BCEDA Economic Development Wayfinder Program

Bounce ideas, find support for a career move, talk through the options for a sticky project– a mentor that can help you find your way can be a real career saver.


BCEDA’s goal, through the Economic Development Wayfinder Program (EDWP), is to connect experienced economic developers with new or young economic developers around the province. In addition, experienced economic developers can use the program to help identify new methods, overcome specific challenges or just bounce of ideas for new initiatives.  During the EDWP process, the mentee will have an opportunity to walk through issues that he or she is dealing with at the moment. These situations could range anywhere from issues dealing with their board or council, to developing new prospects; strategic planning, business retention, entrepreneurship programs, resident attraction, workforce development, and more.

Much of economic development is learned on-the-job. There are few academic programs and professional development opportunities that are at the specific time an issue arises. Many economic development offices are small, sometimes a one-person shop, so learning from co-workers may not be an option.  An EDWP mentor can provide support while you learn on-the-job and guidance to get through challenging situations.

Program Goals

To help educate and train the next generation of economic developers in British Columbia by fostering communication and positive working relationships with experienced economic developers.  In addition, BCEDA recognizes that even experienced economic developers face challenges and this program is designed to serve their needs as well. 

The Mentor Process

The mentor-mentee relationship can take many forms. Coach someone through a challenging project, advise on a career move, or be a sounding board for new ideas. The mentor and mentee decide the scope of the relationship, such as to achieve a specific goal or complete a specific project. Mentoring can be done through online coaching, virtual meeting technology, teleconference, and in person. Matchmaking is done based on questionnaires filled out by mentors and mentees.

Structuring the Mentorship (for the mentor and the mentee)

1.       Determine the goal of the mentorship. Is it for a specific project, to work through a challenging (i.e. maybe with your board), or to position you for career advancement?

2.       Establish a set of steps that you both agree will lead to achieving the mentorship goal.

3.       Determine how you will communicate and how often.

4.       Schedule the next engagement.

Click on the following links to find our more details and to apply to be a mentor or to have a mentor assigned to you.