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The Business Link & VISTA. Value-added Incubator Services Throughout Alberta. The Business Link “Your first stop for small business information in Alberta”. Not-for-Profit organization Funded provincially (AFE) Funded federally (WED) Member of the Canada Business Network

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The Business Link



Value-added Incubator Services Throughout Alberta

The business link your first stop for small business information in alberta
The Business Link“Your first stop for small business information in Alberta”

Not-for-Profit organization

Funded provincially (AFE)

Funded federally (WED)

Member of the Canada Business Network

Alberta-wide services mandate

Office locations in Edmonton and Calgary

VC through Entrepreneurship Learning Centre

(ELC) Network – 38 sites across Alberta

Stakeholders include Community Futures Offices and other community-based organizations across Alberta

Service in both official languages

Tbl services
TBL Services:

Business Resource Library

Largest small business library in Western Canada (+8,000 titles)

Business seminars and training sessions

Provided through the ELC video conferencing network

Spring and fall sessions presented by qualified advisors and successful entrepreneurs

Guest Advisor Program

Free, one-on-one consultations with management consultants, lawyers, accountants, financial advisors and HR experts

Monthly Networking Event

Tbl services1
TBL Services

Toll-free business information line serving Alberta

1 800 272-9675


Monthly electronic newsletter for the small business community

Comprehensive website

Specialized services:

Aboriginal Business Development Services (ABDS)

International Business Services (global competitiveness)

Value-added Incubator Services Throughout Alberta (VISTA)

Tbl contact
TBL Contact


  • Address: 100 – 10237 104 St. NW, T5J 1B1

  • Tel: 780 422-7722

  • Fax: 780 422-0055


  • Address: 250 – 639 5 Ave. SW, T2P 0M9

  • Tel: 403 221-7800

  • Fax: 403 221-7817


Value added incubator services throughout alberta

VISTA is sponsored in part by Rural Alberta's Development Fund,

whose funding is provided by the Government of Alberta.

Defining a Business Incubator

  • Various services provided on site or on a web system where they are offered to start-ups to help them grow

  • Involves dynamic business strategies to help build up strong, viable companies

  • Helps nurture young companies in those first few years when they are most vulnerable

  • Average incubation is 4 Years (depending on the type of incubator)‏

  • Various structures – NPO, For Profit, Private, PPP, Companies, VC

Incubators Results

  • Success rate: In OECD countries, the average success rate of their clients is about 80 to 90% that still go strong after 5 years

  • Compared to a success rate of 10 to 20% for non-incubated businesses

  • Recent Study: 72% of micro-enterprises that entered the market in 1994 survived for one year, 54% survived for two years and 46% survived for three years

    IN: IC Small Business Research and Policy: Key Small Business Statistics - January 2008

  • USA: 3 to 10 jobs added during incubation

Business incubation rural community benefits
Business Incubation: Rural Community Benefits

  • Increased number of healthy companies

  • Increased product commercialization in new sectors

  • Increased job creation

  • Accelerated growth of new business information networks

  • Decreased youth out-migration

  • Stimulation for other community development or redevelopment projects

Vista mission supporting business incubation initiatives in rural alberta
VISTA: MissionSupporting business incubation initiatives in rural Alberta

If you are:

A rural Alberta community interested in starting a business incubator

An existing incubator looking to enhance your services or develop new ones

An entrepreneur or small business owner looking to connect with the appropriate business incubator…

Vista mission
VISTA: Mission

VISTA tools and services are available to:

  • Help support a rural Alberta community assess the viability, develop and operate a new business incubation initiative

  • Provide the tools and resources to sustain a running business incubator

  • Connect Alberta entrepreneurs to the business incubator that will meet their needs

VISTA: Mandate

  • Help rural Alberta business incubator initiatives by providing support services at all stages of development

  • Supplement the services offered by rural-based incubators and increases their capacity and the depth of services they can offer their clients without bearing the full cost

  • Helps to create a strong network of incubators located in every region across the province

Vista process
VISTA Process

1. Initial contact with: VISTA Team, local Community

Futures Office, Community Futures Network of Alberta

2. Determine if business incubation is the right

strategy for your community

3. VISTA support for the development and

operations of your incubator project

4. Ongoing VISTA support for long-term sustainability strategies

Business Incubator Works in Alberta!

(BIWA) Resource Kit

  • Created by The Business Link for communities to evaluate the feasibility and benefits of creating an incubator program

  • This Self-Assessment and How To guide gives you a process to go through to arrive at a factual-based decision point

  • Answers the question: Is a business incubator the right economic development tool for your community?

The BIWA! Resource Kit Process

Section 1: Assess Your Community

Determine Your Community Knowledge and Support

Assess Market Demand

Inventory of Community Resources/Gaps

Analysis of Information Collected

Vista online resource
VISTA Online Resource

  • Website: