The Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce, dedicated to fostering a thriving and diverse island economy while preserving our cherished local culture, is excited to invite your organization to submit a proposal for project management services in relation to our Island MBA Program. This program is designed to bridge crucial gaps in professional development, digital capability, and network-building within our local business and non-profit community. Moreover, it aspires to be a pilot program that can be replicated to positively impact other rural islands and small communities.

Project Overview:

The Island MBA Program is a two-phase initiative that aims to develop a robust island economy, enhance diversification, and build resilience for Gabriola Island, while simultaneously fostering a culture of collaboration. The project’s key objectives for 2024 are centered around business and enterprise development, marketing off-season tourism, and strengthening governance and operations.

Project Phases:

This RFP concerns ONLY Phase 1

Phase 1 (Business Engagement and Tourism Asset Study):

This phase involves public engagement, marketing, data collection and feasibility study, tourism asset research and reporting, business skill program design and service planning, and report writing. It encompasses activities such as identifying business and tourism assets and gaps, assessing community skills, evaluating digital and other needs of small businesses, engaging with external partners, identifying local experts, and creating draft programming lists for skill development. In December 2024 the project management provider will submit a Phase 1 report that includes activities accomplished and findings from the study(s). It will include a report on Gabriola business acumen gaps, and recommendations for acumen programming on Gabriola. A further report on Gabriola tourism assets will be presented, with recommendations for future work.

Proposed Timeline and Goals:

(project can be completed sooner, but not later than timeline)

January –  February 2024
  • Define scope, project responsibilities, and monthly working relationship requirements with the GICC Executive Director and other GICC contractors.
  • Plan and present business community outreach and engagement plan to Executive Director (and GICC Board of Directors as needed)
  • Finalize data collection questions and metrics to be used in community outreach and engagement workshops, one-on-one meetings, digital data, or other.
  • Develop KPI’s for this project
  • Work closely with Executive Director in additional funding opportunities.
February 2024 – June 2024
  • Implementation of community outreach and engagement. The goal during this period is to collect data that informs the GICC of Gabriola business and non-profit strengths and gaps in skills, knowledge, equipment, and infrastructure. These could include but are not limited to:
    • Non-profit or organization focus groups
    • Business sector focus groups
    • Businesses owner one-on-one sessions
    • Surveys
    • Online conversation platforms
  • Tourism Asset mapping
  • Tourism stakeholder data collection
  • Tourism stakeholder engagement and outreach (can overlap with organizations and businesses in the business data collection portion of the project)
June – July 2024
  • Draft Survey findings with recommendations into draft reporting
  • Outreach and engagement with government, local course developers (VIU, ect), and other experts that can provide skill development in identified business acumen gap areas.
August 2024 – October 2024
  • Draft a list of possible facilitators, existing workshops, and programs that includes service providers, cost of implementation for GICC, course/workshop costs, summary of activities included in the workshop or course.
  • Work closely with Executive Director and additional stakeholders to guide scope and recommendations of the Final Project report
  • If desired, provide Phase 2 Project Management proposal.
November – December 2024
  • Provide Business Acumen Opportunities and Gaps Report for Gabriola
  • Provide Tourism Asset Strengths and Gaps Report for Gabriola

Data collection and Metrics:

Evidence that informs the GICC of Gabriola businesses strengths and gaps in skills, knowledge, infrastructure. Questions should target business owners and include information on social perceptions, knowledge of available government programming for small business, strengths and gaps in digital and physical infrastructure for their businesses, marking and communications, staffing needs, unmet opportunities or dreams for their businesses, ect.
Subject to future funding, a second project will focus on delivering acumen programs, facilitating networking and mentorship opportunities, and tracking progress.

Program Timeline:

The project is set to begin on Feb 1st, 2024, and is expected to conclude no later than February 15, 2025.

Program Funding:

$52,000 in total inclusive of all expenses to perform the project. Jan 2024 – July 2024 portion available is aprox. $38,000. August 2024 – December 2024 portion available is aprox. $14,000.

Proposal Submission Guidelines:

Interested parties are required to submit their full proposals by January 15th, 2023. Your proposal should include the following elements:

  1. Company Information: Provide details about your organization, including its background, mission, and relevant experience managing similar projects.
  2. Project Approach: Outline your approach to managing this project, including key strategies, methodologies, and your understanding of our objectives.
  3. Team Expertise: Introduce the team members who will be working on this project and highlight their qualifications and relevant experience. Desirable skills to include are: background in qualitative data collection, community surveying, in-person event planning and facilitation, conducting focus groups, communication with businesses, participation incentives and marketing.
  4. Project Budget: Present a detailed budget, including all anticipated expenses, and specify any assumptions or contingencies.
  5. References: Provide references from past clients or projects of similar scope, community, and/or project goals.
  6. Timeline: Share how your will execute activities within the proposed project timeline, outlining milestones and deliverables.
  7. Additional Information: Include any additional information or qualifications that you believe make your organization the right choice for this project.

Please submit your proposal electronically in downloadable PDF format to by January 15th, 2024. We encourage you to contact Erin Udal, Executive Director at 778-833-4646 with any questions or to request further clarification.

We look forward to receiving your proposal and potentially partnering with you to bring the Island MBA Program to fruition. Thank you for considering this opportunity.


Erin Udal
Executive Director | Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce