Bootstrapping and starting lean: an evening of finance @ #SBW2014

The Small Business Week 2014 blog series continues

The Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre (VBEC) is proud to present a blog series on Small Business Week. This annual event is a celebration of entrepreneurship and highlights the insights and advice that small business professionals and industry experts will offer during Vaughan Small Business Week (Oct. 20 to 24). Vaughan has a strong and vibrant business community of more than 10,000 businesses. Small business is the backbone of a successful city, and Vaughan proudly supports the growth and entrepreneurial spirit of its community.

Funding your business: finance symposium

Some small business owners opt to self-finance their business by leveraging personal assets or by accessing savings. While interest rates may be lower when personal equity is on the line, there are significant risks. VBEC and its partners invite you to join us on Oct. 22 at the Kortright Centre for Conservation to explore some of the options available to local business owners who are in need of funding.

These are some of the topics we’ll cover:

The importance of financing

A business flourishes when given enough time, effort, care and — most importantly — funding. For small business owners, financing can be both the most important and most challenging aspect of business startup or expansion. Few business owners understand the options available to help them raise capital.


Financing through government programs like the Canada Small Business Financing Loan and the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Working Capital Loan are often your best options. It’s important to limit your interest costs by limiting the funds you borrow. Anyone who’s started a business on a shoestring is adept at bootstrapping — or stretching resources (both financial and otherwise) as far as they can.

How to bootstrap

Bootstrapping isn’t limited to the startup phase. It’s a valid way for business owners to manage valuable resources at any stage of their business’s growth. There are several ways to bootstrap:

  • Negotiating payment terms to minimize your required working capital. This may be difficult today if you have yet to establish a relationship with your supplier.
  • Factoring can be another way to stretch your money. This involves selling your receivables to a buyer, such as a commercial finance company, to raise capital. The factor assumes the risk — and task — of collecting the receivables. If your prices are set up to take factoring into account, you can still make a profit.
  • Leasing is yet another way to avoid financing the entire purchase of high-ticket items like equipment, vehicles, furniture, computers and even employees. With leasing, you pay for only the portion you use, rather than for the entire purchase price.

Bootstrap financing begins and ends with your attention to careful management of your financial resources. Be aware of what you spend and keep your overhead low.

Lean startup

Launching a new enterprise — whether a tech startup, a small business or an initiative within a large corporation — can be a hit-or-miss proposition. Lean startup is the practice of testing your product or service before plunging into any large investment.

Rather than launching a complete model of your business, starting lean is about making a minimal investment in order to gauge interest in the marketplace, work out any kinks and make certain that the business is feasible.

Join us during Vaughan Small Business Week for finance night, an evening for business owners to learn about these and other programs available for their entrepreneurial pursuits.

Event: Finance Symposium

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 22

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Kortright Centre for Conservation

To register, visit us online at

Julia Gersh
Small Business Consultant
Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre (VBEC)



Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at

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