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A hub for entrepreneurs adapting to a new normal

Introducing What Next — a new program to help you take the next step in your business.

We asked, and we heard you: you’re looking for guidance for your business that’s the right fit for you, and the right fit for now. The What Next program, created in partnership with Cisco and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), was designed to give you the targeted, actionable advice that you need, connecting you with experts and fellow entrepreneurs. We know the ‘new normal’ still doesn’t feel very normal, but you’ve made it through the panic and the pivot — now it’s time to plan. 


Helping you navigate the challenges and opportunities of today’s uncertain entrepreneurial world — starting with your next steps.


Helping you navigate the challenges and opportunities of today’s uncertain entrepreneurial world — starting with your next steps.

What's included?

Is it right for me?

The program is a great fit for any entrepreneur looking for targeted, actionable advice rather than more broad and basic knowledge. We welcome all entrepreneurs who are self-identified women or a marginalized gender, from any industry, and any business size. 

How do I sign up?

All we need is your email to give you access to the curated content pages for each module, featuring videos, articles, podcasts and thought-starter questions to get you to your goals. Applications are closed for our first cohort of 12 entrepreneurs participating in the expert-led, small group workshops, but you can still add your name to the waitlist.

Either way, you can sign up here.

What Next Workshop Schedule

Cohort 1

Winter 2020

What Next Workshop Schedule

Cohort 1

Winter 2020

All Tuesday and Friday Workshops 

take place 4-5pm EST.

meet the experts

Laura Didyk

Vice President and National Lead, Women Entrepreneurs, BDC

Since joining The Business Development Bank of Canada — better known as BDC, Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs — in 1994, Laura has had the opportunity to work with all types of business owners, at all stages and industries, helping them access the advice and capital needed to grow and succeed. 

Irah Nor

Rêveur Marketing

Irah hails from nearly a decade of experience in the marketing industry. Currently, she is the co-founder of Rêveur Marketing, specializing in holistic growth strategies for SMB’s that accelerate their business and also in helping founders become more knowledgeable about various facets of marketing. 

Sales & Technology:
Lissa Ricci

Vice President, Small Business Solutions, Cisco Canada

Lissa has always been a sales leader — managing her first sales team when she was only 23 years old. Now leading the charge at Cisco Canada to support small businesses with tailored solutions, Lissa is passionate about technology and how it can help growing businesses achieve their goals.

Sharon Nyangweso

Founder and CEO,

Sharon is the founder and CEO of QuakeLab, a full-stack inclusion and communications agency. Sharon specializes in a radical new approach to diversity and inclusion that is measurable, strategic, and based on a strong foundation of design thinking. She has worked across sectors with organizations in 11 countries.

The 'new normal' still doesn't feel normal.

more ways to get help
how they're adapting

Advice from entrepreneurs

From our partners

Resources and tools


Free Trials + Offers From Cisco

Try before you buy, and get the best deals on world-class IT solutions »

0% Tech Financing From Cisco

Our flexible payment solutions support your business opportunities and challenges »

Reliable Network + Advice From BDC

Get in touch with one of the trusted experts from across Canada »


2020 Small Business Digital Maturity Study

Find out where your business sits compared to others with this global study conducted by Cisco on digital maturity »


Understand Your Financial Statements

Get a full picture of your business’ financial health, from BDC »

How to Get a Business Loan

Step-by-step advice on asking for the loan you need, from BDC »

Attracting and Selling Online

Find out how online marketing can propel your business forward, from BDC »

Beyond Survival: A Small Business Resiliency Guide

Find industry insights, helpful resources, and stories of innovation, from Cisco »

Regional Resource Guides for Women Entrepreneurs

In a complex ecosystem, you can rely on these trusted resources, from BDC »


Make Your Well-being a Priority

Compiled by BDC, find practical advice for time-pressed entrepreneurs and links to outside resources to help you take care of your mental health and the health of your loved ones »

Webinars Focused on Mental Health

In partnership with Life Recovery Program, watch webinars focused on mental wellness and resilience — for you and your team. 

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