A Creston Valley farmer and business-woman is eager to help others start new businesses in her community.
“I know the value of the Self Employment Program, because I took the program myself before launching my farm business…”
Jessica Piccinin, owner of Root & Vine Acres, is now working with Community Futures Central Kootenay as a Business Counsellor for the Creston and East Shore region. Part of her role includes delivering the Self-Employment Program.
“I know the value of the Self Employment Program, because I took the program myself before launching my farm business,” said Jessica, who went on to also start a food truck called The Peppered Pig. “I know the work that goes into building a business, setting up your marketing, and the importance of having a solid business plan before you get started.”
The Self Employment Program helps around 60 new businesses open their doors each year in the Central Kootenay. Many are small, home businesses or sole-proprietorships – but in the 36 years Community Futures has run the program, they have encountered all business types.
“We’ve had people start childcare centres, restaurants, manufacturing companies, and the list goes on. As long as the proposed business seems viable and has market support, we can often help make it a reality,” said Self-Employment Manager Paul Kelly. “During the pandemic we’ve seen a lot of people starting their own venture, after being laid off by a previous employer.”
Among the considerations for client and business eligibility for the government-funded 48-week SE program, are having an attachment to EI in the past 60 months, underemployment, or being a person with a disability (BCEA PWD) as well as having access to sufficient capital to start the business.