Central Alberta entrepreneur program shuts its doors

Central Alberta entrepreneur program shuts its doors

Provincial funding ends

A program that assists central Alberta entrepreneurs will come to an end on March 31.

Provincial funding for Catapult Entrepreneurs, which has operated out of the Red Deer Downtown Business Association, will end after three years.

“Catapult was specifically designed to help entrepreneurs in that very, very early start-up stage. There’s nothing working with entrepreneurs at that stage,” said association executive director Amanda Gould.

“We’re sad to see it go. It was a great program.”

Most of the 54 program clients spent 12 to 18 months in the program, and 38 clients are still in business.

She said Catapult assisted people who had business ideas, but didn’t know what to do next. Originally, funding was available to participants for tasks such as marketing. When that funding ended, they were still able to access training and coaching.

More than 500 training and 700 coaching sessions were held during the three years.


Entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Hockey and fashion entrepreneurs win big at RDC’s Breakthrough Your Business competition

Catapult coach and trainer Danielle Klooster said while not all of the clients developed businesses, there were some really good results.

“A lot of good came out of it. There are businesses in existence today that are growing, and hiring employees, and we feel very proud and privileged to have been a part of that,” Klooster said.

She said the initiative started as a two-year pilot program under the provincial NDP government. Support was extended for another year by the NDP prior to the election, and the UCP government chose not to provide any more funding.

She said Catapult came to the community at a critical time during the economic slowdown.

“It was recognized the need to diversify the economy, and entrepreneurship, is the path to economic diversification.”

Klooster said supporting early-stage entrepreneurs would be a sensible road to continue down, as Alberta faces a bigger economic slowdown with no end in sight.

Gould said central Albertans will now have to look outside of the region for help. The downtown business association has no plans right now to develop a similar program.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rylee Trippel was last seen Friday. (Photo contributed by RCMP)
Red Deer RCMP looking for missing teen

Police are looking for a teen who was last seen in the… Continue reading

The Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Adopt a Family program raised $60,000 in 2020. (Photo courtesy Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Facebook)
Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Adopt a Family program raised $60K in 2020

The executive director of the Red Deer Outreach Centre says she is… Continue reading

The Red Deer and District Community Foundation needs to sell more tickets to host a raffle that will benefit the Women and Girls Endowment Fund.
Red Deer & District Community Foundation grants $167K to local women’s initiatives

Initiatives supporting women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse individuals will receive a combined… Continue reading

City of Red Deer says its roundabouts have sharply reduced the number of injury collisions at a pair of busy intersections. Alberta Transportation wants to incorporate five roundabouts into plans to twin Highway 11 from Sylvan Lake to Rocky Mountain House. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Highway 11 roundabouts will increase safety based on Red Deer’s experience

Injury collisions sharply reduced at roundabout intersections in city

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

Alberta reported an additional 643 COVID-19 cases Friday. The province now has… Continue reading

Former Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes hands with Joel Ward, former Red Deer College President and CEO, as Notley announces that the college is on the path to grant degrees. Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan says university status is not a necessary condition for offering degrees. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Future of Red Deer University increasingly uncertain

MLA’s college update says RDC more like SAIT and NAIT than a university

Quebec Premier Francois Legault pauses as he speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Non-essential travel ban would violate Constitution but courts might allow it: expert

MONTREAL — Fear that Quebecers will catch a new variant of COVID-19… Continue reading

A woman walks outside the Roberta Place Long Term Care home in Barrie, Ont. on Monday, January 18, 2021. The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in Canada has underscored the need for increased public funding for home care, advocates say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
COVID-19 deaths in long-term care reveal need for home supports: advocates

VANCOUVER — The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in… Continue reading

A Chinese flag is illuminated by sunshine in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, September 22, 2016. China is threatening retaliation against Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned a new security law giving Beijing more control over Hong Kong.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Diplomats contact Canadian held for over 2 years in China

BEIJING — Canadian officials have met online with former diplomat Michael Kovrig,… Continue reading

Marc Gold (centre) stands with senators André Pratte (left) and Peter Harder before being sworn in during a ceremony in the Senate on Parliament Hill, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Senator urges study of vexing barriers to using secret information in court cases

OTTAWA — A Senate committee should examine the hurdles that make it… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg ticket holder wins Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — A ticket holder from Winnipeg won Friday night’s whopping $60… Continue reading

A readers suggests using a hairdryer to open a tight jar lid. (Photo by The Associated Press)
Hints from Heloise: The handy hairdryer hint

Dear Heloise: Whenever you have trouble opening a tight jar lid, set… Continue reading

Professional-quality tools don’t just last longer, they’re also more comfortable and better balanced. This drill and impact driver are perfectly balanced on the triggers, which is ideal. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: In praise of professional-grade tools

When I was 10 years old, my dad began renovating our kitchen,… Continue reading

There are two confirmed COVID-19 cases at Red Deer College. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
Central Albertans were promised a university

Central Albertans were promised a university

Most Read