So, you’ve got that million dollar idea…

Once you have that brilliant business idea, where do you go from there? Who can help steer you in the right direction and offer valuable information to make this new (and often daunting) endeavour move from theory into practice? What’s the support system like here in London, ON and how can you use it to your utmost benefit?

These are some questions most people venturing into the entrepreneurial world have asked themselves. Lucky for them, London is bursting with opportunities for support, advice, coaching, planning, networking, and more. And we at Fuse just love talking about local business, so let’s find out more.

No matter the idea and whether you’re in the planning or practice stage, there’s support out there for everyone. So, brush up on or get to know the economic and entrepreneurial support available to the public, right here in London!

1 – Small Business Centre, London, Ontario

The SBC is a one-stop shop for all things entrepreneurial. They offer guidance, knowledge, and valuable resources through workshops, consultations, seminars, business plan preparation, and more.

Emotivate Marketing at the Small Business Centre
Classes are in session! Photo via Instagram / @emotivatemarketing

With a mission to “stimulate, promote and support the entrepreneurial spirit, start-up and early growth of small business to actively contribute to the economic development of London,” the SBC has been making great things happen since 1986. Learn more about them right here and get in touch with them here.

2 – LEAP Junction at Fanshawe College

Undoubtedly one of the most inviting and successful programs available to students in London today, LEAP Junction consistently makes young entrepreneurs’ dreams into realities. The intention behind LEAP is to “seek out, support, and promote student entrepreneurial enterprise located on the Fanshawe College campus.”

LEAP Junction London ontario
Shop talk at LEAP. Photo via Instagram / @leapjunction

From ideation, to business planning, to coaching, participants enter the entrepreneurial world with well-rounded knowledge and meaningful experience. To find out more about requirements and contact info, check out the LEAP website right here!

3 – Propel Entrepreneurship at Western University

Propel at Western is one of Southwestern Ontario’s premier startup accelerators designed specifically for student entrepreneurs. Offering services such as mentorship, training programs, workshops, seed funding, a co-working space, and more, this initiative provides world-class experience to creative and determined young professionals.

Propel Western
Showtime at Propel. Photo via Instagram / @arminirl

Propel is part of the Campus-Linked Accelerator program in partnership with LEAP Junction at Fanshawe. These connections provide students with a broad range of networking opportunities as well as the ability to connect with individuals pursuing similar dreams, despite how different the business ideas themselves may be. If you’d like to find out more about this program and its criteria, head to their website right here.

4 – Service London Business

So, your idea is in motion and you’re looking for general information and an informed staff to help you take that next step. Well, Service London Business could be just the ticket. From business plan creation to cutting that ribbon on opening day, the SLB Starter Guides outline exactly what you need to know in a straightforward and thorough way.

Service London Business
Handy dandy starter guides! Photo via servicelondonbusiness.ca

As it stands, their starter guides apply to five different business categories but if your idea falls outside of those, just contact one of their experienced “champions” today.

5 – Business After Five via The London Chamber of Commerce

Networking is a massive part of getting your name and business out there. On top of that, when you’re in a room with like-minded individuals, at varying degrees of small business experience, you really can’t go wrong. This is exactly what Business After Five, through the London Chamber of Commerce aims to do.

Business After 5 London Ontario
The clock strikes five, and the business continues! Photo via Facebook / @villagelivingmag

The Chamber itself is a membership driven, volunteer-based, not-for-profit that endeavours to be “the voice of business” in London. They created Business After Five to “promote business activity in London” as well as facilitate conversations between individuals in the entrepreneurial realm. These events are held once a month in different locations and you can get the full schedule right here. Now go rub some elbows!

6 – Millennial Networking Group

If you’re looking for an even more specific networking group and you happen to fall into the millennial category, then the MNG is for you. Already existing in KW, Burlington, Hamilton, and more, this London chapter connects young local professionals, entrepreneurs, business owners, and self-employed individuals with others in those fields.

MNG London Ontario
May the networking begin. Photo via Instagram / @mng_london

The intention is to develop a thriving referral network in London, ON and beyond through memberships, workshops, connections, and more! If you’d like to find out more about what MNG offers and when the next meetup is, click here.

7 – London iNC via The London Economic Development Corporation

London iNC, a branch of the LEDC, acts as an entrepreneurial support network and offers a plethora of information to those entering the business world. No matter what stage you’re at in your endeavour, London iNC is the place to find valuable resources, informative facts/stats, interesting case studies, and more.

London INC London Ontario
Find out now! Photo via Instagram / @london_inc

Whether you’re in phase one or phase 100 of small business planning, London iNC, and subsequently the LEDC, can direct you right to where you need to be. In just one click, let the door to entrepreneurship in the Forest City swing wide open!

What did we miss? Please share helpful tips, resources, organizations, or programs that would be beneficial to all the local entrepreneurs out there!

Feature photo via Facebook / @LondonEDC


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