According to Stats Canada’s Small Business Profile 2017, 98% of all businesses in British Columbia are small enterprises; yet over 15% of those businesses fail to make it past the first year.
Our program takes entrepreneurs through an intense series of six workshops where they learn core startup skills while working with student mentors to create a comprehensive business plan.
Over the past 10 years, the Lions’ Lair project has had a direct impact on more than 90 local entrepreneurs.
This year, Lions' Lair did something different for the first time since its inception: we revamped the Lions’ Lair program specifically tailoring it towards what small businesses need to thrive in today’s marketplace by partnering with Launch Academy, Western Canada’s leading tech startup incubator. The leaders at Launch are personally investing in our entrepreneurs.
Launch Academy provided all Lions’ Lair participants with access to its online business growth resources, a total investment of $4,500. Additionally, they will be taking two of our entrepreneurs through their incubator program, which is an added value of $6,000.
This year we had all new speakers of the highest calibre that Lions’ Lair has ever seen. We sought out some of Vancouver's top founders and industry professionals. Their expertise ranged from marketing, finance, and investor pitching, just to name a few. We also supplemented our entrepreneurs with access to $130,000 worth of professional market research databases.
With the help of 8 industry professionals and 22 student volunteers, we have dedicated over 680 action hours to this project, directly helping 10 local entrepreneurs in 2018.
An example of our success is Saboor Meherzad. He has launched Divine Natural Bars, where he makes gluten-free, vegan snack bars specifically designed for people who suffer from celiac disease or diabetes.
At the end of the Lions’ Lair, Saboor had the opportunity to pitch his newly created business strategy plan to a panel of judges, where he won first place prize of $3,000 to put towards his business.
We had the privilege to empower Saboor, and now he's directly impacting on the homeless in Vancouver by personally donating one bar for every ten sold. With current and anticipated sales of $35,000 in his first year, and $75,000 projected in the second year, this translates to 4,000 bars donated to the homeless in Vancouver just in the first two years of operations.
Want To Take Part in Lions' Lair?
Are you an entrepreneur with a great business idea but lack the skills to take your business to the next level? Perhaps you’re a small business owner struggling to make a change in your current business? If this is you, why not consider the Lions’ Lair project.