SUMMERSIDE – Jan. 13, 2014 – The slate of events being planned for 2015 by the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI will focus squarely on the themes of networking, sharing and learning.
As she unveiled the year’s calendar of events during a Members’ Luncheon in Summerside Tuesday, spokesperson Jeannette Arsenault said when the Chamber was re-established five years ago, organizers had identified those three themes as their primary focus. She feels these themes are still as relevant today as they were back at the start.
« It is extremely important for entrepreneurs to network, to establish contacts and to create business relationships since these people could one day become clients, do us a favor, become a partner in a project or somehow contribute to our business, » she said. « Secondly, it is also extremely important to share what we’ve learned with other entrepreneurs so that they can benefit from our experience and expertise and that we can benefit from their experience and expertise. »
« And finally, we have to keep learning so that we stay up to date on technologies, products or methods that affect our industry. We have to remain informed about new laws and regulations that concern us and it certainly helps to be aware of any new programs that could support our businesses. »
Arsenault noted that the calendar of events remains in a state of constant flux so that new activities can be added to it as new ideas, speakers or resources become available. At present, the calendar contains 21 events.
Arsenault concluded that the vast majority of events will be organized jointly with various community partners but especially with the Wellington Rural Action Centre. Other occasional partners are the CBDC Central PEI, the Conseil de développement coopératif, Summerside and Charlottetown chambers of commerce, the Centre Belle-Alliance, the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean, the PEI Regional Committee of Les Jeux de l’Acadie, the Collège Acadie Î.-P.-É. and various federal and provincial departments.
As of mid-January, the 2015 calendar contains lunch-and-learns on themes such as eForcePEI training, various government services, the importance of online customer reviews, yoga at work, the sale of artistic and handcraft creations and financial planning.
Several major events are also being planned: the 2015 Entrepreneurs’ Gala (where entrepreneurial awards will be presented) in March and the 2015 Acadian Golf Tournament in September. A few events will also be organized on the occasion of Co-op and Small Business Weeks next fall and business mixers are being planned with other chambers this spring.
This year, the Chamber’s (and RDÉE Prince Edward Island’s) annual general meeting will be held for a first time in Charlottetown. Members will have an opportunity to showcase their wares.
Over the summer months, the Chamber hopes to organize a lobster-fishing excursion and a trip to feed the giant tunas. A barbecue for new entrepreneurs is also being planned. Next winter, the Chamber wants to organize a sleigh ride and Christmas reception.
Some of the events will be offered free of charge, but in most cases, members will be able to benefit from a discount price.
Arsenault concluded that during the past year, the Chamber collaborated in the organization of 27 events that attracted 771 participants (so an average of 28.5 people per activity). For the New Year, the Chamber will use that barometer to see if the participation level is being maintained, is increasing or diminishing.
CUTLINE: Jeannette Arsenault, left, spokesperson for the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI, explains the Chamber’s calendar of events for 2015 to Gloria Gallant, co-owner of HMS Office Supplies of Summerside.
For more information:
Raymond J. Arsenault
Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI
902-854-3439, Ext. 231