Marketing for economic development of Francophone entrepreneurs
The Economic Development Council for Francophones enhances the economic development of French-speaking communities, offering training, access to capital, information services, marketing advice, networking and mentoring for Francophone entrepreneurs. The regional organization for Alberta runs with support from Western Economic Diversification Canada.
The number of entrepreneurs contacting the organization was very low. New business owners saw little value in paying membership fees. The council’s management team and the government (to whom it reported and depended on for funding) were not satisfied with the performance. The council needed to improve visibility of its mandate, improve its image, and showcase the services they were providing.
As development officer, Marie-Eve Mayrand initiated an innovative marketing strategy which included:
- New programs to promote economic investments in the Francophone community in Alberta, offering marketing consultation to entrepreneurs and investors in 60 companies, to help them create businesses start-ups and target clients. Within six months, she launched the business mentoring program, which connected established business owners with startups.
- Aggressive networking with the industry and community to attract Francophone business influencers and entrepreneurs.
- Development of the organization’s brand image, website and social media strategy.
- Attendance at community educational and recruiting events increased by more than 50%.
- Membership grew by 110% in one year.
- The council obtained new funding through membership creation and sponsorship. This in turn increased the organization’s budget for Francophone community initiatives.