As a New CEDO, Having the Right Tools is Key
Stéphane Lecours-Aubin stepped into position as a Community Economic Development Officer (CEDO) in the fall of 2018. Formally trained as a Human Resources Advisor, the economic development sector was totally new to him. That being said, he had to seek out the right tools for the job in order to support Wôlinak and Odanak entrepreneurs. Based upon his experience and with his collaboration, you will find below, a few tricks that may be useful to other newly appointed CEDOs.
From the outset, the two essential elements for Mr. Lecours-Aubin in his work were to be able to listen to people and offer personalized services. To achieve these two objectives, he needed to be equipped with a toolbox chockfull of the right tools and resources to be efficient. Therefore, during his first weeks in position, he drafted a form with diverse categories to be completed when meeting an entrepreneur. This form helps him note all the invaluable information that is required (i.e. name, community, academic and professional portfolio, the type of project the individual is looking to achieve, corporate structure, the needs of the individual, etc.). Thereafter, he asks the entrepreneur to complete another document in which the latter must present a summary of his business project and products and or services to be offered. All this pertinent information enables him to provide support with an approach that is personalized and tailored to the needs of any given entrepreneur.
A further tool developed by Mr. Lecours-Aubin is a list of different key resources and organizations (Indigenous and not) that he or an entrepreneur can call upon throughout the process based on the nature of the project. Similarly, in order to be on top of everything that’s happening in terms of First Nations (communities and organizations), he spent some time on Facebook to identify and “Like” the pages that are most pertinent to his work. Therefore, by regularly scrolling through his “Feed”, in just a few minutes he’s able to strategically and efficiently monitor the relevant medias. Incidentally, he also took the time to directly speak, whether by telephone or in person, with advisors or representatives of some of these organizations in order to be up to speed on their service offerings and to broaden his network.
Lastly, the Internet also being an invaluable tool, Mr. Lecours-Aubin searched the Web on the basis of developing a business start up guide that includes tests, and information and tools on various themes (i.e. business project validation, needs in terms of training, creating a market study, legal structures of a company, etc.).
As you can see, this is just a snapshot of everything that was developed. These tools and information are great assets that allow Mr. Lecours-Aubin to provide custom tailored support to Wôlinak and Odanak entrepreneurs that come to him for help. Any other CEDO from another community could easily be inspired by this “toolbox” to create content that is adapted to his or her own context.
For tools that have been developed by the FNQLEDC, don’t hesitate to visit the “Toolbox” section of our new website at cdepnql.org