Here are some regional success stories to inspire your next economic development project.

Solid Business Plan Key to Development of BC’s Largest Food Hub

Value-added processing is the low-hanging fruit for food producers wanting to scale up their businesses, and food hubs can be the catalyst to do this. The Okanagan Food and Innovation Hub is slated to open in Summerland in 2024, as the largest node in BC’s food hub network. The project is based on a comprehensive five-year plan created with support from ETSI-BC.

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Entrepreneurship Training at the Post-Secondary Level Boosts Economic Development in the Region

Post-secondary institutions play a vital role in helping develop entrepreneurial and job-readiness skills, both of which are vital for a thriving regional economy. The Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) provides funding to each of the six public post-secondary institutions (PSIs) in the Southern Interior to equip students and graduates with entrepreneurial and job-readiness skills. ETSI-BC hosted the second annual PSI roundtable in March 2023 to encourage the institutions to foster connections and share best practices. Read how these institutions are helping grow the regional economy through skilled employees and new ventures.

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UBC Okanagan Expands Entrepreneurial Training

Risk-takers, innovators and problem-solvers have been exploring their entrepreneurial ideas and developing their skills through UBC Okanagan’s entrepreneurship program since its inception in 2018. Like the startups it supports, the program is continually evolving, and ETSI-BC has been pleased to support e@UBC programs in the last couple years.

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Co-op Education at NVIT Supports Workforce Readiness in Rural Communities

The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT), based in Merritt, is BC’s Indigenous public post-secondary institution. NVIT provides students in the Nicola Valley and throughout BC with education they might not otherwise be able to access. Co-op Education Coordinator, Anita Dumont, is focused on growing the program and changing the future for NVIT students, with support from ETSI-BC.

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Updated Strategic Plan Positions the Slocan Valley for a Resilient and Sustainable Future

The increasing pace of growth and change in the Slocan Valley over the last several years inspired an update to the Slocan Valley Economic Development Partnership’s strategic plan. Residents, businesses, and other community stakeholders came together in this highly collaborative project to create a roadmap for long-term, sustainable growth, with funding support from ETSI-BC.

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Lands Feasibility Study Highlights Economic Opportunities at Kamloops Airport

From flight schools and private air services to hospitality, manufacturing and logistics companies, many types of businesses can benefit from being located near an airport while contributing to economic development in the region. Investment in airport infrastructure increases connections to international markets, attracts new businesses, and creates jobs.

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Armstrong Grows Local Food Connections Through Cheese – and More

The community of Armstrong in the Spallumcheen Valley salutes its agriculture history and economy with events, festivals and celebrations throughout the year. One of those is the annual Cheese! It’s a Natural event which has been hosted by the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce since 2013.

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Salmon Arm Food Hub Adds Zest to Shuswap Economy

Food and beverage processing is among Canada’s fastest growing sectors and is making an impact in BC’s Shuswap region. In 2021, the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society launched the Zest Commercial Food Hub to support its food entrepreneurs with shared access to workspace, equipment, mentorship, and research. Zest has expanded quickly, and a second growth phase is underway, helping more producers and processors innovate and thrive.

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Highlighted Board Members

Susan Clovechok
Alan Harrison

RBCR Advisors

Riley Wilcox
John Reed
Karen Kornelsen
Theresa Wood
Chasity Jones
Arnice Acquin
Andrew Klingel
Meagan Preston
Lyndsay Turnbull
Carolyn Gibson & Lisa Astra