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20 Reasons to Start Your Business in Manitoba

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? We’re lucky to live in a province filled with quality resources to help make that dream a reality. Take some inspiration from this list and see what you might have missed in your own backyard.

  1. Innovation AlleyInnovation Alley is a Startup Winnipeg led movement to build an ‘innovation hub’ in the heart of Winnipeg’s Exchange district.  Expanding the borders of the energy within AssentWorks and Ramp Up Manitoba to include other innovation entities such as Red River College, Seccuris, Futurpreneur Manitoba and many more.  The goal is for entrepreneurs to have as many capabilities and concentration of talent located in one place possible.
  2. Winnipeg’s Business Incubators and Accelerators – There are lots of community support resources for entrepreneurs in Winnipeg. A few of these are Startup Winnipeg, The Eureka Project and TRTech. And there are others that specifically support entrepreneurs such as Manitoba Technology Accelerator that helps take your promising technology start-up “from good idea to investable business.”
  3. Low Startup Business Costs combined with low cost of living – There are very unique and interesting office spaces around Innovation Alley that could be affordable.  If you are just starting out with an idea then you also know you have a startup budget. For only $50 a month you can have a desk at Ramp Up Manitoba surrounded by other entrepreneurs.
  4. Quality of Life –  With that balance of low start-up costs and cost of living, you can now afford to take advantage of all the exciting events that take place in Manitoba: from festivals and beaches in summer to the skating and snowmobile trails in winter.
  5. Mayor Brian Bowman – He is a huge supporter of entrepreneurs and small business in the City.
  6. Small Business Summit – In partnership with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce this event is scheduled for October 2015. The summit, as well as round tables that will occur quarterly throughout the year, will allow Winnipeg to hear from local small business regarding policy and initiatives that will help them grow and thrive. Announced at Mayor Bowman’s State of the City Address, full details are still to be announced so stay tuned for more information.
  7. Centrallia and The World Trade Centre – Centrallia is a global B2B two day forum hosted by Winnipeg’s World Trade Centre. The event connects local businesses to international opportunities and contributes billions to the local economy. If you missed the event you can still make great connnections through the Connector’s Club.

  1. Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Start-Up Program – This is a pilot program that connects 25 start-ups to the business community. This is a great way to gain mentorship and advice from established businesses.
  2. Many beautiful parks – You can’t always be working! Go enjoy the great outdoors and let those ideas percolate.
  3. Entrepreneurship Manitoba – This a business-focused website designed for the entrepreneur at every stage in their business. With a host of resources at hand, you need to bookmark this site.
  4. Meetups – If you haven’t been to a meetup, then find one today and get out there! These are the easiest ways to connect with fellow entrepreneurs and new business owners in a no pressure and friendly atmosphere. Some favourite meetups include: Ramp Up Manitoba, WinniPi Rasberry Pi User Group and ACI Manitoba: A Creative Community.
  5. Open Data – An Open Data Portal basically contains information already gathered by City administrators, allows anyone with a computer to access that information immediately.
  6. Hackers, Hustlers and Hipsters – These partnerships can lead to great things. Hackers are coders, hustlers are the entrepreneurs and hipsters are the design gurus. When all three come together you can get some pretty incredible results. If you’re just one piece of the puzzle then go find your teammates.
  7. Ramp Up Weekends – Be thrown into the lean start up approach to starting a new business and go from idea to startup in 55 hours. You get a chance to pitch your idea to the crowd and the top ideas go through the ramp up process to hopefully go on to become a full-fledged Manitoba startup.
  8. Innovate Manitoba –They are a community-based organization whose primary goal is to serve the needs of Manitoba entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors.  With multiple programs and funding options, they’re worth checking out.
  9. CentrePort – An inland port located in Winnipeg with 20,000 acres of industrial zoned land and a foreign trade zone unique to Canada. Now that’s something to take note of.
  10. ICTAM – The Information and Communications Technologies Association of Manitoba unites the efforts of government and industry to inspire and support Manitoba entrepreneurs. Check out their list of upcoming events and consider membership to connect with other business owners.
  11. The Winnipeg Jets, The Manitoba Moose and The Blue Bombers – Need we say more? How many cities can support a CFL team plus both NHL and AHL teams!
  12. The MTS Data Centres – The MTS Data Centres Waverley facility is set up with diverse connectivity and the latest in telecommunications technology – making it easy for you to connect to a full suite of MTS services, including advanced data and Internet services delivered by MTS’s state of the art telecommunications network. Get to know your options and benefits of keeping your data safe.

SEE RELATED: 5 Ways for Canadian Firms to Think Through the Data Centre Decision

  1. You! The exciting part of this is that you will discover your own unique reasons for starting your business in Manitoba.


I know there are many other reasons to start your business in Manitoba. If you’ve already gone through the process, tell us your best tips in the comments below.

Marney Stapley

Marney is the Vice President, North Forge Technology Exchange. The North Forge Technology Exchange provides access to advanced digital fabrication and prototyping equipment with support from entrepreneurial and innovation communities. In her spare time, she helps to shape one of the world's most respected blogs dedicated entirely to Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing. She is also a volunteer for TEDx Winnipeg as a team member who selects and works with engaging speakers.

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