The Restigouche CBDC (Community Business Development Corporation) is based in Restigouche County, in northern New Brunswick Canada, with its head office based in Campbellton. The CBDC is a non-profit organization, incorporated in 1988 (has been in operation for over 27 years). The organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of 13 individuals from the local business community.
The Restigouche CBDC is part of a national network of 269 independent non-profit organizations called the COMMUNITY FUTURES NETWORK OF CANADA (www.communityfuturescanada.ca). These organizations provide rural communities with a variety of services including entrepreneurship support, business development loans, technical support and training. They work with different levels of government to meet the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as to work for job creation within their communities.
The Restigouche CBDC has a professional staff team of 23 individuals. This staff team has diverse experience in fields such as: small business development, entrepreneurship, job search strategies, training, career counselling, essential skills, research, labour market information, HR management, financial management, and research and development (R&D). In addition, the CBDC manages a small business loans portfolio of over $10 million.
Over the years, the Restigouche CBDC has diversified in an effort to further increase the development of rural small businesses. The Restigouche CBDC has delivered several national projects for a variety of national government agencies.
One of these national projects was the Digital Essential Skills in Rural Small Businesses project, as details below.
The Digital Essential Skills in Rural Small Businesses National Project (2012-2016)
This online Workplace Digital Skills training (offered to small businesses through this Website), is a result of a national project, which was completed in 2016.
The Restigouche CBDC delivered this multi-year national project through the Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program [ALLESP] of the Government of Canada. This project was completed in the spring of 2016, with significant successful results. The project’s goal was to increase the effectiveness of rural SMEs in enhancing the digital skill levels of employees, by providing access to an online training model. The project also aimed to increase capacity of the field in essential digital skills through knowledge gained following the pilot testing and evaluation of a digital essential skills training model. The model was piloted in 10 SMEs, in five provinces (NS, NB, QC, MN, and AB), with the help of five local Guides trained in communicating with businesses and supporting them in delivering the model. In addition, five provincial Workplace Essential Skills Instructors played a supportive role in the piloting, through collaboration with the five provincial departments involved in the project’s National Advisory Committee. This was a fully bilingual project, with all activities and deliverables in both French and English.