Test Market

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A new hands on learning model exclusively for local, socially and environmentally conscious businesses that blends a marketplace with business development training and mentorship. 

Application Deadline: May 15


2019 Program Content

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 8 - 10  days where you will meet with mentors and apply techniques to make the most of your business ideas, sales and interactions with the public.

You’ll participate in 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 new 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.

Total fees: $1750
No fee microfinancing available to everyone and bursaries available for BIPOC, trans people, people with disabilities, and inner city residents. Indicate your interest on the application form.

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

2019 Dates

May 24 - August 27, 2019

  • April 1: Applications open

  • May 15: Application deadline

  • May 24-25: Test Market starts!

    • Kick-off Weekend: May 24 (evening) May 25 (day)

    • Market Days: June 25 - August 27

    • 3 June workshops/seminars: Tuesday evenings (dates TBD)

    • 4 July/August workshops/seminars: Wednesday evenings (dates TBD)

Check out last summer’s Test Market participants: