Sheridan offering free digital marketing training for small businesses hit hard by COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many small business owners experiencing financial hardship. Amongst the worst hit are from underrepresented communities, and Sheridan’s Pilon School of Business (PSB) and EDGE Entrepreneurship Hub is offering them the opportunity to participate in a free 12-week training program, which includes $500 for the business to use towards digital marketing activities and expenses.  

“In a 12-week intensive program, we aim to support participants to gain the necessary digital marketing footprint and skills to successfully grow their business,”

Dr. Sujinda Hwang-Leslie

The Building Small Business Resilience Digital Marketing Training Program is a key component of a collaborative research project between PSB and EDGE, funded by the Government of Canada Future Skills Centre. The project aims to help underrepresented small business owners including women, Indigenous people, racialized people or visible minorities, immigrants, individuals who identify as LGBTQ2S+, persons with disabilities or persons without a postsecondary education. 

Facilitated by EDGE, one of Sheridan’s six research and incubation centres, participants of the training program will learn how to develop and execute a digital marketing campaign plan specific to their business and customer base. They will also learn to identify elements of success and failure so they can adapt and optimize results. The training will be experiential – learning by doing – with technical support provided. 

The research is led by PSB professors Garrett Hall and Dr. Sujinda Hwang-Leslie, who specialize in digital marketing with experience in running and growing a small business. “We were small business owners ourselves, so we understand the challenges of having limited resources and investment and trying to make the most of everything,” says Hall. “In a 12-week intensive program, we aim to support participants to gain the necessary digital marketing footprint and skills to successfully grow their business,” adds Dr. Hwang-Leslie. 

Two training sessions will be offered as part of the program. The first runs from September 21 to December 17, 2021 and the second from January 24 to April 15, 2022. Underrepresented small business owners in Canada are encouraged to apply. 

Learn more about participating in the project. 

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