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Disability Expo enables entrepreneurs

Lorraine Graves   Jun-05-2018

RCD's Dave Thomson says the 2018 Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship Expo to be held Tuesday, June 19 at the Richmond Cultural Centre.

Photo submitted

The Richmond Centre for Disability sees entrepreneurship as a way to self-sufficiency for many, able-bodied or not.

With that in mind, they will hold their 2018 Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship Expo Tuesday, June 19 at the Richmond Cultural Centre from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the performance hall and atrium.


Sponsored by VanCity Savings and the City of Richmond, the event offers a chance to meet with experienced mentors, business examples, peer motivators plus education options to choose among.

The fair is aimed at people considering starting their own business as well as people who have started businesses and need coaching, according to the centre’s community outreach coordinator, Dave Thomson.

“One aspect of the expo is like speed dating for entrepreneurs. We are also going to have vendors so people can actually see some businesses functioning,” Thomson says.

“We partnered with the KPU (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) farmers’ market. Tuesday is their day. Hopefully we’ll get some spill off from their people too.”

In some cases, a person with a disability may have received a settlement for the cause of their disability. Rather than just investing in the first opportunity that comes along, the expo lets potential entrepreneurs learn from the mistakes and strengths of others’ experience before spending any money of their own. It allows for the research so key to the success of a new venture.

Oddly enough, new ventures by women—according to Women’s World Banking, an international fund for loan guarantees based in Belgium—have a strong success rate because women do a great deal of research before they start.

They start small; and they spend very little on the trappings of business.

Instead of a board room, a kitchen table or a desk in the bedroom suffices. Any business that really does its homework, checking out competitors, price points, distribution and costs has a better chance of making a go of it.

The centre’s 2018 Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship Expo offers potential and existing entrepreneurs just such an opportunity to network, learn and be with other like-minded people.

“Come find some information out. Especially if you are on the fence and don’t know if that’s the way to go. It’s a great way to get information and make those next steps,” says Thomson.

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