YSpace Georgina East Gwilliumbury

Entrepreneurship in East Gwillimbury

The Town of East Gwillimbury and Town of Georgina are continuing a partnership with York University’s YSpace to deliver a two-year Business Incubator/Accelerator pilot project to support entrepreneurs and economic growth during the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
 
YSpace Northern Entrepreneurship Hub will create an ecosystem of entrepreneurial resources, including mentorship, access to networks, and co-working space for collaboration. It will foster new business opportunities as well as personal and professional development for new and existing entrepreneurs. A combination of on-demand business support and programming within Georgina and East Gwillimbury, both in-person and virtually, will be offered. Programs will be refined and augmented to address the specific needs of each business community. 

Current Programming

Digital Skills Program

The Digital Skills program is an educational workshop series that focuses on building your business online. This series will cover topics like social media, digital marketing, e-commerce, SEO, and how-to-use tools like Facebook Meta, Google Ads, and Google Analytics. Individuals who attend 12/15 sessions can apply for eight weeks of business development mentorship following the program. 

Need help applying your new digital skills for your business? Just drop in. This program includes two practical drop in sessions in both Georgina and East Gwillimbury. In addition to virtual workshops, participants can join in-person peer-to-peer networking sessions and a bonus Ask Me Anything with a marketing expert.

The program is open to entrepreneurs 18+ who reside in northern York Region, primarily in East Gwillimbury, Georgina, the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nations and the surrounding area. For established business owners or first-time founders, this program is designed to close the digital gap for your business. Register for Digital Skills for Business sessions!

Digital Skills for Business February Schedule

Web Presence 101 with Digital Main Street

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2023 

Time: 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Location: Online

Join Digital Main Street in Web Presence 101. Your customers are on the web. Having a strategy for your online presence allows you to market your small business online so customers can easily find you. In this workshop hosted by the Toronto Digital Service Squad we’ll discuss the importance of getting your business online and where to start with developing your online presence.

What you will learn:

  • What is web presence and what platforms you can use to set up your website
  • How to create a professionally-designed, responsive website for your business
  • How to optimize website content to improve your search engine ranking (SEO)
  • Setting up your Google My Business listing and other online directories
  • Getting started with social media
  • How email marketing can grow your business and encourage repeat customers
  • Developing a cohesive brand voice online
  • Engaging with customers virtually and building relationships on the web

Register For Free 

Peer-to-Peer Session with TechConnex

Date: Thursday, February 23, 2023

Time: 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. 

Location: YSpace Georgina at 1 Market Street, Sutton, Ontario, L0E 1R0

Join TechConnex, local entrepreneurs and business owners in this in-person peer-to-peer session. The TechConnex Peer-to-Peer Program is where fast-growth technology company leaders, entrepreneurs and executives can come together to exchange information that will help them expand their businesses. Together we contribute to a vibrant ecosystem supporting business success.

Peer group participants generate lasting relationships through meeting regularly to network, learn and lead their organizations to achieve even greater business success.

Register For Free 

Social Media for Small Business with Digital Main Street

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Time: 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Location: Online 

Join Digital Main Street in Social Media for Small Business. Social media is an invaluable tool for today’s business, whether you are just starting out or have been established for years. Not understanding how to use social media effectively can leave you overwhelmed and ultimately hurt your bottom line as your potential customers can easily find your competitors. This workshop hosted by the Toronto Digital Service Squad will leave you with a better understanding of how to leverage the power of social media to grow your online community, drive sales and reduce marketing costs.

What you will learn:

  • How to choose the right social media platform(s) for your business
  • How to set up and optimize social media profiles
  • The basics of Instagram and Facebook shopping and how to utilize shoppable feeds
  • Best practices for engagement on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest
  • Growing your social media community using both organic and paid strategies
  • Planning and curating your social media content
  • Tools for managing platforms and scheduling posts to save you time and energy

Join us to learn the ropes of building an engaging and profitable social media presence for your business.

Register For Free 

Ask me Anything with a Social Media Manager

Date: Thursday, March 02, 2023

Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Location: YSpace Georgina at 1 Market Street, Sutton, Ontario, L0E 1R0

Do you have questions about digital marketing or would like to learn more from a social media expert? Join Portia Chambers in this in-person Ask Me Anything session. Portia will be able to give expert advice and tips to help increase the online presence of your business.

About the Speaker

Portia Chambers, Portia Chambers Digital Marketing Inc.

Before becoming a social media and digital marketing coach and manager, Portia Chambers grew her own business as a local yoga instructor and reiki practitioner. This background has become paramount in propelling her clients to success when navigating the realm of social media. From creating an effective content strategy and dynamic content creation to compelling, engaging story creation, to creating a healthy and balanced social media mindset to navigate the ever-changing features and algorithms.

Portia’s passion for growth shines through everything she does. Not only is she passionate about helping businesses grow, but also helping business owners create a more balanced approach to social media, coaching them every step along the way. If you are looking to have the weight of social media management lifted from your shoulders and achieve measurable growth in your business, look no further than Portia Chambers.

Register For Free 

Idea Consultations

Free one-on-one consultation services that connect entrepreneurs with YSpace’s entrepreneurship team to understand how the entrepreneurial ecosystem can help your idea come to life. 

The program is open to entrepreneurs 18+ who reside in northern York Region, primarily in East Gwillimbury, Georgina and the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nations. Whether you are an established business owner or a first-time founder, this program is designed to provide what you need to start or refine your business. 

The program provides:

  • Free one-on-one consultation with a business professional

  • A defined roadmap aligned to your unique needs

  • Access to additional support or mentorship via an ecosystem of volunteers through the local ecosystem of resources

Apply Here

Past Programming

Business Plan Bootcamp (Applications Closed)

Business Plan Bootcamp is an eight-week, free-of-charge educational entrepreneurship series that helps aspiring or existing business owners write and develop their business plan. Participants will learn from weekly on-demand workshops, meet with mentors and network with other business owners. 

The program is open to entrepreneurs 18+ who reside in northern York Region, primarily in East Gwillimbury, Georgina, the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nations and the surrounding area. For established business owners or first-time founders, this program is designed to provide entrepreneurs with what they need to start or refine their business plan.

Apply Here

 Business Foundations (Registration Closed)

Interested in building your entrepreneurial skills to launch a new business or want to build on the foundation of your business?

Whether you want to learn how to start a business or have a business of your own this program aims to equip you with the essential skills and knowledge needed to succeed.

This free-of-charge educational workshop series covers Building a Business PlanSetting Up Business OperationsMarketing, and Social Media. Additionally, individuals who attend at least seven out of the nine workshops (minimum of one hour on each call), will receive an Innovation York Certificate of Completion, illustrating your dedication to learning about the essentials of launching a successful business.

Apply Here

 Program Updates 

Become a Program Mentor

Interested in becoming a program mentor?

YSpace is excited to partner with the Town of Georgina and the Town of East Gwillimbury to launch small business supports in the local communities through what we are calling our Idea Consultation program. The program is designed to help connect local entrepreneurs and business owners to mentors and resources within their local communities. With that, we are expanding our outreach to potential engage with new startups.

Mentorship roles and commitments vary depending on the programs and startup needs. At this point in time, we are not looking for a specific skill set but rather doing a large call out to interested individuals.

We kindly ask you to fill out the following application to help us better understand your background, and assess the best fit with our programs. Once completed, a YSpace representative will be in touch to setup an introductory call. If you have any questions on time or experience requirements, please reach out to yspace@yorku.ca and we are happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Apply Today

Other Program Updates

Corporate Services Memorandum

To: Council 

From: Margot Bégin, Director Economic Development

Date: March 22, 2022 

Subject: Business Incubator/Accelerator Programming Update

The Town of East Gwillimbury and Georgina are in the process of concluding the joint Business Bounce Back Program. This was a 12-month project that delivered workshops and individual mentorship to over 70 participants from the hospitality and tourism industry. All programming was delivered through a partnership with by York University’s, entrepreneurship hub, YSpace. Participant feedback for this program has been very positive and its success has established the foundation for additional entrepreneurial programs and business supports.

The Town of East Gwillimbury and Georgina are excited to announce a continued partnership with York University’s YSpace to deliver a 2-year Business Incubator/Accelerator pilot project to support entrepreneurs and economic growth during the recovery phase of the pandemic and beyond. This project will build on the Bounce Back Program and create an ecosystem that supports co-working and collaboration, fostering new business development as well as personal and professional development for new and existing entrepreneurs.

Read the full memorandum

For more information, contact Stephanie Simpson at stsimpson@georgina.ca or YSpace at yspace@yorku.ca.