Friday, 04 November 2016 08:00

SOUTH50 conference set to help southern Alta. entrepreneurs

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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The fourth annual SOUTH50 Conference is set for Nov. 17 in Lethbridge. It is an opportunity for individuals to get more information about starting up their own businesses. The fourth annual SOUTH50 Conference is set for Nov. 17 in Lethbridge. It is an opportunity for individuals to get more information about starting up their own businesses. Photo contributed

People wanting to start their own businesses of any sort are invited to the fourth annual SOUTH50 Conference Nov. 17 in Lethbridge.
The event is being held at the Coast Hotel and Conference Centre and is aimed to help people develop their business ideas.

Bonnie Farries, opportunity developer for the centre of applied research and innovation, says planning for this event has been a group effort between all the Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta (RINSA) partners, which include Alberta Innovates, Community Futures Lethbridge
Region, EDL (tecconnect), Lethbridge College, the University of Lethbridge, SouthGrow Regional Initiative, Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance and National Research Council of Canada.
Generally, this is a two-day conference, but it was decided to host it this year in one day.
“Given this is the fourth annual Accelerate South50 Conference, planning is made easy by past expertise. However, this year the team wanted to shake things up a bit by turning the usual two-day conference into one action-packed day of learning and exploring,” says Farries.
Having a successful event is having even one person getting excited about the possibility of becoming a true entrepreneur and pursuing their passions, she adds. It would be even better, of course, if every participant walked away from the event feeling confident in taking that next step.
The conference is a one-day event full of activities and speakers that are designed to give the participant insight and knowledge into the world of start-ups.
Sebastien Sasseville’s and Craig Elias are just two of the headliners for the conference. There will also be panel discussions from industry, entrepreneur roundtables and a networking social to cap the night off.
“This event is special, because it is practical in nature, yet inspiring at the same time. It is really intended to make the nervous visionary comfortable with taking that leap of faith and possibly transforming their career. This is why Accelerate South50 is so much fun to plan, because the value back to the participant is so great,” adds Farries.
The event is all about the entrepreneur. In these tough economic times, it’s especially important for people to have the knowledge on how to create their own business.
“Not only does entrepreneurship strengthen the economy, but the individual benefits of pursuing an individual passion, working towards a personal success and designing ideal futures are invaluable to quality of life,” says Farries.
Often, people are overwhelmed with the thought of creating their own businesses as it can be a tough task to get started and be successful.
Farries says there are countless resources and supports available to the new entrepreneur that make exploring the great unknown easier than ever.
“Accelerate South50 is a first step in getting you access to the tools, skills, networks and information early entrepreneurs will need to build their business. We want to encourage people of all ages and educational backgrounds to feel comfortable in thinking outside the box and exploring the potential of pursuing their dreams as an entrepreneur,” adds Farries.
It’s estimated to have around 120 participants this year with 16 trade booths and a dozen mentors. Last year, there were 110 participants.
Cost to attend is $45 per student and $90 for general admission.
Registration is open until the day of the event, Nov. 17 and people can register by visiting http://www. and clicking on the ‘Register’ button on the main page.

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