Meet PEI’s first business navigator
Islanders may know Alicia Birt from Innovation PEI, where she worked with various divisions for over 15 years.
Now, Alicia is working as PEI’s first business navigator, a role she started early last year, where she provides one-on-one support to Island business owners.
“It’s simple. If you’re starting a business or own a business and have any questions at all, reach out to me. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll either find it for you or connect you with someone that can,” Alicia explains.
She helps entrepreneurs navigate provincial regulations and other information so that they can focus on running their businesses.
“Basically, we do the work for you so that you can continue to grow.”
She says that her first year in the role has been extremely rewarding. “People can get a little lost trying to find the information they need. Opening a business is exciting but it can be overwhelming too.
I help business owners find their way. Rather than sending them to multiple departments I gather the details for them to save their time and energy.”
Alicia has a business degree from UPEI and says she has access to lots of great resources and contacts that she uses to help Island business owners.
The province modeled the business navigator role on similar positions in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that were created in the past few years to help their local business owners.
Alicia says there is definitely a need for this role on PEI. She has assisted more than 300 Island businesses in 2021, collectively saving those businesses an estimated $334,000.
“I’m really looking forward to working with more local entrepreneurs in 2022. It’s rewarding being in a position where I can help save business owners time allowing them to focus on what’s important, starting and growing their business.”
The business navigator is available Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-833-335-0536 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This free service helps guide people through the provincial regulations that come with starting, owning and operating a business.