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Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge

The Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge is more than a competition; it is an opportunity to build on your dream. It is a business plan writing competition designed and targeted toward new or existing business (individuals, or teams) who have a sustainable business idea.  Through the program you will gain business skills, write your business plan, get feedback on your ideas from regional professionals, network with key people including other entrepreneurs like yourself, and last but not least, have a chance at winning cash and in-kind prizes.  Due to the amazing support from our sponsors, we are able to offer both a general and a technology stream. Training begins January 9th!  For more info and to register, please click here.


Fall 2018 Newsletter

Our Fall 2018 Newsletter is now available!

Within the newsletter you will find our Success Story featuring the Koffee Kabin, along with our Fall Training Schedule which includes some returning sessions as well as some exciting new options. Be sure to check them out and register early! 

View the Newsletter here.

Fall 2018 Training Schedule

We are excited to release our Fall 2018 Training Schedule! 

Click the link below to view the scheudle and class descriptions. Register early as seating is limited. 

CFCA Fall 2018 Training Schedule



New General Manager Announcement

Russell Crook, Board Chair of Community Futures Central Alberta is pleased to announce that Kelly Kierluk has been selected by the Board of Directors of Community Central Alberta to assume the position of General Manager effective October 1, 2018.
Kelly has been employed with Community Futures Central Alberta for the past 9 years initially as CED Co-Ordinator and currently as Senior Business Analyst.  Kelly brings over 20 years of banking experience and education to her new role with Community Futures.
Kelly has contributed successfully to the growth of Community Futures in Central Alberta assisting Entrepreneurs with advisory services, training and financing. As CED Co-Ordinator Kelly successfully lead the RDRED Investment Attraction Project and the Central Alberta Lamb Producers Value Chain Project. 
The Community Futures Central Alberta Board of Directors is excited to have Kelly take on this new this role with the organization. The Board is confident that Kelly’s Community Futures and Lending related experience along with her professionalism are a great combination to make a smooth transition into her new role.
Mr. Russell Crook
Board Chair

General Manager's 2018 Annual Report & Summarized Financial Statements

The following documents show highlights from Community Futures Central Alberta's operating activities, as well as summarized financial statements for the year ending March 31, 2018.

Rotary Alberta Youth Entrepreneurship Camp 2018

Alberta Youth Entrepreneurship Camp and Community Futures are excited to partner with Rotary District 5360 to become Rotary Alberta Youth Entrepreneurship Camp (RAYEC). Same great camp - just a new name!

Taking place at Eagles Nest Ranch in Cypress Hills, RAYEC is a week-long camp held yearly in August that teaches youth aged 13-15 about entrepreneurship and business skills within a summer camp atmosphere. Campers hear from guest speakers and participate in workshops to learn the components of a business plan such as marketing, advertising, cash-flow and record keeping. Youth are put into business teams where they plan out a business idea, meet with suppliers and bankers and build a product or a service. On the final day of camp, these youthful business ventures are open for business! Every product or service is sold for real money and, once Campers pay back their business loans, they get to split their profits amongst their team.

It’s not only about numbers and business plans though. These youth also get to participate in a variety of summer camp experiences and recreational activities, such as ziplining, wall climbing, paint balling, and yard games.

An additional component to RAYEC is the Youth Leadership Training Program.  Each year, 10 youth who have previously attended the camp to attend the camp in a different capacity - to provide mentorship to campers. Youth leadership trainees benefit in the development of leadership capability, team building skills and community spirit.

Applications are now closed for the 2018 camp, but those interested in attending next year can apply at in early 2019.

If you have any questions, contact (subject: Type%20your%20subject, body: Type%20your%20message) (Kelsey Krieger).

50 over 50 Awards

The fastest growing segment of business start-ups in Canada continues to be over the age of 50. It’s time to recognize their accomplishments and let Canada know what they have to offer!
Are you over 50 years old? Have you started a business as an encore career prior to or after retirement? Or did you start the business you had always wanted and finally decided to take the leap? If you have, you will be interested in applying for a 50 over 50 Award.
The 2018 WISE 50 over 50 Award recognizes and celebrates hard-working, experienced Canadians who have started their business after the age of 50. Once again, we will be giving awards to 50 business owners who deserve recognition for their success. You can find out about each of the 2017 winners on the website.
Open to Canadian residents who started their business after turning 50, applications/nominations must be submitted by June 30. A group of the 2017, 50 over 50 Award winners, will be your judges. The awards will be presented in the Fall, 2018. Submissions will be accepted from founders of new businesses, purchasers of existing businesses and franchises, and initiators of family and intergenerational businesses – as long as the entrepreneur is a majority owner of the business and the head office is in Canada.
Information & the application form for the #50over50 awards can be found at

14th Annual Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge Winners!

Community Futures Lethbridge Region hosted the 14th Annual Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge Awards recognizing the top 6 business plans submitted to compete for over $51,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.  Since the first CEC $366,000 (cash and in-kind prizes) has been awarded.

The 2018 Chinook Challenge saw 160+ participants with more than three thousand hours of business training provided to them by Community Futures’ and partners.  This year over 50 volunteers took part in training, screening and judging of business plans.

“It’s great to see the continued interest and support for this project.  The Challenge is an excellent way to motive and educate entrepreneurs and small business by giving them the tools they need to succeed.  The stats speak for themselves when you see so many participants taking part in our free training offered through this project.” says Darlene Sinclair, General Manager of Community Futures Lethbridge Region. “Congratulations to all the participants for investing in yourself and your business – I wish you continued success.  A special thanks to all our local sponsors for investing in our communities and local businesses.”

The Winners of the 14th annual Chinook challenge were announced this afternoon, sharing in the prizes of over $51,000. 

The $10,000 Grand prize for the General Stream
Doria and Doria Canada Immigration Consulting Inc. – referred to as DAD Immigration in short form – has a vision to help paint the Canadian cultural mosaic through comprehensive consultancy services built on trust. Rufa, Domingo and Frances focus on providing personalized services for clients who are seeking to sponsor relatives to come to Canada, foreign nationals who want visit, study, work, extend their stay or permanently immigrate to Canada and employers who are seeking to hire foreign workers.

The $10,000 Grand prize for the Technology Stream:

Full Circle Plastics has a vision of saving the environment one board at a time by using strategic partners to be a bigger solution and creating value out of products seen as waste. In the future, they will be strongly positioned in having outsourced raw material processing to several strategic partners so we can focus on our manufacturing.  Stephanie and Jonathan Beekman have set up a new production plant located in Nobleford, AB

Quote from David:
“What a pleasure to be involved with the Challenge - I am impressed with the tenacity of the entrepreneurs,” says David D’Silva Project Manager of the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge. “There are a lot of people out there who have potential and even an idea but lack the resources to bring it to fruition.  This unique program walks them through a discovery process and then helps them validate their ideas.  Between that and all the support from our amazing partners, this year’s competition was a huge success.”

“Even though the Challenge itself is complete, Community Futures will be there for all the participants and all small business owners in the area.” D’Silva said, “At the end of the day, our mandate is to support entrepreneurs and provide alternate financing when traditional routes are not an option – and we do that very well!”

The $2500 runner up winners were:

Patricia and Sarah Demes with Once Upon a Chocolate
Daniel Smith with The Burrows
Kenny and Amber Joss with KJ Concepts
Lynn Nichol with oneBand


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Community Futures Central Alberta
5013 - 49 Avenue
Red Deer, AB T4N 3X1


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Communities Served

Aspen Beach, 
Burnstick Lake, 
Cline River, 
James River Bridge, 
Pine Lake, 
Red Deer, 
Rocky Mountain House, 
Spruce View, 
Sylvan Lake, 
Water Valley, 
Westward Ho, 


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