On November 19th-20th, QuinteVation will host the inaugural Canadian Rural Innovation Summit at the Rural Innovation Centre (250 Sidney Street in Belleville, ON). Their goal for the Summit is to put the Bay of Quinte on the map as a top innovation destination and leader in rural entrepreneurial growth.

This event is not limited to stakeholders, entrepreneurs and business people in the Bay of Quinte Region! This is the place to be for all who have a vested interest in driving rural economic policy development. Public and Private Businesses of all sizes and types will come together with key municipal, provincial and federal government players in a candid discussion forum to bring about policy changes that impact rural communities, including the Bay of Quinte Region.

Why should you as a young entrepreneur and young professional attend? So many reasons!

The events scheduled (see full agenda here)! 

  • Day 1: The Rural Entrepreneur
    • Reflecting on Rural: What is Rural Entrepreneurship?
    • Start it, Grow it: How your rural enterprise can benefit from local, provincial and federal programs available to you.
    • Managing Growth: Is your business on the brink of major growth?
    • Bay of Quinte Success Stories: Hear from successful entrepreneurs in our own region who have started and grown their own businesses
  • Day 2: Breaking Barriers
    • Navigating your Government: The opportunity to hear first hand how all levels of government are here to help grow and sustain businesses.
    • The New Frontier of Farming: The opportunities available for rural entrepreneurs to explore new ways to build innovative businesses in the Agri-tech industry.
    • Going Global: Building a business rurally doesn’t need to limit you to rural markets.
    • Municipal Success Stories: Hear from a number of municipalities that helped an entrepreneur achieve their dream and what that success has meant to the municipality.

The networking opportunities that will be abound! 

  • Check out Benefits of Networking for tips on preparing for both planned and unplanned business networking opportunities. These include:
    • Be early!
    • Be authentic!
    • Don’t make the conversation all about you!
    • Make sure that you follow-up with your new contacts!
    • Let your passion shine through!

Learn about what’s available to (young) entrepreneurs in the Bay of Quinte Region!

  • There are so many organizations and individuals out there whose sole purpose and goal is to assist entrepreneurs in this area. Many of them will hopefully have representation at this Summit, so I encourage you to seek them out!
    • Summer Company (run by the Small Business Centre and Business & Entrepreneurship Centre Northumberland)
    • E3 Program (operated by Business & Entrepreneurship Centre Northumberland)
    • Napanee Innovation Academy (operated by PELA CFDC in Napanee)
    • RevUp Quinte (part of QuinteVation)
    • Starter Plus (run by the Small Business Centre)
    • YES (Youth Entrepreneur Success) Program (operated by the Recreation Outreach Centre in Picton)
    • County Collective (Bloomfield, ON)
    • Creative Rural Minds (all over Prince Edward County)
    • First Stone Venture Partners and the PEC Innovation Centre (Picton)
    • Prince Edward-Lennox & Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CFDC) (Picton & Napanee)
    • Business Share Centre (Downtown Belleville)
    • QuinteVation (serving the area from Napanee to Brighton and Highway 7 to Prince Edward County).
    • Small Business Centre (Belleville, Picton and Quinte West)
    • Startup Bay of Quinte (part of QuinteVation)
    • Trenval Business Development Corporation (Belleville)
    • Quinte Economic Development Commission (Belleville)- not on original list, but a great resource!
    • Business & Entrepreneurship Centre Northumberland (Cobourg)
    • CFDC of North & Central Hastings and South Algonquin (Bancroft)
    • Kagita Mikam Aborignial Employment & Training Inc. (Shannonville)
    • LaunchLab (Kingston, with a satellite office at the Quinte Business Development Centre)
    • Northumberland CFDC (Cobourg)

Use this opportunity to brainstorm new ideas and get the creative juices flowing!

  • Brainstorming is good way to bring focus and clarity to you (and your team if you have one). It forces you to layout everything that comes to mind when thinking of an idea/concept. Seeing and talking about what you’re thinking about can help you to think about the details and/or the idea’s validity. It doesn’t matter how silly, irrational or out-there the thought is, it gets written down.

Be surrounded by fellow rural entrepreneurs and have the abilities to discuss challenges and opportunities for rural young entrepreneur.

  • Some of the challenges:
    • Accessibility for your customers to reach you.
    • Increased advertising costs to reach the same amount of your targeted audience across a larger geographic area than in a built-up area.
    • There can be less access to the resources you need to make your business successful (see above for the resources in the Quinte area and just outside its borders).
    • Increased transportation costs.
    • Lack of affordable and adequate store fronts or production facilities. Cost to modify existing facilities may be extravagant.
  • Some of the incredible opportunities:
    • Often less competition from others offering similar products/services.
    • A lot of advertising is not often done by you as word of mouth by your customers can work wonders.
    • People who live in these areas are inherently more likely to want to support one of their own trying to make a living instead of a big box store.
    • There are often lots of grant and loan programs available for those who want to start a business in a rural area (be it private investors or governments) and make an economic impact.
    • You get to know your customers on a more personal level.


For tickets and other info, see www.ruralinnovation.ca. See you there November 19th-20th!