Capital Ideas is about Calgary business owners helping business owners by sharing what they know in the Calgary Herald FP section and at live events.


Here is where we are coming from:

  • We believe every entrepreneur has learned something that would help others start or improve their businesses.
  • We believe sharing that knowledge would make Calgary a stronger, better, more innovative city.
  • We believe the entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable mindset, whether or not you run your own business.
  • We believe in a creative, collaborative kind of entrepreneurship focused on succeeding on one’s own merits rather than tearing the competition down.
  • We believe in honest, genuine and useful conversation and interaction that is never boring.

If you believe these things too, join us.

Want to stay in the Capital Ideas loop? Follow us on Twitter!   moderated by the Capital Ideas team: @RiotgirlKim@ClubZee and occasionally @JeffSamsonow


Here’s what Calgary entrepreneurs are learning through Capital Ideas:


Megan Armstrong“The best thing I have learned through Capital Ideas is that learning never stops and there are a large group of impressive people to learn from. Joining Capital Ideas has lead me to think in new ways and I feel inspired by each publication and event. Entrepreneurs are a powerful, dynamic group and being more involved in the community teaches me to grow in all areas and challenges me to do more. It has also brought forth topics that I hadn’t even considered, all of which have had a positive impact on my business.” — Megan Armstrong, owner and director of Dogma Training & Pet Services Inc.


Laura Bechard“It’s not ‘what’ I do when I implement a tactic in my business, but “how” I do it that contributes to its effectiveness. I am building the village around my business with a network of business owners. We can help each other along the way with well selected members of an advisory board who complement our skills and often bring a different perspective.”— Laura Bechard, business & executive coach, Bexco Business & Executive Coaching


JimButton“It was less of a learning, more of a reaffirmation. I am completely encouraged by the amount of amazing Calgarians that are putting themselves out there to make our city a better place. — Jim Button, partner at Evans Hunt and co-owner of Village Brewery


Sara Dasko


“The power of influence in staying connected and networking with an awesome community and the strength that comes from keeping up to date with my industry’s advancements. I love learning from the insights of like-minded people in different industries.” — Sara Dasko, CEO at Free Mind


Jill Dewes

“Capital Ideas has opened my eyes to the sheer number of smart, motivated entrepreneurs in this city. From food and beverage, to personal care, to technology, healthcare and education there are really exciting things happening all around us and it’s great to see them.” — Jill Dewes, managing director of Uppercut



“I’ve learned that as an entrepreneur, I’m not in it alone. There are others out there grinding every day just to keep their business afloat. With the current times we really need to help each other and a part of that is putting an emphasis on local.” — Shawn Freeman, president of TWT Group Inc.


Carmen Goss


“As entrepreneurs, we face many business challenges and we are always looking for solutions. Business support and creative ideas are available through Capital Ideas which makes it a great new resource for us!” — Carmen Goss, HR consultant and career coach at Carmen Goss


Kris Hans“Copy success! We tend to focus on what went wrong and how do we fix it. Instead switch your attention to what went right and how do you duplicate it. Look for areas of success and clone them.”— Kris Hans, strategist at Market Grade


Kelly Hipkin

“I have learned that I am not alone! There are many others going through the same kind of challenges and seeking the same type of support. It has kept me motivated to stay the course. Thank you for what you do to lift up small business owners.” — Kelly Hipkin, owner of Organized Lives Ltd.



“Marketing in today’s environment. In reading the weekly Capital Ideas pages, as well as attending a few of the monthly events, I’ve learned about the interconnection of the various web media and how I can utilize them to get my message out and realize effective inbound traffic.” — Bob Hogarth, principal of Propose To Win Consulting


Wellington Holbrook 75x75“For me, the best thing I have learned thanks to the great ideas that get shared through Capital Ideas is that Alberta continues to lead the way with innovative and thoughtful entrepreneurs that are going to change the world. I am inspired by the entrepreneurs who take the time to share their ideas and show their entrepreneurial spirit.” — Wellington Holbrook, executive vice president of ATB Business


“To bDean Kendalle able to share, listen and help each other. Allow others to enhance their quality of life and achieve their goals. This results in everyone being better for themselves, their family, their business and the community.” — Dean Kendall, founder of Ideal Life Experience Ltd.


“The importance and power of collaboration with other local business owners was discovered through my involvement with Capital Ideas. Networking is one thing we all know is necessary, but having the opportunity to talk with and listen to the insights, experiences and ideas from other business owners is invaluable. Different perspectives can be inspiring. Capital Ideas has done an excellent job at facilitating this exchange for us all. I look forward to the weekly questions and lunchtime panels that can even be accessed remotely.” — Alana Kitchen, founder of Who To Call


Valery Klassen

“I am unable to narrow it down to just one thing. I’ve learned a lot about running and promoting my business from social media to networking. The people on the panel are so supportive and have such great advice that I have actually put into use. I’m a huge supporter of networking with like-minded businesses and the advice and comments that I read in answer to each of the weekly questions is invaluable. Keep up the great work!” — Valery Klassen, owner and designer at Sun 7 Designs

Merri Lemmex

“It’s hard to boil it down to one thing, but I learned that Calgary has a really pervasive entrepreneurial spirit, and tapping into it helps teach you lessons to improve on your own business and strategy. Small business owners need a network of like-minded individuals to bounce ideas off and get advice. Capital Ideas has brought us great stories from entrepreneurs on how they got in business, how they run their business, and especially how they stay in business through all their ups and downs.” — Merri Lemmex, owner of Lemmex Williams Training Inc.


RalphMeyer“By comparing answers with the others listed, we can tailor our marketing and production efforts. Our clients now communicate more frequently, because they feel, their responses are validated.” — Ralph Meyer, president of RMMT Enterprises


Carla Paradis“I know that we all hear it all of the time, but just to be patient and that things will happen if you work hard and dedicate the time needed. It is nice to actually sit down and listen to the many panels of successful people and hear their stories as to how this holds true. I am just ending my first year as a business owner. Seeing the individuals who are in different stages of their company and learning about the hardships that their businesses faced and how they have overcome them, as well as the successes, allows me to sit back and breathe because I know that I too, can get through almost anything to achieve the success that I vision for my business. It is refreshing to see so many entrepreneurs in this city, young and old, and know that we are all here supporting each other and cheering each other on.Thank you Capital Ideas and ATB for making it all happen! ” — Carla Paradis, owner of Paradis Events Management Inc.



“The vibrancy and diversity of the entrepreneurial scene in Calgary is just amazing. There are so many great businesses and people here and Capital Ideas is really great at highlighting the best.” — Ave Peetri, owner of Confident Marketing Coach 


Michelle Phaneuf

“All the advice provided through Capital Ideas has been inspiring for me as an Alberta entrepreneur undertaking a new initiative to support fairness in workplaces. The questions focused on marketing, social media, innovation and collaboration have all been very applicable to our business. Keep it coming Capital Ideas and thanks for the support!”— Michelle Phaneuf, Alberta co-director at Workplace Fairness 



“The Capital Ideas sessions that I attended this year were inspiring. The dominant theme was the entrepreneur spirit. I heard many Calgarian entrepreneurs describe how they came up with a business idea and brought it to conception. These dynamic business owners discussed overcoming obstacles, troubleshooting, innovation as well as productivity. Leaving each session I was energized and motivated about my own business. Capital Ideas sessions is a great way to meet fellow Calgarian entrepreneurs and get charged up about your business.” —  Christine Salberg, founder of Innovative PlanIT 


Shauna Sinclair

“Instead of thinking, talking and procrastination just get in the arena and play already!” — Shauna Sinclair, president of Wild Things Baby Stuff Inc.



“Quite simply, the value of connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs. It can be pretty lonely out here, and sometimes you can become so wrapped up in your own business you forget that you are not alone and that there are many others out there in our community facing the same challenges and problems as you. Hearing from fellow entrepreneurs in the weekly question and answer has been reassuring, inspiring and motivational, a weekly dose of entrepreneurial medicine.” — Sam Tattersall, Integrative Health Coach at Mamaita’s Journey


All of the above learning is what entrepreneurs shared with us celebrating one year of Capital Ideas Calgary.