Lindsey Taylor isn’t quite sure what business she wants to start. But she does know that she wants to get something going.
“Side hustles are pretty popular with the millennial generation so I wanted to learn more and potentially see how I could something in my spare time,” she said.
Taylor was at the Danforth/Coxwell branch of the Toronto Public Library on Sept. 26 in a meeting room full of people of all ages and backgrounds. They were there for a free orientation about a business development course, Business Inc., offered by the Toronto Business Development Centre.
The program features several different workshops covering topics like market research and financial management. Started as a partnership between Toronto Public Library and the development centre, the program has come to many different branches over the years from the north end to Agincourt. This year’s programs will be running at the Danforth/Coxwell and Northern District branches.
Danny Brennan, director of entrepreneurial programs at the development centre, was on hand to educate people at the seminar.
“It’s a way of providing information in the community to people who are interested in being self-employed,” he said.
With years of experience in facilitating the program and having run his own small business in the past, Brennan is more than qualified to talk on the subject. He fielded questions from attendees at the event, offering advice and resources.
Taylor, who works as an engineer full-time, was satisfied with the orientation. And she’s considering returning for the full course, which Brennan said has had 750 participants in the years it’s been running.
Taylor emphasized how the business lessons taught in the course could benefit many areas of her life.
“A lot of things when it comes down to it, whether you’re working a nine to five, it seems like everything in the end is a business and you have to know how to market yourself,” she said.
Brennan said he has seen quite a variety of business ideas, ranging from homemade hot sauces to city eco tours, in his time with the program
This diversity of ideas is matched by the variation in people, which Brennan attributes to the accessibility of the program.
“People have an opportunity to take it in their community, which is very helpful for a diverse group of clients…I think it’s wonderful that the city is supporting small business growth and they’re actually out in the community to help as much as they possibly can. I think it’s a wonderful time for small business in Toronto.”
Business Inc. will run Tuesday evenings starting Oct. 24 at the Danforth/Coxwell branch and Thursdays starting Oct. 26 at the Northern District Branch. Applications for the course remain open until Friday, Oct. 13, with the program’s enrolment limited to 20 at each location. The cost is $150 per participant.
Applications can be emailed to [email protected] and questions can be directed to 416-345-9437.