Friday, January 18, 2019
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Welcome to the NABI Blog. Our Blog is intended to inform, explain, clarify and raise awareness on current business topics and issues. Do you have a story you would like to share on our blog or be featured in our newsletter? Simply send an email and tell us what you want us to know. We want to hear about your success stories.

MY CITY: Of mules, markets and business incubators SuperUser
by DAR SCHWANBECK, NABI executive director If the mule can be a metaphor for the qualities of a small businessperson or farmer — hard-working, even-tempered, intelligent, and requiring less food than a horse of the same size — then maybe a farmers’ market can be a good parallel for a business incubator. Since St. Albert has both, let’s check this out. A farmers’ market is a retail market featuring goods sold directly by farmers to consumers. Due to the growing interest in healthier foods and local products, there were about 6,000 farmers’ markets in the United States in 2012. In St. Albert, the Farmers’ Market is in its 31st year, has over 250 vendors and serves about 15,000 people each summer; economic contribution may be in the range of $5 million to $10 million. Business incubators help with the process of starting and growing companies. They offer shared office services, access to equipment, flexible leases and expandable space, all under one roof. There are about 2,500 business incubators in North America. In St. Albert, the Northern Alberta Business Incubator Society (NABI), now in its 24th year, is home to about 100 small businesses, which, in 2012, generated $70 million in sales and a payroll of about $12 million. So far, we see strong parallels between farmers’ markets and incubators. Each provides business frameworks where small entrepreneurs can succeed. But what else? At markets, farmers can gain new sources of revenue, get higher prices, diversify their skills, access networking and learning opportunities and reduce their costs for land, buildings and lighting. In incubators, entrepreneurs get just the space they need — no more, no less. Most have short-term leases that reduce the risk of starting a business. They get the support services they need, and can access all sorts of learning opportunities. Seems entrepreneurs have a lot in common with farmers! With both, more money is spent locally, and it circulates longer. Both provide .....

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Northern Alberta Business Incubator Society (NABI)

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Mission Centre 

13 Mission Avenue
St. Albert, AB  T8N 1H6

Phone:   780.460.1000
Fax:        780.460.5074

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Campbell Centre

200 Carnegie Drive
St. Albert, AB  T8N 5A7

Phone:   780.460.1000
Fax:        780.460.7205

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