With funding from the Libro Prosperity Fund, Community Futures Oxford will offer a 6-month program that provides training, mentorship and access to capital.
Community Futures Oxford was awarded $48,000 from Libro Credit Union Prosperity Fund to develop and deliver Thrive Oxford, a program that will support female entrepreneurs starting or growing a sustainable business in Oxford County. The program will provide training and professional support on a variety of topics selected by Community Futures Oxford based on feedback from the community. The program will be offered twice annually with up to ten women selected for each cohort. Applications open immediately on the Community Futures Oxford website.
Over the course of the program, participants will define business development goals focused on expansion and sustainability. To achieve these goals, support will be provided on topics such as financial literacy, public speaking, marketing and how to successfully secure funding. Each cohort will include a live pitch presentation for cash and in-kind prizes. Many training components will be delivered by experts from Oxford County and anyone from the community wishing to be involved in sharing their expertise can complete an Expression of Interest.
In addition to delivering the program, the funding will also be used to host a one-day workshop for all business owners interested in learning how their business can achieve sustainable outcomes. More specifically, the workshop will discuss B Corporation Certification, aligning business growth with UN Sustainable Development Goals and how these actions align with changing consumer expectations.
Lastly, Community Futures Oxford is pleased to use the funding to begin providing a formal Mentorship Program in collaboration with Oxford Women in Networking, a membership-based networking group with a 25-year history in the community. The pilot will begin in February 2020 and is currently seeking mentor and protégé applications online. Women entrepreneurs and students will be matched with seasoned business professionals to provide unique advice, support and expertise.
The Thrive Oxford program will officially launch in January 2020, but information about eligibility, application process and timelines can be found on the Community Futures Oxford website, including details about the first information session.
Erica Unger-Grieve, Community Manager for Libro Credit Union in Woodstock
“Thrive Oxford is exactly the kind of inspirational program that we seek out for partnership opportunities. Libro’s goal of growing prosperity for communities across southwestern Ontario is all about working together for positive outcomes, so we look forward to seeing the ways Thrive Oxford will support female entrepreneurs.”
Lindsay Wilson, Community Economic Development Coordinator, Community Futures Oxford
“We are happy to be able to offer unique and valuable opportunities to women entrepreneurs in Oxford County. We have received some incredible and informative feedback and we look forward to the opportunity
to use this funding to have a meaningful impact alongside our partners at Libro Credit Union.”
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About Community Futures Oxford
Community Futures Oxford in an independent non-profit organization providing business advice, financing and community economic development support. The organization’s vision is to be the leading hub of
entrepreneurship support services in Oxford County. This is achieved by improving access to capital for new and existing business, delivering programs and services that support small business and by being a catalyst for community economic development initiatives.
About Libro Credit Union
Libro Credit Union is southwestern Ontario’s largest credit union, a purpose-driven financial institution serving more than 105,000 people with digital services and 36 physical locations across the region. Libro
offers accounts, loans, investments, credit cards, business cash management and employer services and more, with the goal of growing prosperity for all.