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For immediate release
Thursday, April 7, 2011 - Calgary, AB. – Meyers Norris Penny LLP (MNP) and the Government of Alberta have announced a partnership to offer the Self-Employment (SE) Program to members of the Southern Alberta region, including Medicine Hat and Brooks. Funded by the Provincial and Federal governments, this program is designed for unemployed and underemployed individuals wanting to start a business for the first time. Statistics Canada reported that in January 2011, the unemployment rate for Medicine Hat and area was 4.3 per cent, compared to the provincial average of 5.9 per cent and the national average of 7.8 per cent. In 2010, Medicine Hat and area averaged an overall unemployment rate of 6.3 per cent.
“While the unemployment rate for South Eastern Alberta has been improving, the number of business licenses in the Medicine Hat area has decreased by 26 per cent year-over-year,” said Larry Johnson, Partner, MNP. “The goal of the SE Program is to provide unemployed and underemployed individuals with the tools to help their new businesses succeed. We are very proud to have an average 82 per cent success rate with this program in other regions and we look forward to helping aspiring entrepreneurs in Southern Alberta to get their business off the ground.”
In addition to the targeted entrepreneurial training with business plan development, the SE program also provides participants with access to MNP experienced advisors in fields such as cashflow, bookkeeping, tax, business planning, research, marketing, HR, and strategy. Participants also get one-on-one business coaching during the initial launch of their business. Alumni from MNP’s other SE Programs across Canada are connected to graduates of the Southern Alberta SE program via social media databases such as LinkedIn to assist in building relationships, generating ideas and fostering entrepreneurial synergies.
MNP currently has SE Programs based in Calgary, Regina, Estevan, Weyburn, Yorkton, and Winnipeg. All six programs are very successful, resulting in more than 80 per cent of the participants being fully operational after their first year in business.
To date, more than 2,000 small businesses across Canada have been supported through the program. Rooted in the community since 1947, MNP’s Medicine Hat office comprises 55 team members, including 12 Partners, all of whom are very excited about the launch of this training program.
Applications for entry into the SE Program will be accepted starting April 18, 2011. Participants accepted into the program must have an entrepreneurial drive to start their own business as well as a viable business idea. Preference is given to unemployed or underemployed individuals. Those who are employed but wish to start or purchase a business for the first time may be eligible. For more information on how to qualify for, please call 1.877.500.0786 or visit
MNP is one of the largest chartered accountancy and business advisory firms in Canada, providing client-focused assurance, taxation and business advice. MNP has proudly served mid-market public and private companies for more than 60 years. Through the development of strong partnerships, MNP provides organizations with personalized strategies and a local perspective to help clients succeed. For more information, visit
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