A new business idea in Saskatchewan lets entrepreneurs return to the roots of business.
Tradebank is a business-to-business bartering network. Business owners can pay for goods and services by trading for things they need, rather than paying by cash.
Dan and Lauren Benesh ran a window and blind company in Regina until they heard about Tradebank. It was working in other Canadian cities, so they decided to bring it to Saskatchewan and started their own franchise.
"There was nothing like it here so we talked to our contacts and asked them if we started would they participate in it, they said they would so we took the plunge," said Dan Benesh.
It started with only a few businesses. Three years later, 140 Saskatchewan entrepreneurs have joined. However, the list of the businesses involved is only available to members.
Brooke Longpre sells solar panels at Sound Solar Systems Inc. in Kronau, SK. She just joined Tradebank.
"It's good for networking for local businesses," explained Longpre.
She says people think solar panels are a little too expensive and hopes trading will help convince them they are worth the price tag.
Trading across Canada
Trading is not limited to businesses in Saskatchewan. If there is an item a business owner wants, he or she can trade for it as long as they belong to Tradebank.
If an item is worth a little more than an item it is being swapped for, the business owner can get trade dollars and they can be spent at other businesses.
For now, Tradebank is only available to members, but the Benesh's say they're looking at opening it to the public.