Business programs

Community Futures Wood Buffalo delivers a number of popular and proven small business development programs each year. If you don't see what you are looking for, check out our other business coaching and training options, and upcoming business skills events, or contact us.

Entrepreneurs With Disabilities Program

The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program (EDP) was created to provide enhanced small business development support to people with disabilities in rural Alberta.

Success as an entrepreneur is all about playing to your strengths. EDP clients all live with physical or mental conditions that reduce their abilities in some areas. But they make a conscious decision to focus on what they can do, rather than what they can't.

Our services include:

  • Business training
  • Assistance with drawing up a business plan
  • Mentoring
  • Affordable, flexible business loans to establish a new business, purchase an existing business, or expand or upgrade an existing business

To be eligible for the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program, you must:

  • Have a self-declared disability or ongoing medical condition
  • Live in rural Alberta
  • Have a viable business idea
  • Be able to contribute in some way to your business

Self-employment can be a great way for persons with a disability or an ongoing medical condition to get back into the workforce. Clients find that the return to work through self-employment is made more manageable through:

  • Flexible hours
  • Personalized work environments
  • A sense of control over their own destiny

If you would like to learn more about this program, please Contact us.

Entrepreneurs who are faced with disabilities can now access Training to assist them in the start up of their business venture.

This specialized program includes:

  • Detailed business concept assessment
  • Training workshops on Self Empowerment and Personal Financial Planning
  • One to one business coaching and mentorship with a business professional from the community
  • Access to Business Loans for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities

Entrepreneurs with Disabilities fund provides $150,000 maximum loans to persons with disabilities in opening a business.

Youth Entrepreneurship Program

The Western Youth Entrepreneurship Program can help you recognize and pursue your entrepreneurial goals and start a small business. We provide help in developing your business plan, mentoring and counseling in business development and operations, as well as access to flexible small business loans.

Who is eligible?

  1. Live in a rural western Canadian community
  2. Are between the ages of 18 and 29 (possibly younger)
  3. Have a creative business idea or plan

Why youth entrepreneurship?

We strongly believe in supporting our communities' youth. We believe that youth entrepreneurship gives rural youth an option to develop their unique talents and abilities while remaining in and contributing to the community. Youth who are interested in starting their own business often find it difficult to get the support that they need. Our organization attempts to fill this gap and support youth who need help in developing their business ideas, need financial assistance and have the strong desire to shape their own future. When youth want to invest in themselves and in their communities, we are here to support them in reaching their goals.

What services are available?

  • Loans up to $25,000
  • General business consulting
  • Mentoring and community support
  • Resource library
  • Information on export and selling to government
  • Referrals to other programs and support services
  • Business training and education

How do you apply?

Contact us to discuss your idea and eligibility for the program. We would love to hear from you!

Wood Buffalo Recovery Loan Partnership Program

A new financing option is available starting June 1 that will meet the need of businesses in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo that are in recovery or want to help in the rebuild and recovery of the region.

Community Futures Wood Buffalo is proud to offer the Wood Buffalo Recovery Loan Partnership to support local business owners, both urban and rural, that need access to timely repayable financing to recover or grow their business or to take advantage of new opportunities in the region.

In order to qualify, businesses must meet the following requirements:

  • Completed business case or plan demonstrating potential for commercial viability of the business
  • Resident Business License or Professional License (if applicable)
  • Demonstrated commitment by your company’s management team

Successful applicants will also be offered a 50 per cent discount on a one-year membership to the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce.

Business owners interested in learning more about this program are invited to attend one of the scheduled intake sessions.

Registration for all intake sessions will occur through Eventbrite.

The Wood Buffalo Recovery Loan Partnership program will be available until September 30, 2018. 

Business owners are asked to apply in person at the Business Innovation Centre, 9912 Franklin Avenue, or to scan and send their application to (subject: Wood%20Buffalo%20Recovery%20Loan%20Partnership%20Program) .

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Community Futures Wood Buffalo
9912 Franklin Ave
Suite 105
Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2K5


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Communities Served

Fort Chipewyan, 
Fort Fitzgerald, 
Fort MacKay, 
Fort McMurray, 
Mariana Lake, 
Saprae Creek, 
Tar Island, 


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