Sandwich Business Development Program
Partners: Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre, A Division of Invest WindsorEssex, Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator
The Sandwich Business Development Program is a five-year program that offers a suite of free business acceleration and development activities for entrepreneurs and businesses currently located or interested in business opportunities in the Sandwich/west Windsor community, as well as two business summits in 2020 and 2023. The program represents a $500,000 investment by the Community Benefits Plan.
2020 Sandwich Business Development Summit
The first Sandwich Business Development Summit took place on Tuesday October 27, 2020. This event was directed towards businesses in Sandwich/west Windsor and Windsor-based entrepreneurs to learn more about leveraging the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge for business opportunities.
The 2020 Sandwich Summit Resource Guide was created to provide event attendees and other local businesses with detailed information about the program supports that will be offered through the Sandwich Business Development Program and how to register. The resource guide also includes information about the Gordie Howe International Bridge, the Community Benefits Plan for the project, Sandwich Street Reconstruction and additional business resources that may be of interest to Windsor-based entrepreneurs.
A second Sandwich Business Development Summit will occur in 2023.
Business Support Programming (2020-2024)
Following the 2020 Sandwich Business Development Summit, delivery partners launched their business support programming which will continue until 2024
- Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre, A Division of Invest WindsorEssex will receive $50,000 annually for five years, totalling $250,000, to provide business advisory services, host business development workshops and implement a Digital Main Street program for the Sandwich Area.
The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre will expand services to Sandwich Town, which will include:
- Ensuring the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre’s business and entrepreneurship services are readily available to help existing business owners and future entrepreneurs
- Inspiring and fostering community and entrepreneurship opportunities
- Providing community engagement and entrepreneurship education and awareness
- Performing consultations and assessments with business owners to identify needs and tailored solutions.
In November 2020, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre will launch:
- The Digital Service Squad (Digital Main Street Program) to blitz the main streets and set-up meetings with business owners, provide digital assessments and tools and solutions for implementation
- Assistance to businesses to set up websites, including e-commerce, social media accounts and content creation
- Targeted hands-on learning workshops directed to early-stage and established businesses on key topics such as sales/marketing, digital technology and finance.
- The Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator will receive $20,000 annually for five years, totalling $100,000, to host workshops, provide business coaching and host events targeted to engage women-owned businesses. Programming will include:
Business Development and Discovery Workshops
The Accelerator will host workshops for business development and discovery, for both established businesses in Sandwich Town and for individuals who want to start a business in the area. Workshops will emphasize the economic opportunity that the construction of the bridge will provide. After the workshops, wrap-around service will be provided by the Accelerator to deliver business coaching and business development to evolve ideas from the workshops into actionable plans. Desk space and other tangible services will be provided to participants who progress through the program achieving certain milestones.
Women-led Business Development and Discovery Workshops
The Accelerator will provide programming for women interested in starting a business in the Sandwich community. The project will leverage the audience and network that The Accelerator has developed over the past seven years through the Windsor Women Accelerate (WWA) Networking Programs, coupled with marketing efforts to reach new participants in this demographic. To lead this project, The Accelerator has engaged a group of six women entrepreneurs that are part of the Accelerator. This team has developed a series of workshops and events for women interested in starting or growing a business in Sandwich Town. Desk space and other tangible services will be provided to participants who progress through the program achieving certain milestones.
Further information about the programming and how to participate is available at downtownaccelerator.com or by contacting taylor [at] downtownaccelerator.com.