The Working Centre offers a few different supports for people pursuing sustainable livelihood through self employment in small business. We hope that we can work together to use these resources in a creative combination that works for best you.
Waterloo Region ASSETS+ Project (WRAP)
WRAP offers a ten-week Business Training and Entrepreneurship Readiness Course. We have three program starts a year. Please contact us if you’d like to know when the next course begins.
The Local Exchange
The Local Exchange is an online tool that lists and facilitates the buying and selling of local goods and services. This website serves as a publicly accessible, dynamic catalogue where you can buy and sell with your neighbours the things we make and do.
As a person with a small or side business you can use this website to promote yourself and your goods or services and connect to community minded consumers and other local producers. The Local Exchange can be accessed here.
BarterWorks is a network within the Local Exchange of individuals and small businesses that uses a local currency. BarterWorks can assist you by:
- Offering you the opportunity to build marketing materials that can be tested on a smaller basis, with others offering creative suggestions
- Providing a network from which to build your marketing strategy - word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools
- Provides an opportunity to transform your skills or hobbies into a source of income, by developing good business practice and attending to the needs of others.
- Providing you with a network of support
- Finding a mentor who can assist you in a particular project or in building a particular skill
BarterWorks helps you delve deeper into local economics. This network of people trades a virtual currency called BarterDollars for the things members make and do. This currency is only accepted locally, making it available to be traded over and over again.
Queen Street Commons Gift Shop
Queen Street Commons' gift shop is a cooperatively run space for crafters, sewers, BarterWorks members and others associated with The Working Centre, to display their handiwork for sale. This project supports people who seek to make money from their skills and handiwork. Small business people with a product may wish to participate in this project.
- Do you need a basic computer for word processing and Internet use? Learn about ways to purchase an affordable refurbished computer from The Working Centre's Computer Recycling
- Computers are available in our resource centre for use, maximum of 2 hours per day. All public computers have Internet access. Pages printed from the Internet are 10 cents per copy.
- The Working Centre offers a wide range of self-directed online Computer Training Programs
- For those operating a home-based business, we can sometimes offer space for you to meet with a client or potential customer in our resource centre.
- Computers are available in our resource centre for use, maximum 2 hours per day. All public computers have Internet access. Pages printed from the Internet are 10 cents per copy.
- The Working Centre has an extensive library of small business and home-based business books and resources. These are available for use in our centre only.
- Small business start-up information available for entrepreneurs.
- Books for Sustainable Living offers extensive books and resources for purchase.
Creative ways to earn extra income
The Working Centre’s Community Tools projects can help you to develop and hone relevant skills for a potential job or self employment. A few of examples of the types of activities that you can participate in are:
- Bicycle building and maintenance
- Urban farming
- Retail activities at furniture and house wares thrift store, a used clothing shop and a cafe
- Various artisanal activities such as soap making, paper making, sewing, knitting, silk screening, fabric up-cycling.
- Cooking and food preparation
- Computer repair and maintenance