Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (ELP) | The Wallace McCain Institute


Entrepreneurial Leaders Program

Be part of the most rewarding and challenging program for growth-stage entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada.


more likely to succeed

A small, exceptional group of growth-stage entrepreneurs are invited each year to participate in the Entrepreneurial Leaders Program (ELP). The program is built with an entrepreneurial learning style in mind as a peer based program where they are given what they need to grow as leaders, CEOs and most importantly, as individuals.


The profile of the participants in the Entrepreneurial Leaders Program ranges from “accidental entrepreneurs” to leaders finding themselves at the helm of an existing company. Increase your chances of success by participating with peers that:

  • Are running a business they founded, inherited or purchased.
  • Are ready to “bust-out” with new products, export, plant expansion and/or hiring.
  • Have growing staff and revenue.
  • May or may not have formal business education.
  • Are honest and open high potential entrepreneurs following a passion.
  • Are committed to a head office in the Greater Atlantic Area.

About The Program.

Watch this video for a first hand look.

Is ELP for me?

Watch this video to learn more about ideal participant.

Am I in the right place?

Watch for more on the stages of growth and how ELP can help.


What the selection committee will be looking for

  • Exhibit personal tenacity and drive
  • Growth/export potential
  • Serial entrepreneurial behaviour
  • Outside community involvement

Session Structure

The program includes twelve monthly sessions that are two days each (except for the first and last which are 3 days long). Sessions are designed to include 25% external content from speakers and 75% internal content from participants. Each session usually follow this schedule:

Day 1

9-12 Goal Review and Forum Updates
12-1 Lunch
1-4 Workshop
4-5 Fitness Break
5-7 Break & Dinner
7-8:30 Fireside Chat with Keynote Guest

Day 2

9-12 Deep Dives
12-1 Lunch
1-3 Deep Dives
3-5 Peer Coaching & Goals Setting

Topics and Schedule

The following are the Friday dates of the program for next year. There are two groups that run back to back; one on Thursday / Friday and a second that runs Friday / Saturday.


July 14

Leadership & Entrepreneurship

Knowing yourself and preparing for the journey
Aug 11

Change and Innovation

Ideas, intellectual property and execution
Sept 8

Strategic Planning

The need for efficient execution
Oct 13

Teams and boards

Getting the people resources
Nov 17

Human Resources

Mobilizing and motivating
Dec 15

Customer Profiling

No customers = no business = failure


Jan 12

Product management

Product management
Feb 9

Marketing Tactics

Getting heard at the lowest cost
March 8

Sales management

Get results with the right behaviour
Apr 5

Financial management

Develop the financing plan
May 3

Financing the Plan

Nuances of investing
Jun 7

Going forward

Change management


The majority of sessions will all be held at a retreat where the group will have exclusive use of the facility. All meals and meetings will occur on site. At least one session per year will take place in each of the Atlantic provinces.

Application Process

If you are an entrepreneur who is ready to take it to the next level of growth, then you are encouraged to apply for the Entrepreneurial Leaders Program (ELP).  The application deadline is March 31st.

Before you Apply:

  • Familiarize yourself with information on ELP as well as WMI by reading through this website and connecting with alumni from across the region.
  • check the program dates above and on the downloadable brochure to assure you don’t have date conflicts.
  • read over this downloadable example application below as a guideline. The applications process is not online but the example is still relevant.
  •  schedule a call with Nancy Mathis to discuss items that are not clear.

Apply here

After you apply:

  • applications are sent to the judges after the March 31st deadline
  • finalists will be notified in mid-April that they are invited for a Face:Face interview in late May
  • finalists will be asked to submit a short bio and survey by April 30th
  • the new members will be chosen and announced during the final day of interviews in May
  • the program commences in July


The cost is $20,000, half of which is paid by members and half is paid by sponsors. The sponsors, who are some of the region’s top leaders and business icons, also meet with members.

WMI applies to ACOA on behalf of the group and since 2011, they have provided a reimbursement that WMI applies to the operation of the second year of ELP when the group continues as alumni. This is never guaranteed, but if it occurs, it reduces the blended cost by $5000.

At the end of the first year, groups design their own format capped at $5000/year.

Click to see what current participants have to say

Download our printable 2023/2024 brochure

Are you ready to grow?

The Entrepreneurial Leaders program may be for you.

Increase your chances of success by adding on the honest, open, experiences of other entrepreneurs who have dealt with similar issues