Test Market

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Got a product or craft that you dream of turning into a sustainable livelihood for yourself? This is a new hands-on learning model that blends business school with a marketplace, exclusively for socially and environmentally conscious products, art, food and crafts .


2019 Market Details

The Groundswell Test Market is designed to reduce the risk associated with early stage small businesses, giving you access to business expertise and high traffic locations to make sales and learn from interactions with customers.

The program starts with a Kick Off Weekend where you will set up a mock booth for feedback, connect with fellow makers and small business owners, and participate in hands on workshops that will give you the tools that will help you prepare and improve your business for the market season.   

Over the summer, you will have a market booth on Granville Island for 10  days where you will makes sales, meet with mentors, and apply testing techniques to make the most of your interactions with the public.

Workshops and seminars on social media marketing, customer engagement, A/B testing, bookkeeping and business validation will happen throughout the market season as you apply newly acquired knowledge and evolve your business.

You will:

  • Learn about pricing, marketing, operations, and communications at a series of expert-led workshops.

  • Receive personalized feedback and mentorship on your business, product, or service.

  • Are you just one voice in the noisy world of online marketing?  Amplify your reach with our collaborative marketing efforts, harnessing the online community of Groundswell and your fellow market vendors.

  • Connect to a strong network of socially-minded entrepreneurs and our resources through Groundswell Membership after the program ends.

  • Gain access to sought after real estate on Granville Island. We built the relationships at these amazing places, you just have to show up, test and sell!

  • Get an easy "in" to high traffic markets with little investment as we supply the tents, tables, and chairs. 

  • Reduce the risk of launching a new product or service by testing and refining it before you make a big investment.

  • Learn how to collect and incorporate feedback from real interactions with the buying public so you can improve your business offer.


Program fees include:

  • 10 vending days on Granville Island with access to up to 10,000 customers/day (most vendors make their tuition back through sales!)

  • Use of tents, tables, and chairs during market days.

  • On site mentors and business/product testing support every week.

  • 8 business development workshops.

Sliding scale: $1150-1750 

Financial Aid

Scholarships of $100 - $600 are available for immigrant and refugee women, indigenous people, POC, trans people, people with disabilities, and low-income inner city residents.

Financing available through Groundswell-Vancity Microfinancing.

Learn more about the available financial aid here, or indicate your interest in financing or bursaries on the application form.

Program fees do not include: required insurance, food safety licensing (if applicable) and specialized equipment (eg. fridge, displays).

2019 Dates

June 14 - August 27, 2019

  • April 1: Applications open

  • June 6: Application deadline

  • June 14: Test Market starts!

    • June 14 (evening) - June 15 (day): Kick-off Weekend

    • Tuesdays, June 25 - August 27: Market days on Granville Island

    • June 18, 20, July 10, 24, August 7, 28: Seminars & events

Check out last summer’s Test Market participants: