5 Reasons to Start your Small Business in the West Shore

Ready to start a new small or home-based business? Maybe even relocating?

There’s a thriving community just waiting for you to take your place: Victoria’s West Shore – one of Canada’s fastest growing business hubs.

Perched on the southern tip of Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, Greater Victoria boasts one of the most robust climates for your start-up or restart – a place your future employees and customers are eager to call “home”.

Here are five great reasons to consider Greater Victoria’s West Shore for your new home base:

  1. Access to Greater Victoria’s booming tech sector – and the skilled labour force that comes with it.
  2. A burgeoning market of a half million people – and growing – of all ages and demographics.
  3. An “open for business” mentality at City Hall.
  4. World-class amenities, educational and cultural opportunities in your backyard.
  5. Ready access to a local network with global connections.

The Tech Sector: BC’s Quiet Giant

According to a 2018 study by the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC) the tech sector brought $5.2 billion to the economy and employed nearly 17K people in 2017.

Given the relatively small size of Victoria, that number is staggering, and makes technology the largest contributor to the economy to the Greater Victoria region, and a titan in the Province of British Columbia. Get business advice from a handpicked selection of Canada’s small business leaders at the SOHO conference in the heart of Victoria.

That’s right, in an area world-renowned for tourism, tech is actually a bigger economic engine! And it’s projected to keep growing.

Why do you care? With that economic power comes a deep talent pool of potential employees and innovators looking for opportunities to stretch their brain muscles. 

And, of course, the Southern Vancouver Island region is also renowned for its easy access to outdoor pursuits, night life, restaurants and easy West Coast lifestyle.

Which brings us to the second point…

Greater Victoria: Greater Than You Think 

Set aside your preconceived notions about a sleepy seaside village full of retirees and tourists. 

The demographics that make up this half-million strong market, especially in the West Shore, are shifting – not so slowly – towards families drawn by the schools, pools and abundant outdoor activities.

Young professionals are looking at “the suburbs” of Victoria as a place to get a foothold in the real estate market and plant some roots.

They subscribe to the “buy local, think global” mentality. 

Your network of support in the community will give you a solid base to either create a sound, locally-based business or the confidence to grow outside your market and expand nationally, even internationally.

The Old “Dogpatch”: Not So Stone-Aged Anymore.

The City of Langford, the anchor of this burgeoning business centre, is one of the most progressive municipalities in Canada.

Once a small bedroom community, their long-serving, forward-thinking Mayor and successive councils have paved the way for new business start-ups, consistently out-pacing the rest of Canada.

Dedicated to rolling out the red carpet and cutting red tape, new businesses won’t find more fertile ground to grow their business when they reach out to City Hall.

Not that long ago that the City of Langford looked like this shot of Goldstream Avenue at Bryn Maur Road. (Photo courtesy of the City of Langford)

The World Outside Your Window

Greater Victoria is renowned for its open-arms approach to Canada’s new citizens, as you’ll see evidenced throughout the communities in and around southern Vancouver Island.

Countless cultural festivals, limitless dining opportunities and an open-minded spirit showcase the rich patchwork quilt that makes this region so colourful and welcoming to newcomers.

The thriving arts community, an international secondary school hub and five well-respected post-secondary schools attract people from all corners who want to love where they live, work and play.

Live Local, Network Global

The diversity of Greater Victoria gives you a local springboard for global success. Maybe your small business target is getting a foothold in Greater Victoria. 

But if your sights are set on an international market you’re in the right place to make connections that will jumpstart your expansion.

There’s a wealth of opportunities to meet fellow entrepreneurs and well-established investors drawn to networking events by the natural beauty, amenities and open-for-business mentality of the region.

You can grow your small business here…and dream of growing a bigger business. Join us at SOHO Summit on October 10th in Greater Victoria’s West Shore and find out why you should be making the West Shore your home-base for business.

Looking for more advice on starting a business? Here are three more articles to get you there:

Starting a business in Victoria, BC
10 Reasons Why Now is the Right Time To Start a Business in Victoria
15 Tools to Increase Your Business Productivity

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