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article imageShop Class helps entrepreneurs get online with Shopify

By Jack Derricourt     May 30, 2017 in Business
Going digital can be a struggle for small and medium-sized businesses. That’s why Shopify has launched a Canada-wide tour of experts and panel talks in order to listen to entrepreneurs and help them find the answers to their questions.
From May 30th to June 1st, Shopify is at BrainStation in Toronto for Shop Class, the first of many stops across Canada in 2017. The ecommerce company is speaking directly to entrepreneurs in order to learn more about Canadian small and medium-sized businesses — what kind of issues they’re facing and how Shopify can help them achieve their goals for growth.
Shopify is no stranger to what makes businesses tick, and what helps entrepreneurs make the most of the digital market. The company has over 400,000 merchants that use their platform to deal with over $34 billion in gross merchandise volume.
The Shop Class tour stops are a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs that have heard about Shopify and want to learn more, or even those business owners that have only started to make the shift towards digital and are looking for advice. A group of Shopify experts are helping newcomers to the platform understand the many apps within the company’s ecosystem, and how they can be scaled to help individual businesses.
The push to go digital is only getting stronger for owners of small and medium-sized businesses. Shopify is helping that process by taking on the all-important task of listening to what entrepreneurs are saying.
Shop Class offers entrepreneurs a chance to speak one-on-one with Shopify s experts.
Shop Class offers entrepreneurs a chance to speak one-on-one with Shopify's experts.
Digital Journal
”We can talk about small and medium-sized businesses at such a high level,” says Shopify’s Director of Policy and Government Affairs, Alexandra Clark. “What Shop Class is doing for the first time in Canada is getting on the ground and talking directly to these entrepreneurs, talking to the small businesses.”
For many entrepreneurs, this is the first time someone is sitting down and showing them how ecommerce tools can help them grow the value of their business. That’s what Clark has seen even within a short period of time during the first stop on the Shop Class Canada-wide tour.
“What we’re finding even on stop number one in Toronto is that there are a lot of questions that haven’t been answered for a very long time. And through a simple conversation, sitting down in front of a laptop, looking at their store, looking at their business model, you can quickly identify ways they could do digital adoption.”
Shopify, as a newer generation of Canadian business, is looking to help the country’s entrepreneurs innovate — and maybe rid themselves of the baggage of some longstanding Canadian business assumptions.
“We’re too often quick to say ‘Canadians are so risk adverse’. I don’t think that’s true,” says Clark. “I think we need to stop saying that. I think what we need to focus on is… what do Canadians need to take those leaps? What Shop Class is hoping to do is have those conversations this year and well past 2017 to ensure that those businesses are successful.”
As well as the one-on-one sessions with experts and Shopify gurus, Shop Class will include Real Talk sessions in order to provide practical experiences that entrepreneurs can learn from.
Real Talk With Entrepreneurs will give Shop Class attendees a chance to hear real-world experiences ...
Real Talk With Entrepreneurs will give Shop Class attendees a chance to hear real-world experiences from Shopify users.
Digital Journal Staff
“We will be hosting panels for the second night at each stop,” says Clark, “looking at themes and trends that are affecting entrepreneurs in different jurisdictions. Having that national conversation, but really identifying different realities depending on the province that you’re faced with — are you landlocked or are you thinking about shipping in a different way.”
To support the spirit of Canadian enterprise, Shopify has built a web page to attract potential business owners who may have never heard of the platform before.
“If you don’t know what Shopify is, that doesn’t matter,” says Clark Rabbior, Shopify’s Government Relations Specialist, “we’re talking to entrepreneurs. We’re not talking just about Shopify. We’re going to lay out some data, we’re going to tell you some captivating stories. And we’re going to try and influence you to get you out in person to talk with us.”
The Shop Class tour will be heading across the whole country — hitting Montreal, Halifax, Whitehorse, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg before the tour stops in Shopify’s home town of Ottawa for mid-September. Check out the Shop Class website for more information.
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