate of new businesses,” she explained and decided to bring the same idea to Innisfil and the surrounding area.
“I basically customized it so it suited the needs of the entrepreneurs here,” she explained.
Adams noted there are a lot of business networking groups in Simcoe County already, but that is not what the startup community is.
“Networking is part of what we do, but it’s not what we are, it’s a community for entrepreneurs, and it’s really connecting entrepreneurs to resources.”
South Simcoe Start Up is a registered non-profit organization, and was recently recognized at The Town of Innisfil’s council meeting on Jan. 30.
Last year the town sponsored five of the group’s events like Tackling Your Taxes and Meaningful Management, held at Innisfil Town Hall and ideaLab and Library.
“For me, the most important thing was the coming together of a community, where we were seeing genuine, authentic friendships,” she described of the events.
“One of the things that I try to drive home is, our potential customer might not necessarily be people within our community, but once you are able to cultivate key relationships, these individuals will be your advocates.”
“We are entrepreneurial led, we are a community that provides support for entrepreneurs, we connect them to the resources that they need to launch, to grow and scale out their businesses,” she explained.
The group also provides peer on peer mentorship.
The group hosts weekly meetups called ‘Power Thursdays’ as a way to bring entrepreneurs together to collaborate, partner and provide support on a peer on peer level. Adams noted how they are "very effective" for the members.
“We’ve seen entrepreneurs from different professions, businesses and markets collaborating,” she added. “We also provide inspiration,” she said.
For 2020, Adams said the theme for the group is to focus on business scalability. “How do you generate more revenues, without increasing your overhead?” Adams said.
So far, South Simcoe Community Start Up has over 500 members on Facebook, with a goal of reaching 1,000 by the end of the year.
To learn more about them and to check out their upcoming meetups and events, click here https://www.facebook.com/southsimcoecommunitystartup/.
The group will be meeting this Thursday Feb. 20 in both Bradford and Innisfil as part of their ‘Power Thursday’ events.
Innisfil: Innisfil Library from 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Bradford: Caldense Bakery from 10-11:30 a.m.