About Us

Our Why

We want to inspire entrepreneurs, enterprises, and communities to think differently—to look for ways to create an integrative framework for innovation, creativity, and sustainability.

Our How

We help entrepreneurs, enterprises, and communities embrace their potential by creating a process for identifying and realizing opportunities to reinvigorate the economic value and social prosperity of thier community

Our What

We provide coaching & mentoring,  workshops and seminars,  research & assessment tools to build confidence and to take risks—to accept challenges as opportunities to develop your local economy.

Our People

James Umpherson, B.A., M.A.E.S Research & Facilitation Specialist


James is an economic development professional and public policy specialist in research, teaching, workshop facilitation, strategic development and implementation, and capacity building development process. 

Helene Huang, B.Comm, M.A. Tourism Specialist


Helene is a tourism professional with a wealth of experience in the field of research, analysts, and destination marketing, especially,  community marketing, resort attraction, and tourism experience research analytics. 

Wilfred Barranoik, P.Mgr., C.Mgr Business Development Specialist


Wilfred is a  business specialist in entrepreneurial workshop and education seminars on management and organizational development; small business and community development; retail development; and marketing development. 

James Stiver, M.A.E.S, MCIP, RPP Engagement Specialist


James is a community planner and engagement specialist that has focused on enhancing community development involving land use, development, policy, economic and environmental planning.

Our Clients


We work with individuals that have a business, social, cultural, or recreational  vision and want to create an entrepreneurial reality.


We help enterprises develop, grow, and diversify through the three key areas of operations, marketing, and financial management.


We work with communities through teaching, assessment, and researching  opportunities to create a process of economic development that supports integrated solutions.

Our Services

Workshops and Seminars

We offer workshops and seminars for entrepreneurs, enterprises, and communities that includes entrepreneurial skills development, business concept formulation, business planning; enterprise development, growth, and diversification; and community prosperity through an economic development capacity building model.

Research Solutions

We offer an integrated service that includes assessment of an idea, project, or plan. Research that provides the foundation for establishing attainable goals, measurable objectives, and supportive rationale. Our integrated economic solutions approach is designed to create a process for public participation and accountability.

Coaching & Mentoring

We offer a complimentary 1/2-hour service to review YOUR idea. After this initial consultation, we follow up with YOU to recommend an appropriate approach that meets YOUR needs.

Our Client Awards

2018 & 2019 East Kootenay Platinum Award, Ashlee Dawn Photogrphy


2019 KHCC Best New Business Award, Thread the Needle


2019 KHCC Best New Business Award, Wandering Fern Cafe


2018 Fernie Best New Business Award, Fernie Copperworks Inc.


2018 KHCC Best New business Award, Columbia River Catering Company


Entrepreurial Reviews

Noemie Roy, Thread the Needle

I feel fortunate to have James as a business coach/mentor. He thoroughly reviewed my business plan and provided constructive feedback, along with asking the hard questions I avoided asking myself.  He reviewed my plan, rephrased my ideas into a more professional language and asked the essential questions that I needed to consider. He helped me build the foundation for my business.

Gerry Babuin, Digital Crayons

Creating a business plan with James was a business altering process. He took me through a value added model that, at the time, seemed unrelated to my industry. At the end of the process, my business model completely transformed into one that is unique to the industry.

Jamie Froats, Wandering Fern Café

James made me feel comfortable and confident about my vision for my business and helped guide me along the path. His passion for his clients and confidence in their ideas helped prepare me for life as an entrepreneur. 

Sara Tobin, Alpineglow Beauty Company

James is energetic and passionate about people and their growth. As both a trainer and coach, he is exceptional. As a first time entrepreneur, I highly recommend him to help bring your entrepreneurial dreams to life. 

Carl Labonville, Exegi Ski & Snowboard

I was very impressed with James' dedication, professionalism, and enthusiasm during the business plan writing phase. His wide ranging knowledge and expertise in the subject matter was obvious and his ability to transfer that knowledge in a useful to client manner was very helpful and instrumental in getting my enterprise off the ground.

Jane Powell, Thought Doodles

Thank you so much for making my path towards entrepreneurship an educational and interesting one. I couldn't have created such a strong business plan without you. You even managed to make the financial section fun. For me, financials was like a puzzle: when I finally fit the pieces together correctly, it felt awesome.

Enterprise Reviews

Education en Francais

IES was helpful, proactive, and knowledgable in going above & beyond to educate, guide, and inpsire businesses like Education en Francais. I admire your hard word, professionalism, and approach. 

Columbia River Catering Company

Your entrepreneurial and business planning workshops and presentations skills made the learning process smooth and enjoyable. Our many meetings and one-on-one coaching sessions were a huge help to keep me on track with timelines and the multitude of tasks that needed completing in the start-up stage of my business. 

YMCA of Greater Vancouver

James provided comprehensive support to our clients through his workshop facilitation, coaching, mentoring, and on-going support. He is an entertaining facilitator and has an in-depth knowledge & understanding of the process of designing, launching, and operating a business.

Canadian Mental Health Association, Kootenay

James provided valuable guidance to individuals from understanding the dynamics on what it is to be an entrepreneur to developing a business plan through to business launch and implementation.

Kootenay Rockies Innovation Council

IES was tasked with reviewing the organization and providing a pathway for renewal and repositioning. Mr. Umpherson was a fantastic communicator with the Board and an efficient administrative organizer. He was an effective researcher, analyzer, and facilitator of timely and relevant information to the Board of Directors. He provided valuable support for the Board's process of determining direction and making decisions (Gina Bennett, KRIC Board Member)

Community Reviews

City of Merritt, Former Mayor, Susan Roline

James is an astute, committed individual with a solid understanding and knowledgable individual of what it takes to attract new investors and business to a a community. He negotiated a very attractive long-term lease with the Province of BC bringing a long lasting legacy to the City's taxpayers. He also worked closely with the Ministry of Technology, Innovation, and Citizens Service on a highly confidential project that is instrumental in diversifying Merritt's economy. 

City of Merritt, Former City Manager, Matt Noble

His work in media relations, communications, website development, First Nation partnerships, tourism development, and economic development planning process provided the City of Merritt with a solid base to build from and have success into the future.

Gold Country Communities Society, Former COO, Terri Hadwin

Your presentation at our Tourism Symposium on Community Tourism Opportunity Planning was easy to understand and confidently delivered. I believe that the presentation had a lasting impact on our participants. The overview was thorough and informative, leaving the participants wanting to know more of the course. 

Our Blog

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How can we help?

We understand that each client's situation and needs are unique to them. Tell us more about what you're looking for and we will get back to you with our ideas.

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Integrated Economic Solutions Inc.


(250) 272-2441 info@economicsolutions.ca

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