Business Exchange program by Community Futures North Okanagan now accepting applicants

Photo: CF North Okanagan

Joanne and Dave Weatherill, owners of Briteland.

Community Futures North Okanagan’s Business Exchange program to help teach people the ins and outs of creating a successful business is open to applicants.

Judy Dangel, owner of Enderby Jewellers, bought her business 30 years ago and had no idea at the time what was entailed in starting a business.

“I was young, bought my store, and thought I knew everything,” says Dangel. “I soon found out owning a business means I also need to be an accountant and advertiser.”

That’s when Dangel heard about a new pilot program in Vancouver. She joined and stayed on as Community Futures North Okanagan and brought the Business Exchange program closer to home.

Business Exchange is a small group forum that welcomes non-competing businesses. In each bi-weekly meeting, members learn about and discuss diverse topics ranging from business growth to accounting, marketing, legal, and everything in between.

“Business Exchange is great. Where else do you get a lawyer, accountant, and advertising professional sitting around a table for 90 minutes? If you have a legal question or accounting question, those questions are brought up in the discussion and answered,” says Dangel, the program’s longest-standing member.

Joanne Weatherill, owner of Briteland in Vernon, joined the program shortly after Dangel. After a few years in the program, Weatherill left Business Exchange only to rejoin after an invitation to become a guest speaker.

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“I went back because Business Exchange truly brings the community and members together,” says Weatherill. “Plus, you always learn something. Everyone takes something away from the meetings. Community Futures is an encyclopedia of business knowledge.”

“One of the real strengths of the program is having a place to solve problems and come up with new ideas and strategies to address business challenges. Members bring unique perspectives, expertise, and support that everyone benefits from,” says Kazia Mullin, Business Services Manager, CF North Okanagan.

To become a member, visit the CF North Okanagan website.

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