CanadianSME March Edition

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Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses

























The future of Digital Banking


Happy International Womens Day



CanadianSME Magazine is proud to bring you the March edition. This month we’re celebrating Women’s International Day. In honour of this special occasion, we’re featuring women from all over the business industry. At CanadianSME, we’re proud to support and encourage women on their path of entrepreneurship. We believe that women entrepreneurs have a lot to bring to the table which is why we want to be part of those who inspire women to reach their fullest potential when it comes to running their business. To celebrate Women’s International Day, we’re covering women entrepreneurs who have made an impact in the world. These women have left their mark and are making women leaders across the nation proud. To start things strongly, our Business Woman of the month is the talented Phoebe Young, founder of the award-winning organization, Magnolia Communications. Gillian Riley who’s the Executive Vice President, President & CEO, Tangerine will also be featured in this month’s edition as she talks about the future of digital business banking in canada. This month’s exclusive interviews include Minister Mary Ng of Small Business and Export Promotion, Michael McMullen, CEO and Vice-Chair of the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, Tim Bishop, VP of the Canadian Marketing Association, Som Seif, President and CEO of Purpose Investments Inc. and Craig Alexander, Partner and Chief Economist at Deloitte Canada. We’re also very excited to announce that this month we will have exclusive articles written by talented women in leadership roles in the business industry. Silvia Pencak, President of Women Business Enterprises Canada (WBE) and Laura William, founder of Laura William HR have contributed their time and talent to write inspiring articles that are sure to motivate and inform our readers. Our readers will also be very excited to read about the best resources that are available to women entrepreneurs in Canada. This fourth edition of CanadianSME is filled with informative articles and exclusive interviews to please all of our readers. In honour of Women’s month, we’ve ensured to find some of the best women in the business industry who have made a positive impact on entrepreneurs and people around them. We are strong believers that women entrepreneurs can significantly improve the business industry. Therefore, through extensive research and strategic networking, we’ve made it our mission to find inspiring women to feature in our March edition. CanadianSME aims to support women entrepreneurs across Canada which is why our team is dedicated to providing informative articles and interviews by women leaders who can encourage women leaders to take the path of entrepreneurship. We hope you enjoy this months’ reading and we thank you to put your trust in us when it comes to providing you on insightful resources and articles to help grow your business. Happy reading!

CANADIANSME Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses canadiansme canadian_sme canadiansme Editor & Publisher Shaik Khaleeluddin (SK) Consulting Editor Daniel Zimmer Creative Design Abdhesh Kr. Jha Webmaster Ashraf Contributors The Honourable Mary F.Y. Ng Gillian Riley Tim Bishop Craig Alexander Som Seif Hunter Cookson Rob Wilson Maria Locker Michel Leblanc Laura Williams

Aleksandra Mackiewicz Jason Storsley Michael McMullen Matthew Tyrer Allan Madonik David W. Smith Silvia Pencak Grace Kusta Nasralla Armando Iannuzzi Wendy Boyd Andrea Knapp

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Gillian Riley and the future of Digital Banking Executive Vice President, President & CEO, Tangerine


Exclusive Interview with The Honourable Mary Ng Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion




Beyond International Women’s Day 15 Ways To Support Women Owned Businesses Every Day By Silvia Pencak MOMPRENEUR

Maria Locker: The Mompreneur

14 17 25 32


10 Best Resources for Women Entrepreneurs STARTUP

Do You Want to Start a Business? There Are Many Fears, But Failure Shouldn’t Be One. By Andrea Knapp LATEST IN HR LAWS

Managing the fallout from a workplace investigation By Laura Williams BUSINESSWOMAN OF THE MONTH

Business woman of the Month Phoebe Yong Principal and Founder of Magnolia Communications

Phoebe Yong Maria Locker

Laura Williams



20 30 34 35


The Marketing Guru Tim Bishop

Vice President, Marketing & Experience at Canadian Marketing Association



Som Seif: The man behind Purpose Investments President and CEO of Purpose Investments Inc.


The roots of Hoame run deep TAX

Canadian SME owners face taxing challenges in their dealings with CRA By Armando Iannuzzi DATA PRIVACY

Data Privacy: Keeping Your Customers and Business Safe By Matthew Tyrer


Four tips to set your business up for success By Jason Storsley


Michel Leblanc: One on One with the head of the CCMM



44 43 54


The new 2020 ALPINA B7 xDrive Sedan Power, Dynamics and Luxury in a new contemporary Design. MENTAL HEALTH

Mentally Healthy Workplaces: The Best Investment Your Business Can Make By Alita Fabiano INTERVIEW

Real Talk with Craig Alexander from Deloitte

Craig Alexander

Michel Leblanc

Alita Fabiano



Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

The Honourable Mary Ng was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Markham—Thornhill in April 2017 and was appointed Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion in July 2018.


Vice President, Marketing & Experience at Canadian Marketing Association Tim is a multi-disciplined marketing executive with a proven record over 15 years of optimizing strategic efforts to expand the influence of leading organizations.


Partner & Chief Economist at Deloitte Canada

A senior executive and leading economist with 20 years of progressive experience in applied economics and forecasting. A strong and motivational leader with experience managing a large team of economists and support staff.


Executive Vice President, President & CEO, Tangerine Gillian Riley is Executive Vice President, President & CEO, Tangerine. She was appointed to this role in December, 2018, with responsibility for setting and driving Tangerine’s strategic objectives to solidify its position as Canada’s leading digital bank.


Principal and Founder of Magnolia Communications With over 25 years of industry experience in B2B marketing, Phoebe has built an award winning boutique marketing agency based in Vancouver that services high-tech, fintech, financial and manufacturing clients. With a degree in Communications and MBA in Marketing.


President, The Wilson Companies/ Employco USA, Inc. The Wilson Companies provides HR and insurance solutions for businesses.



President, CEO - Purpose Investments Inc. Som Seif is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Purpose Investments Inc., which he formed following the sale of Claymore Investments to BlackRock Inc.

Founder & CEO, Mompreneur Maria grew up in the world of retail business, as one of four children to her entrepreneurial parents; her family has owned and operated La Rose Bakery in her hometown of Milton, Ontario since she was 2 years old.


CEO of CCMM Mr. Leblanc served as Associate Partner of SECOR and was a recognized expert in economic and sectoral studies. He had previously occupied senior level positions at Génome Québec, Montréal International and the Institute for Research on Public Policy.


Founder, Williams HR Law

As the founder and principal of Williams HR Law Professional Corporation and Williams HR Consulting Inc., Laura boasts more than two decades of experience providing strategic advice and legal representation to employers on a full range of labour and employment law matters.


Marketing -Interface Technologies Aleksandra is a digital marketing professional, business development adviser and writer.


Vice President, Small Business, RBC Jason’s career at RBC dates back to 1998 when he joined RBC Dominion Securities on the retail fixed income sales and trading desk.



CEO, Vice-Chair of Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce

Michael's extensive retail career covers 30 plus years throughout Canada & the United States. Michael is now a Governor of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, previously served on Executive of the CCC Board of Directors & as the Chair in 2014 -2015.


Technology Evangelist and Commvault SME Matt Tyrer is the Ottawa-based Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing for the Americas for data protection leader Commvault. Matt is an IT industry veteran with nearly 20 years of experience, including the past 10 with Commvault.


Wealth and Health Broker Blue SWAN Financial

Allan Madonik, founder of Blue SWAN Financial, is an insurance broker serving Toronto and the GTA.


Co-founder Logia Consulting Inc

David has over 30 years of experience as an organizational leader, coach, facilitator and consultant.



President, WBE Canada

Principal, AM360

Silvia Pencak is the President of WBE Canada, Canadian non-profit organization that is opening doors for Canadian women-owned businesses to supply chains across North America.

Experienced Managing Partner with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertisingindustry. Strong business development professional skilled in Digital Strategy, Customer Acquisition,Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Account Management, and Lead Generation.

GRACE KUSTA NASRALLA Founder, OSBN Wife, mother, woman of faith, entrepreneur, business instructor, owner of e-presence Consultants Inc and founder of Ontario Small Business Network.


Programs Lead at Startup Canada Andrea is a Programs Manager at Starup Canada, B.A in Psychology, M.A in Organizational Psychology & also an Entrepreneur who is not only passionate about teaching but also about entrepreneurship ecosystems, highly proactive, responsible, spontaneous, communicative, creative and an excellent team player.


Tax Partner at KRP

Armando joined KRP in 2009, becoming the firm’s second tax partner two years later. He now directs and manages a four-person tax department. Following a notable career as an ownerentrepreneur, Armando joined Deloitte in 2003 and rose through the ranks to become senior tax manager in only a few short years.


Communications & Marketing Canadian Chamber of Commerce Alita Fabiano looks after Communications, Content creation and Planning for Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

NEWS Strong third-quarter results for ATB Financial reflect challenges of Alberta economy Third-quarter results for ATB Financial show strong growth in revenue and a net income of $51.8 million for the quarter ending December 31, 2018, after accounting for loan loss provisions of $69.3 million which mirror the state of Alberta's economy. Curtis Stange, ATB Financial (CNW Group/ATB Financial) The quarter was marked by challenges in the energy market as the oil patch contended with rising production and ongoing pipeline constraints, pushing the price of Western Canadian Select downwards. However, despite ongoing challenges, the largest Alberta-built financial institution saw deposits grow to $35.9 billion, an increase of 7.1 per cent from the same quarter in 2017, and loans increase by 8.9 per cent to $47 billion. "As Albertans, we continue to be resilient through challenging times; these past months have shown that," said ATB President & CEO Curtis Stange. "Despite these headwinds, ATB continues to be forward-focused and looking for opportunities to make banking work for all Albertans." Although a production cut in oil has boosted the price of Alberta's oil, ongoing uncertainty about pipeline construction has stalled capital investment. Despite concern around pipelines and other global pressures, Alberta continues to hold its own among the provinces. Retail activity, manufacturing, wholesale trade and other economic indicators are hovering around pre-recession levels while sectors including agriculture, tourism and the tech sector have seen growth. "As we move into the next quarter, we are evolving ATB in several key areas to better deliver remarkable experiences for our customers," said Stange. "ATB Brightside, our upcoming digital-only bank has started subscribing early adopters who will have access to the experience this year. We also have more than 3,000 customers using our new business banking online platform with more to come. Being customer obsessed cannot be left to chance. With these changes, we are reaffirming our intention and commitment to consistently deliver on that promise." Highlights of the quarter include: The appointment of Joan Hertz as Chair of ATB Financial's Board of Directors.



Curtis Stange, ATB Financial (CNW Group/ATB Financial)

ATB also continued to be recognized as one of Canada's best workplaces, this time being included for the first time in the 2018 list of Best Workplaces in Alberta. 2019 AON Best Employers in Canada also recognized ATB for the fourth consecutive year. ATB Wealth, ATB Financial's asset management division, was also awarded two 2018 Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund awards. See ATB's full third quarter results Q3 FY19 By the numbers $51.8 million - net income 44.9% decrease from Q3 FY18 $427.2 million - operating revenue 5.0% increase from Q3 FY18 $35.9 billion - deposits 7.1% increase from Q3 FY18 $47.0 billion - loans 8.9% increase from Q3 FY18 $54.9 billion - total assets 8.3% increase from Q3 FY18 Q3 FY19 People numbers 768,059 - total customers

5,567 - ATB team members For more information or interview requests, please contact: Karin Pþldaas Communications Director ATB Financial 403-660-5296 About ATB Financial With $54.9 billion in assets, ATB Financial is an Alberta-built financial institution. But don't let that fool you—we're so much more than a bank. We got started in 1938 to help Albertans through tough economic times, and today we have 176 branches, 143 agencies, a Client Care Centre, four entrepreneur centres, and mobile and online banking. And did you know we're fast becoming the digital bank and the bank for entrepreneurs? We're already the place to work for our more than 5,500 team members who love to serve our 760,000-plus customers in 247 Alberta communities. To find out more, visit us at SOURCE ATB Financial

NEWS Red tape warriors hailed with Golden Scissors Awards CFIB's 10th Red Tape Awareness Week™ showcases leaders fighting red tape Former President of the Treasury Board Scott Brison, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and City of Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, are 2019's Golden Scissors recipients, awarded by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) for their leadership in cutting red tape. The Golden Scissors Awards recognize governments, politicians and public servants who are taking meaningful action to help small and medium-sized businesses by eliminating unnecessary red tape. Traditionally, CFIB has awarded only one winner per year, but to mark the 10th anniversary of Red Tape Awareness Week™, a winner from each level of government is being recognized. Hon. Scott. Brison, Premier McNeil and Mr. Savage will receive their awards today at a ceremony in Halifax, NS. Premier Ford was awarded yesterday at an event in Toronto. "After 10 years of fighting red tape, we are seeing great progress across the country. The 2019 Golden Scissors Award winners are all taking decisive action to reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulations," said Richard Truscott, CFIB's vice-president of British Columbia and Alberta. "Like a cluttered closet, red tape only gets worse and harder to untangle the longer it is left unchecked. Tracking and reducing the red tape burden should be an ongoing priority for every government. We commend the winners for their exceptional commitment to red tape reduction." These are the accomplishments that the 2019 winners are recognized for: Former Treasury Board President Scott Brison for his dedication during his tenure to ongoing regulatory modernization in the federal government especially on issues such as restrictions on aquaculture organic labeling and unnecessary grade inspection requirements for apples and blueberries. Ontario Premier Doug Ford for the provincial government's major overhaul of labour changes through Bill 47 and his leadership on cross-government red tape reduction for small businesses. The Act phases out the College of Trades, cuts red tape on hiring and training in the skilled trades and stops the planned implementation of rules requiring businesses to track every movement of their scheduled employees into and out of the

Former Treasury Board President Scott Brison (centre), with Corinne Pohlmann (left) and Monique Moreau (right) from CFIB (CNW Group/Canadian Federation of Independent Business)

office or face stiff penalties.

a piecemeal approach.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and Halifax Mayor Mike Savage for teaming up through the Joint Project for Regulatory Modernization. With input from the business community and key leaders, red tape pain points are being identified and resolved.

"Business owners, citizens and government all suffer when red tape is out of control but reducing the regulatory burden rarely receives the recognition it deserves," added Laura Jones, CFIB's executive vice-president. "It's important to say thank you to the governments and public servants who are tackling this difficult work and hold them up as examples of governance done right."

There are also three Honourable Mentions for the Golden Scissors Awards: BC Ministry of Citizens' Services, Service BC and the BC Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology for streamlining the death certification process by creating a simple, easy-to-navigate guide for people dealing with the death of a loved one. Ron Dedman, former Vice President, Priority Saskatchewan/SaskBuilds, for his leadership on reducing procurement red tape, reducing the number of templates for bidding on work from over 100 to eight and creating a procurement guide, resulting in savings estimated at more than $16.3 million annually for business and $1.75 million for government. Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin for innovative use of omnibus packages to rapidly streamline large swaths of incoherent or outdated rules all at once rather than using

The full list of the 2019 Golden Scissors honourees and more details on their achievements is available at GoldenScissors. About CFIB The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners' chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at SOURCE Canadian Federation of Independent Business



NEWS Research confirms Canadian financial advisors are reliable barometers for broader economy Canadian financial advisors are remarkably attuned to changes across a wide range of broad economic indicators – from GDP and inflation to employment and housing prices – according to five years of data from the Advocis Financial Advisors Index (FAI) compiled by Western University and Advocis, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada. "Our analysis revealed intriguing and statistically robust correlations," explained Dr. Matt Davison, Dean of Science at Western University. "The results exceeded our expectations and renewed our confidence in the value of the Financial Advisors Index as a solid, statistical indicator for the Canadian economy and corresponding investor behaviour." Launched in 2013, the FAI is a monthly survey of 1,000 Canadian financial advisors that measures advisor confidence, defined as the degree of optimism about the state of the economy expressed by advisors and their clients through their savings, investing and risk protection activities. A historical analysis assessing the data against 20 general economic indicators over the same period yielded impressive results, finding more than 190 data points with strong correlations between the FAI survey and general economic indicators, as well as over 60 data points with strong causation values. "While academic studies have consistently shown that those who receive financial advice accumulate more wealth than those who don't, the FAI data demonstrates that financial advisors have a unique vantage point on the overall direction of the economy," said Greg Pollock, President of Advocis. "Amid all the speculation about the impact of robo-advisors on our industry, these findings demonstrate that financial advisors offer the advantage of seeing the bigger economic picture when helping their clients plan for their future financial well-being." In October and November 2018, investors experienced particularly volatile markets, driven by oil prices, 10

interest rate uncertainty, and trade war with China. A lead indicator for key investor behaviors, the FAI suggests that constant on-the-ground interactions with clients gives advisors a privileged perspective, keeping them ahead of the curve and allowing them to take proactive measures under the most diverse market conditions. "From its inception, we were hopeful that Financial Advisors Index would prove to be a reliable economic benchmark," said Chuck Grace, Finance Faculty, Ivey Business School. "We knew that professional advisors meet with hundreds, even thousands, of clients every year and because of that they have a unique insight into how Canadians are reacting to the economy in real time. To see that hypothesis confirmed in the numbers is very exciting." About Advocis Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, is the association of choice for financial advisors and planners. With more than 13,000 members in 40 chapters across the country, Advocis is the definitive voice of the profession, advocating for professionalism and consumer protection. Advocis works with decision-makers and the public, stressing the value of financial advice and working toward an environment in which all Canadians have access to the advice they need. About Western Western University delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community. SOURCE Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada


Minister Ng met with entrepreneurs and small business owners in Montréal Small businesses make up 98% of all Canadian businesses and employ 8 million hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. They are the backbone of our economy and critical to the middle class. Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Canada's Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, was in Montréal to meet with entrepreneurs and small business owners to share how the Government of Canada is supporting them as they start up, scale up, and access new markets. Minister Ng began her day in a roundtable with black women entrepreneurs hosted by Dorothy Rhau of Audace au Féminin. Following this, she participated in a panel discussion titled One Objective: Profit and Social Impact – New Business Models hosted by HEC Montréal, where Minister Ng discussed government support for social enterprises and purpose-driven organizations. When meeting with small business owners, Minister Ng shared the government's many initiatives that are making it easier for small business owners to do business, like: lowering the small business tax rate to 9%, one of the lowest rates in the world; getting credit card companies to lower the fees they charge businesses when their customers use credit cards; providing access to over a billion and a half new customers through trade deals like the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, commonly called the new NAFTA; allowing businesses to immediately write off the full cost of machinery and equipment used for the manufacturing and processing of goods; allowing businesses to immediately write off the full cost of specified clean energy equipment; introducing the Accelerated Investment Incentive that will allow businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy to write off a larger share of the cost of newly acquired assets in the year the investment is made; investing $2 billion to help double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025; and reducing over 450 federal rules that impose an administrative burden on business. "This is a small business–friendly government that is working hard to reduce red tape and make it easier for Canadian small business owners to start up, scale up, and access new markets. When small businesses in Montréal and communities across the country succeed, our economy grows and middle-class jobs are created." – The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canadian Women’s Foundation The Canadian Women’s Foundation started as a simple conversation between two friends who were looking to build an organization for gender equality. Back in 1986, there was no nation-wide organization to encourage gender equality. Nancy Ruth and Susan Woods, founders of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, were adamant to change that. There had to be a way to encourage women to target charitable organisations to donate towards women entrepreneurs so that they can promote gender equality. After a lot of brainstorming and networking events, the Canadian Women’s Foundation was officially launched in 1991. In its first year, $40,000 in grants were awarded to women’s organizations. Since it opened its doors almost three decades ago, the organization has managed to raise over $80 million, funded programs in over 1,500 communities and supported women’s shelters across Canada. The Canadian Women’s Foundation is focussed on helping girls and women in the areas that they most need it. They understand that women face several critical challenges on a daily basis, which is why that the organisation is determined to focus on areas where they can help and make a long-lasting impression. The Canadian Women’s Foundation wants to ensure that the areas in which they will invest will be effective and have a positive outcome. The foundation funds programs in the following issue areas:



Empower Girls

Inclusive Leadership

Although there are several organizations that are designed to help women, what’s different about the Canadian Women’s Foundation is that each of the programs that the foundation offers are created and designed by the women who need them. Each women faces different challenges depending on their culture, geographical location, race, citizenship and more. Therefore, the foundation prioritizes programs to address each of those challenges and customizes them for the specific need of each different community. On top of having specific programs to suit the different needs of women across the country, the Canadian Women’s Foundation also joins other organizations and sector experts to networking events where they discuss these issues and provide services as well as working together to find long-term solutions. By contributing to government strategies and policy-making decisions on issues such as violence, anti-trafficking, teen healthy relationships, leadership and economic development, the organization is not only encouraging gender equality, but actively finding solutions on issues that have been affecting women for generations. The Canadian Women’s Foundation along with its partners believes in a Canada where women and men are given the same opportunities and the critical challenges that women have been facing for generations are no longer an existing issue. Together, they work hard on building solutions to make a better Canada.

Canadian Coalition to

Empower Women Equal rights between men and women has been something that women have been fighting for a long time. The Canadian Coalition to Empower Women (CCEW) is an organization that was built to progress equality between men and women. Canada recognizes the importance of equal rights since it not only builds stronger economies, but also creates a more stable and fair society as well as improving the quality of life for women, men and their families all across Canada. The Canadian Coalition to Empower Women was built on the foundation of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP). Their mission is to give women entrepreneurs the same opportunities then men so that they can create a more diverse and strong Canadian economy. To promote equality, the CCEW: Encourages conversations to make people understand that everyone needs to contribute in order to make gender equality a reality in Canada. Creates partnerships with all types of businesses, government organizations and investors such as civil society, community service, business and labor organizations. Explores and encourages awareness of the benefits that gender equality can have on not only the business industry, but also on communities across the country. Promotes Women’s Economic Empowerment Community Building events and activities. Encourages all interested parties to become signatories to the CCEW Statement of Support. Presents the UN Global Compact and UN Women CEO WEP’s Statement of Support to medium and large businesses that meet the UN WEP’s criteria and assist with their submission. Women have as much to bring to the business industry then men, therefore, the CCEW works hard to give them the same resources then men. In doing so, they are giving women business owners every possible chance to succeed in the business industry. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 I



Exclusive Interview with

The Honourable

Mary Ng Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

The Honourable Mary Ng was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Markham—Thornhill in April 2017 and was appointed Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion in July 2018. Throughout her 20 years of public service, Minister Ng has been a passionate community leader and advocate with a proven track record of results in the areas of education, women’s leadership, jobcreation, and entrepreneurship. As Member of Parliament for Markham— Thornhill, Minister Ng helped to facilitate the Government’s commitment to invest in Canadian ideas and innovators in her riding by advocating for the inclusion of Markham’s tech-innovation hub, VentureLabs, in the Southern Ontario Supercluster. The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster is expected to have a GDP impact of more than $13.5 billion in the next ten years and create more than 13,500 good, middle class jobs in the region. As part of her work on the Standing Committee of Industry, Science, and Technology, Minister Ng worked alongside



her committee colleagues on intellectual property best practices. This work guided the Government’s launch of Canada’s first comprehensive intellectual property strategy, providing tools to support the growth of Canadian businesses domestically while ensuring their ideas are protected in the global marketplace. Prior to serving as a Member of Parliament, Minister Ng worked as Director of Appointments in the Prime Minister’s Office. She also served as the Director of Policy in provincial education where she built relationships, negotiated with teachers’ unions, and served students while helping to improve Ontario’s education system. Minister Ng also served in the President’s Office at Ryerson University, helping to shape new initiatives that connected students and their innovative ideas with businesses, creating quality jobs for young Canadians. She has been a speaker and panelist on topics ranging from business, innovation, women in leadership and Canada-China relations.

What is your message for women entrepreneurs on international women’s day? My message for women entrepreneurs is that you can absolutely do it and I am here with you. I have a whole lot of energy and put in hard work to help you be successful in achieving your goals and dreams. Please discuss the support and tools you are providing for female entrepreneurs and business owners. I’d first like to mention the following: Women make up 50% of the population. SMEs are 99% of our businesses in Canada. However, only 16% of those businesses are women owned or women lead. It’s interesting - the New York Times reported there are more men named James that are CEOs in the US than there are women CEOs in total. Research tells us that when male entrepreneurs make pitches for capital (considering that it’s the exact same pitch), men are successful 68% of the time and women only 32% of the time. I want to paint the context of what women entrepreneurs face today. Our government put forward the Women Entrepreneurship


Strategy to help them grow. My mandate from the Prime Minister of Canada is to double women lead businesses by 2025 with a 2 billion dollar investment. Has this $2 billion investment already kicked in? And can you please explain the various components of the investment? It has already kicked in and I’d like to outline a few of the different components of that investment: There’s a significant investment ($1.4 billion) to give women entrepreneurs debt financing. There is a $85 million Women’s Eco System fund. We know that given the barriers, we’re going to create an ecosystem that will supported. Women don’t have the same kind of access and business network and we want to make sure that the toolkits and support are available to women in a way that they can access them. Another $20 million is allocated for women entrepreneurs and women business owners to grow their businesses right away. There’s a fund to help women in tech be more successful. We put $200 million into a Women’s and Technology Venture Fund so that we’re growing the VC environment to invest in these great female lead technology companies. We are also investing in helping women lead businesses export their countries. As Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, my goal is to help the women entrepreneurs understand and explore the various markets outside Canada, and take advantage of the successful new trade agreements signed by our government.

decade working in the postsecondary school level, creating an education hub, helping young people start and grow businesses. Many of these startups are innovative and have come out of our post-secondary instituitions.

the challenges small businesses go throughmaking payroll, servicing your customers and I apply that knowledge within my current role.

Have you worked in a small business before?

I’m going to direct them to innovation. This is a great tool we’ve put out for female entrepreneurs. I want women entrepreneurs to be successful and know about all the programs we have for them and how to get access to them.

My family came to Canada when I was fairly young and I grew up in a small business that my parents operated. I bring a small business lens in my current role. I certainty understand

What is the primary advice you would give you female entrepreneurs?

I’d like to conclude this section by commenting on McKinsey Global Institute studies that show that our $2 billion investment can add incremental GDP by $150 billion by 2026. We’re not just doing it because it’s the right thing to do but because it will promote great job creation in our country. How have your previous work experiences helped you succeed in your current role? I serve in a government lead by a PM where half of my colleagues are women. I am serving with a team and in an environment where our voices our equal. I’ve spent 20 years in public service -working in education policy in Ontario, working on the design of projects or policy at the civil service level. I spent a CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 I




WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS Being a women entrepreneur isn’t what it used to be. Women entrepreneurs are more and more common and they are making their way to the top. It’s not that long ago when women were struggling to fit into the business world.

If we compare the last decade to today, we would be surprised by the statistics. According to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, the percentage of female entrepreneurs rose from 27% in the early 1990’s to 33% in 2012. Just six years ago in 2012, 47% of SMEs in Canada were entirely or partly owned by women. That’s almost half. The numbers are rising as the years go by. That being said, with women entrepreneurs increasing from year to year, several organisations and resources exist to help women entrepreneurs. Although one would think that with the number of women entrepreneurs increasing from year to year there wouldn’t be the need for so many resources, there is still today some challenges that they face. We still have a long way to go before to close the gap that exists between female and male entrepreneurs, but we are definitely on the right path. So here’s a list of 10 best resources for women entrepreneurs in Canada.





Women’s Enterprise Centre

Founded in 1995, Women’s Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organisation centre designed to help women entrepreneur in the province of British-Columbia. They help women start, manage and grow their business successfully. With loans of up to $150,000 with an additional $100,000 through their partnership with Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), they are contributing towards the success of businesses led by women entrepreneurs. On top of offering financing, they also offer business skills training, personalized business advice, mentoring, practical business resources and a supportive community to help women business owners gain the skills, mindset, financing and networks they need to realize their business potential. Women’s Enterprise Centre understands the challenges of being a women entrepreneur and relates to them. With their team of experienced business advisors, mentors, trainers and facilitators, they deliver women entrepreneurs with resources, knowledge and confidence through a supportive, individual and practical approach. Website: E-mail: Telephone Number: 1-800-643-7014


Women Business Enterprise Canada (WBE)

WBE Canada is a non-profit organization led by corporate members helping women entrepreneurs succeed and grow within the business world. The organization also partners with the government of Canada, women’s business centers and other womencentric communities across Canada. Through education, training, coaching and mentoring programs, WBE increases the capability of women business owners to deliver successfully on significant winning opportunities. This support contributes to significant growth for women-owned businesses. The organization also simplifies the creation of strong networks for women, by connecting them both with procurement officers of top corporations and with other certified firms in order to enhance their bidding capacity. WBE Canada also provides resources and programs to help its members gain supplier diversity initiatives in their organisations. Through its programs, certification, resources and team of experts, WBE is one step closer to achieving their mission of advancing economic growth across Canada with women-owned businesses. Website: E-mail: Telephone Number: (416) 646-6233




Business Women in International Trade (BWIT)

Mompreneurs is an organisation that supports, educates and empowers moms in business. They are dedicated to bringing the businesses and talents of moms in business and female entrepreneurs into recognition in the community. Their network encourages and simplifies linking members to other women and businesses across Canada, delivering affordable ways for female entrepreneurs to promote their businesses, promoting female entrepreneurs and women in business both locally and nationally and building an online presence for female entrepreneurs in one main location. Mompreneurs believes in collaboration, integrity, continuance support, inclusiveness, community of trust and empowerment. Their main motto is to support women who want to manage a business and a family without having to sacrifice one for the other. They aim to help them understand that it’s possible to have a healthy workfamily balance. By providing opportunities for connection, growth, and promotion, Mompreneurs is contributing towards the success of women entrepreneurs. With their team of experts, they provide exposure using a National presence along with ongoing education, for dedicated women wanting to expand their network and business.

Part of the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS), Business Women in International Trade is the only federal program that provides specific products and services to help women entrepreneurs expand globally. Their mandate is to offer support and service to export-ready and export-active women-owned businesses. Through their global Trade Commissioners that are in offices of 161 cities worldwide including Canada, BWIT aims to link Canadian women entrepreneurs with international business opportunities to help towards the growth of their company. They help women entrepreneurs prepare for international markets, assess their market potential, find qualified contacts and resolve business problems. Through their team of experts, they provide products, expert advice, trade markets and work with women’s business association to help women entrepreneurs succeed in international trades.


Women in Business - New Brunswick provides services and resources to women entrepreneurs. With the financial support of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency through the Women in Business Initiative, they are able to help women entrepreneurs launch and grow their business successfully. Through their five development officers who are specifically designed to work with women business owners in the community, they provide knowledge, resources, mentoring and support to women entrepreneurs. Women in Business offers one-on-one support to women living in both rural and urban areas.

E-mail: Telephone Number: 1-877-247-8849


Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

In 2018, the Government of Canada announced a new initiative to help women entrepreneurs: Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. Through this strategy, the Government of Canada will support women entrepreneurs in starting and growing world-class businesses that can compete internationally all the while creating new job opportunities to drive and grow Canada’s economy. This new initiative will focus on four key areas to help and support women entrepreneurs: helping women-led business grow by investing in areas such as mentoring, skills development and networking, increasing access to capital by partnering up with different financial institutions to give more access to funding, improving access to federal business innovation programming by improving the participation of under-represented groups and enhancing data and knowledge by creating an independent Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. Through this initiative, the Government of Canada is aiming to improve the status of women entrepreneurs. Website: home

Website: businesswomen-femmesdaffaires E-mail:


Women in Business New Brunswick

Website: Telephone Number: 1-888-303-2232


PEI Business Women's Association (PEIBWA)

PEI Business Women's Association is a nonprofit organisation which encourages and provides support to women entrepreneurs. With a solid reputation in assisting women entrepreneurs and business professionals and a large network of services, skills, and resources, PEIBWA helps women entrepreneurs start, grow, and connect their business. By becoming a member of PEIBWA, its members join an active network of women empowered and they become inspired to CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 I



succeed. Members of the organization are part of a provincially and nationally recognized non-profit organization with a strong voice for women entrepreneurs and business professionals. PEIBWA helps women entrepreneurs with its programs that include training, mentoring, access to a resourceful library, webinars and so much more. PEI Business Women’s Association is aiming to help women in the province of PEI succeed in business by providing them with all the resources they need. Website: E-mail: Telephone Number : (902) 892 6040


Women's Policy Office

The Women’s Policy Office is a central agency within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador that supports the development of programs and policies to advance the status of women in the province. Established in 1985, they aim to develop and expedite Government policies and programs to enhance the social and economic status of women and ensure that they are communicated to the public. The Women’s Policy Office also ensures that the impact on women of all legislation, policies and programs is brought to the attention of the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Cabinet, Cabinet Committees and



departments. By monitoring and reviewing programs and other activities of government departments and agencies they ensure to be in compliant with the government’s policy of improving the status of women. Since they’ve launched, the organisation has significantly improved the advancement of women’s social, cultural, legal and economic equality in Newfoundland and Labrador. Website: Telephone Number: (709)729-5009


10,000 Women

10,000 Women is a global initiative that nurtures economic growth by providing women entrepreneurs around the world with a business and management education, mentoring and networking, and access to capital. The initiative was founded on the knowledge that investing in women entrepreneurs leads to economic growth and stronger communities. By providing a practical business education, mentoring and networking opportunities and financing, 10,000 Women has reached thousands of women across 56 different countries, Canada included. Women entrepreneurs who have done the program have reported back with substantial business growth. citizenship/10000women


Women in Technology Venture Fund – BDC

BDC Capital's Women in Technology Venture Fund invests in companies from the very beginning to when they are ready to grow. Through emerging venture funds with female partners and in new models to encourage women to become investors, Women in Technology Venture Fund ultimately aim to expand the network of investors for female founders and women leaders to seek out as they build new ventures. The Government of Canada announced the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which is a $2-billion investment that will improve women's access to capital, advice, best practices, and targeted, gap-closing support. In collaboration with the Government of Canada, BDC has increased its lending target for majority-owned women entrepreneurs to $1.4 billion. It also increased the Women in Technology Venture Fund to $200 million making it one of the world's largest venture funds investing only in women-led technology companies. Website: venture-capital/strategic.../women-techfund.aspx


Do You Want to Start a Business? There Are Many Fears, But Failure Shouldn’t Be One. By Andrea Knapp

Andrea Knapp Programs Lead at Startup Canada Andrea is a Programs Manager at Starup Canada, B.A in Psychology, M.A in Organizational Psychology & also an Entrepreneur who is not only passionate about teaching but also about entrepreneurship ecosystems, highly proactive, responsible, spontaneous, communicative, creative and an excellent team player.

Nowadays, it is not unusual to hear people say “I want to start my own business”, yet how many of them actually do so? Why is it that many choose not to take the leap? Starting up is surely not easy, it takes a lot of work, effort, and passion to pull your idea down to the ground. And even then, it takes a while before your business starts running on its own, which may sound tempting and also discouraging for some, resulting in not pursuing the dream further. Several reasons can be identified in regards to this matter, such as, questioning “what if I fail”, being afraid of the unknown, not wanting to leave a stable job, not knowing where to start, amongst many other doubts. In this article, I would like to focus on the first doubt mentioned above regarding failure. Failure is a scary word in all aspects of our lives, not only entrepreneurship. The fear of failing is in most of us and it is normal in human beings. It is important to note that even though the fear is there, we can’t let it decide whether or not we will take a new opportunity to do something big, like starting a business. Better yet, we should be doing quite the opposite: we should start giving the word failure a positive connotation.

Failure as a positive concept

matter of fact, you will fail at some point. Failure is there for us to get great future insights and learnings. The most successful entrepreneurs out there have failed somewhere along the road. In fact, in many cases failure will actually give you what you need to grow. Failure will have a different impact depending on both the stage of the business as well as its nature. While it is true that failing may kill a business, there are ways to use it for our benefit if we learn how to navigate the failure process.

Navigating the failure process Failing should happen in early stages and it should also happen quickly, regularly, and in tiny tasks. This way, failure will have an impact but not to the extent of killing the business. On the contrary, failure must happen this way to come up with better improvements and growth. When we fail, we learn, and when we learn, we can find new ideas and solutions to grow faster, better and stronger. If you are thinking of having your own business, you should know failure will happen. You should also know that there will be many fears, but failure shouldn’t be one. Counterintuitively, failure can turn out to be a very positive thing.

Failure is necessary for entrepreneurship and everyone should know that, as a




Gillian Riley and the future of Digital Banking Executive Vice President, President & CEO, Tangerine

Gillian Riley is Executive Vice President, President & CEO, Tangerine. She was appointed to this role in December, 2018, with responsibility for setting and driving Tangerine’s strategic objectives to solidify its position as Canada’s leading digital bank. She is also the Chair of Roynat Capital and the lead executive champion of The Scotiabank Women Initiative. She joined Scotiabank in 1994, and has held executive and senior leadership positions in retail, small business, wealth management, commercial banking, and operations groups. Gillian is an active business and community leader, and serves as a Director of St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, the Chair of Roynat Capital, and Immediate Past President of the Canadian Club of Toronto. She is Co-Chair of the Toronto FitSpirit cabinet fundraising campaign, and is a strong supporter of FitSpirit’s efforts to help Canadian girls discover the benefits and fun of being physically active. She has also held a number of director and advisory roles for various health, government and financial services organizations. In 2016, she was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), which recognizes the professional achievements of strong female leaders across the country.



What are some of the initiatives that you’re hoping to put in place in your new role as Executive Vice President, President and CEO of Tangerine? There are a couple areas I would like to touch on. You probably know that Tangerine is Canada’s leading digital bank. We’re working on continuing improving our nimble, fast processes. Our complete onboarding process is 7 minutes. We have very strong scores among the competing digital banks and we’re trying to maintain that and improve that for the next 10 years to come. We also are looking into multiple ways to expand the number of customers we have. We are the bank of the Toronto raptors, and explore opportunities to reach potential customers through our partnerships. And the final point is that we have a really unique culture here. It’s transparent, nimble, agile and that’s what puts us at the top of digital banking in Canada. One of your main objectives in your new role is for Tangerine to continue to be Canada’s Leading Digital Bank. Do you believe that digitalized banks are where our future is heading? Absolutely! Our future of banking is indeed digital and I know that all banks are focused on improving the number of digital transactions. Customers are looking to

do banking on the digital level and that is certainly where the future is heading. What are some of the steps that you’re taking into achieving your objective for Tangerine to continue to be Canada’s Leading Digital Bank? We’re delivering on new innovative banking experiences for customers. Some of the features that we’re looking at is helping Canadians with planning and goal setting. This allows Canadians to figure out with goal planning how much they spend, create better savings plan, and have better rates so they can save more. It’s really important to have to supply our customers with the tools to achieve their goals. We’ve leveragingourpartnerships such as the Raptors and NBA to increase our customer base. For example, Raptors fans are 21% more likely to use digital banking. Other statistics also help us determine the future partnerships that we wish to create. Many people are concerned that by digitalizing banks, there will no longer be that human interaction. What are your thoughts on that? I think that Canadians and people in the world are becoming much more familiar with apps and using digital type channels and processes like Uber, Amazon and many others. So simplicity and ease of use are


I think that Canadians and people in the world are becoming much more familiar with apps and using digital type channels and processes like Uber, Amazon and many others. So simplicity and ease of use are key for products and transactions. There are always opportunities for banks to improve the digitalization of their services including investments, corporate lending programs, etc. key for products and transactions. There are always opportunities for banks to improve the digitalization of their services including investments, corporate lending programs, etc. How do you believe your past experience has prepared you for your current role? I grew up in a very active family with 2 brothers. I played sports throughout my entire childhood and played competitive level soccer and was a coach in soccer for my 2 daughters. I learned about the importance of teamwork, friendship, and working with others. All of that focuses on how I build teams today and lead them. You are also the lead executive champion of the Scotiabank Women Initiative. What was the inspiration behind that? My prior role was heading up the commercial banking division of Scotiabank which deals with SMEs for various financial solutions. It became apparent to me that women entrepreneurs had a very difficult time accessing capital. In Canada, capital is only given by VCs to women 2-4% of the time. Some of the insights: there’s unconscious bias that exists, but often women are tentative to reach out for capital and tend to get capital from friends and family.This initiative was put in place to help women entrepreneurs and provide them with support.

having boot camps –for example, I teach ideas on how to succeed in business. Women in the program learn about technology, compliance, and how to build a business plan. They hear from other women on how to be successful in their various fields. We‘ve mobilized over 150 people at Scotiabank to really help women entrepreneurs be successful. There is the capitalasepct but there’s also advisory board access coupled with education. If you could give advice to women who have just taken the path of entrepreneurship, what would it be? What’s really important for an entrepreneur is to not be afraid to ask questions and get feedback. And be curious! The more questions that can be asked, the better outcome the entrepreneur will have with their business, future plans and future growth.

In my own career, I remember a time when I wasn’t sure how to proceed with something and sat down with someone more senior for their recommendations. It really helped give me a better sense that asking questions is key, rather than being scared to ask for help. Over the last 10 years, there’s been a significant increase in resources for women entrepreneurs. Do you believe that has led to a significant increase in success of femalelead businesses? Definitely! Access to resources is a significant factor of improving female lead businesses. Studies do show that female lead businesses are financially better run than males. Female businesses employ 1.5 million Canadians so they have an enormous positive effect on our economy. In the year to come, women are starting businesses at double the rate of men. There are studies that show that the growth of women lead businesses around the globe is going to be exponential by 2022.

What are some of the programs that The Scotiabank Women Initiative offers to help women in their journey of entrepreneurship? I’ve been working on this for a year and we launched this on December 5, 2018. There are 3 parts: (a) Access to capital - We assist female entrepreneurs gain access to capital. (b) Access to advisory/mentorship board –we provide one-on-one access for females to get help from a mentor solve some of their issues and/or build stronger companies. (c) There is an educational component - we’re




The Marketing Guru

Tim Bishop

Vice President, Marketing & Experience at Canadian Marketing Association

Tim is a multi-disciplined marketing executive with a proven record over 15 years of optimizing strategic efforts to expand the influence of leading organizations, such as the Canadian Marketing Association, Cineplex Entertainment,, IMI International and Northstar Research Partners. In September 2017, Tim earned his Chartered Marketer designation. The Marketing & Experience Team is dedicated to optimizing CMA's strategic brand efforts, technology platforms and live events - including Canada's #1 Marketing Awards - to create memorable experiences at all touchpoints in the member journey to drive deeper engagement






As a result, agencies have a role to play, a significant role to play, to help clients meet their objectives. So, the cost is one factor, but it's not the only one. You need to make sure that you're the best output, in order to, again, have great relationships with consumers and grow those.

The 2018 Canadian Digital Market was recently released. Were you surprised by the results? I was surprised by the way results in one respect, which is really around the notion that for all the talk that is going on out in the marketing profession right now, about how agencies and client relationships are changing, and the results show that we're actually still pretty stable in terms of the changes that are going on in the marketplace. That certainly surprised me because again, there's a lot of chatter, but the research shows that the agency relationship with clients will continue to evolve, but it's not a matter of having changed exponentially in the last few years. So that was great to see. What aspect didn't surprise you? Again, I was not surprised to see that agencies continue to add excellent value for their client relationships, and we know that that ecosystem between agencies and clients and media buyers, for instance, Agencies are really important one for the Canadian economy and for the Canadian marketing profession. So, as a result, We need to make sure that we're able to provide value for each of those areas. Again, We see from the results from the Canadian digital pulse study, that agencies are adding an essential part of the mix to make sure that clients are intercepting consumers in the right way. Many entrepreneurs take marketing activities in-house, where it is cost, do you believe that their business can suffer by not having experts to take over the marketing aspect? There is a risk. So, agencies again, are an essential part of the marketing ecosystem. When clients are planning campaigns and branding initiatives to go out and talk with consumers, agencies can offer much value, and so it's important to remember that sort of value, and part of it is that there's an investment involved with it.

Like with anything, you get what you pay for. So, there is a cost saving component to having things brought in house that previously may have been executed by an agency. If we take a look at that, what we see from the research getting from the digital pulse marketing study, we see that the types of things that are being executed by agencies increasingly are the cutting edge side of the business. So, we've got some examples such as augmented reality, programmatic marketing, and wearable tech, some of the search and online media and some of the out of home components. As a result, agencies have a role to play, a significant role to play, to help clients meet their objectives. So, the cost is one factor, but it's not the only one. You need to make sure that you're the best output, in order to, again, have great relationships with consumers and grow those. However, most of the companies Tim, they see marketing as an expense where it is not an expense, it's an investment in business development. Very much so. I couldn't agree more. The notion that marketing is an expense is wildly outdated. I agree that marketing is an investment to build your business, to create demand, to create new markets, to create new consumers for your products. There's also on the other side, a way to learn from consumers to find out what they're looking for, so that can build new line extensions and new growth for your business. So, if you don't invest in marketing, you're not going to be able to understand your consumers, and you're not going to be able to service them properly. That's going to cost you economically and in many different areas. In your expert opinion, what marketing areas do you believe that business owner should do in house and which should be outsourced to experts?

So again, there's an important role to play for both sides, and there's going to be different for every organization. So, when clients or marketers side are looking for what they should keep in house and what they might want to consider outsourcing, and you don't need to outsource anything, or you can outsource everything, there's a strong mix. Again, it will depend on the business life stage and cycle, how well the business is doing, what sort of expertise is needed. If we look at the results from the digital pulse study, we see that again more cutting edge initiatives such as augmented reality, programmatic, some of the wearable tech, video syndication, programmatic, these sorts of things, many organizations don't have that expertise in house. So, it's essential that if those elements of marketing are necessary for their business, that they're getting the very best expertise. If you don't have that expertise, you're probably going to be spending more time and more money trying to develop that yourself. So, that's where we see from this research, many client-side marketers are saying, “Yes, I want to go to the experts, I'm going to leverage their insights, and then what we do see over time is that as those cutting edge initiatives, email marketing, for instance, think about 10, 15 years ago when email marketing was still not in its prime like it is now, we see that many clients have brought email marketing in house, because they're comfortable with it, it's established, there's a great pool of talent to be able to service, that type of marketing, and so you can do it often faster and cheaper with your resources. So, that's a certainly a significant benefit to doing it, but again, if you don't know about augmented reality and that's important for your business, I would strongly encourage you to take a look at some great agencies to cause there are lots of them out there.





Well, at the Canadian Marketing Association, we're always interested in supporting both agencies and clients. We represent over 400 corporate marketers and agencies across the country, and including the top clients and the top agencies, and it's worth noting that about two-thirds of our members are SMEs.

Aside from saving money, another main reason why business owners tend to opt for in house when it comes to marketing is because they get a better turn-around time. Do you believe that this is an issue that can be easily addressed?

in Canada, and so, we're always conscious of what's changing and what needs are out there, and thus, we're continually reformulating our products and services to make sure that with agencies and clients are getting what they need from us.

Well, again, if we look at the research, there are pros and cons to outsourcing some of your work. One of the advantages is that you're able to access that expertise as I've been saying. One of the cons is that, they're not in house and so, therefore, they may, the agency may not fully understand all the complications and permutations and different niche realities of what's going on in your business, and so, there is an investment that's required in time and possibly some money in order to ensure that your agency is fully briefed, they really understand your business and they are able to drive value for you.

How would you say these results have affected the Canadian Marketing Association?

So, it really is a mix where you want to find that right balance between, okay it might be more cost effective to keep it in house, but if I have to spend more time in order to train up my staff and maybe they won't get to that level of expertise that an agency already has, that would be something to take a look at because there's probably some additional value that you could capture there by working with great agencies. What are some of the initiatives you’re hoping to put in place following these results? Well, at the Canadian Marketing Association, we're always interested in supporting both agencies and clients. We represent over 400 corporate marketers and agencies across the country, and including the top clients and the top agencies, and it's worth noting that about two-thirds of our members are SMEs. So, we're not just the Canadian Marketing Association, is not just that the players, all of you represent all of them too, and we really have the biggest tent, the broadest representation of the marketing profession 22


These results from the digital pulse study, which I should note is in partnership with IPSOS Canada, who did all the research for us, both on the marketer, client agency and consumer side. These results have given us additional granularity to plan our business, and we are focused on doing four things in the marketplace. We're helping marketers and agencies to promote their content and thought leadership that helps them to grow their business. We are always looking to ensure that they are getting the very latest learning and development opportunities, including our chartered marketer designation. We're also looking to advocate and represent the profession and help guide policy to find the right balance between consumers and even businesses so that both can succeed and be respected. Finally, it's about networking and bringing the profession together. So, we do that through events and different social initiatives with our online member directory. So, what this has shown is that we're doing a lot of the right things in order to make sure that we're offering the latest and most excellent services that agencies and clients need today. If we compare 2018 as its previous years, there will be any degrees when it comes to organizations depending on agencies for their marketing needs, other than saving money and better turnaround times, what do you believe that is? So it's clear there are some changes going


on in the marketplace, and there are shifts, and again, if we look at the research from the digital pulse study, we see that it's like the rising and falling tide, and there are slow evolution that seems to wax and wane like the moon, and as a result, we see that the profession continues to evolve and we should expect that to continue. The reality is, is that over time there is not a significant change in terms of the amount of work that is being leveraged with agency partners and versus what's being brought in house. What we are seeing is the composition of the type of work that is being done by agencies is changing, and so again, there’s more cutting edge initiatives, augmented reality and programmatic and SEM and SEO wearable’s, virtual reality. These are the elements that again, clients don't really have a strong understanding for a strong capability, and perhaps maybe not even strong pool of talent to be able to tap and hire to bring in house. So that's why they're going to these agency partners, because that expertise is readily available there, and so as a result, it's constantly in flux. So, I think we should expect to see that continued evolution to happen, and I believe that there's still a strong place for both agencies and clients to work together in Canada. In your expert opinion, after reviewing these results, do you believe that marketing agencies are in danger of [legally] going out of business? The short answer is no. Marketing agencies aren't going anywhere, and I mean that in a very positive way. They're an essential part of the Canadian marketing ecosystem to make sure that clients again are getting what they need in order to speak with consumers in a respectful, positive and engaging way. Especially now, you've got to get consumers excited about your product, and there's a number of ways that agencies can help.


One, understand those customer needs. Two, package different initiatives and campaigns in order to make sure that those clients are getting what they need in terms of being able to speak and listen to consumers, and it's about planning and optimizing those initiatives. So, agencies are a crucial part of the marketing ecosystem in Canada. What is the best advice that you can give to a marketing agency so that they can have more plans following these results? I think the best advice I would give to agencies right now is to keep providing excellent value, and they're doing this already, which is great to see. The opportunity for them I think in the future is to remain on the cutting edge of what's going on. So, it continues to develop the core elements and core marketing, great strategy, great insights, excellent research and great planning in order to make sure that the clients can win consumers. The opportunity for agencies on top of that, a great foundation that they already offer is really to ensure that they are able to remain cutting edge and understanding some of the new things that are going on, whether it's AR, VR, wearable’s, programmatic, new tech. These are areas where they can help and service gap that some clients might have. What inspired you to work with this line of business? Like what marketing--Some think you were passionate about and wanted to go into? I got into marketing because I'm a politics fan. I love politics, and I always was watching what was going on. So, I went to school for that at Queen's University. That's why I studied political studies. As a result, politics is very similar to marketing in the sense that politics is selling an engagement to immediate constituents, and it's selling the ideas and


positions for a party or for a direction for a country to proceed in, and so marketing is very similar to that. Marketing is the positioning and engagement with consumers to make sure that product and services are matching their needs. I find a great fit there, between politics and marketing, because it's about understanding your constituents and stakeholders. It's about putting a plan in place in order to make sure that they're aware of your positions and opportunities, and it's about making sure they remain engaged and excited about being a part of your ecosystem. So, from that respect, I think that marketing is a great fit. Specifically to my more recent five years now at the Canadian Marketing Association, not for profit marketing is an important part of the marketing ecosystem as well, and so, note for proper leaders and trade organizations such as ourselves, have an important role to play in order to make sure that businesses can grow and consumers are respected, and that's ultimately what the Canadian Marketing Association is focused on. What are some of the programs that the Canadian Marketing Association provides to SME owners that can be of benefit for them? There are lots of services and again, about two-thirds of our members, so hundreds of our members, corporate members across the country are SME’s. So, we offer services, and we're very focused on making sure that we provide competitive and progressive and advanced programming. Thus, a few of those options are learning opportunities. So, if SME’s are looking to increase their capabilities in terms of marketing knowledge and skills and skill sets, we offer many online marketing courses that are available, and you can do them 24/7 anywhere you are with an Internet connection. So we offer those three times a

year in different semesters. We offer in-person seminars, and we're able to bring communities together. There's a content marketing seminar going on as we speak right now when it's talking about how do you plan for great content, and that program was oversold, and we had to add more capacity. So, there's a need for further education and professional development in that area. Another thing is on our networking and our connection services. So, for SME’s who perhaps may not have substantial marketing dollars, we offer a very cost effective networking events where businesses can interact and meet with each other, and we also have our member directory where we've got thousands of marketing contacts from right across the country, both clients and agency side, SME, all the way up to huge enterprises, and so, we're able to offer that as a complimentary service as part of our membership as well. So between education, and events, and networking, it's a big part of it. Last but not least, I would say there are a lot of compliance guides and resources that are available to our members exclusively, and so whether that's on castle or GDPR, or cybersecurity, or privacy and data protection, new cannabis regulations that are coming in, and have occurred in the past few months, trademark changes in terms of what elements of a brand can be protected, these are all very active files for us. So, all of these resources are available for SME’s at a much-reduced investment versus if they were to go to a lawyer for instance and approach them to receive the same sort of knowledge. So, it can be very cost effective to be a member of the Canadian Marketing Association.


So, from that respect, I think that marketing is a great fit. Specifically to my more recent five years now at the Canadian Marketing Association, not for profit marketing is an important part of the marketing ecosystem as well, and so, note for proper leaders and trade organizations such as ourselves, have an important role to play in order to make sure that businesses can grow and consumers are respected, and that's ultimately what the Canadian Marketing Association is focused on.





The most important advice I would give to an SME who’s starting up right now is to get engaged in their community, and indeed the opportunity there is to get connected, is the most cost-effective thing you can do, because people like working with people they know, and so, if you are part of an association or part of a community such as the CMA, it will allow you to get much further ahead, you'll be able to tap into available resources on a very cost-effective basis.

So, all of these resources are limited members or nonmembers also can register and attend these events?

understand what's going on. We would argue that the best way to do that is to get involved with your community.

It's a mix, and so there are resources that are locked down and available only for members, and our advocacy, and public affairs regulatory topics, those are exclusive to our members. For instance, with our castle guide, it's been downloaded thousands of times over the last few years because castle affects all of us, and so we need to make sure that we're emailing in a respectful and compliant manner, including opt-ins and, and these sorts of things. Some of our events are open, and some of them are our members only. So there is a discount and availability for our members to save money there.

That's what CMA offers, it’s a community of marketers where we have thought leadership, sharing sessions where you have networking opportunities, we have professional development, we have our chartered marketer designation, and we have the resources from our advocacy team and public affairs team in order to make sure that you're able to stay ahead. So, it's about, in a world of flux, lean in and better understand what's going on so that you can take advantage of changes and get ahead of them.

Same thing with our learning and professional development initiatives. There are incentives and discounts in order for our members to have more value and access to exclusive services. The same thing goes with our chartered marketer program. Some savings come from being a member of the CMA. That’s good to hear. What are some of the top marketing trends that you're seeing in the business industry at the moment? I would say the top trends that are going on in the marketplace right now or are really about change. Consumers are changing, technology is changing, demographics are changing, expectations are changing, and so, everyone's trying to figure out what's next. Our advice to these business leaders, whether they be SME’s or any other part of the Canadian marketing ecosystem, is to get engaged and 24


What is the most common mistake that business owners make when it comes to promoting their brand? The most common mistake that businesses make when they're promoting their brand, does not understand their consumers enough or the potential prospect consumers. If you go without a strategy, and we see this, especially in SME’s where again, dollars are tight, and we understand that. We're a not for profit too as a CMA. So, making the investments to better understand what's going on with your consumers, what they're thinking about, how they want to be connected with, how they want to interact with you and what sort of products and services they need is crucial. Many organizations get tempted to take the shortcut and go straight to a campaign because they've got a great idea. The challenge with that is, that it's risky, and so you might go out and deploy all of these


marketing resources, build up this campaign, but if the core insight was never really understood, never really captured, it was never placed into the brief, well, I would argue that you need to know before you go. So, making that insight based investment is critical. Awesome. If you could give a piece of advice to SME’s who are just starting their business, what would it be? The most important advice I would give to an SME who’s starting up right now is to get engaged in their community, and indeed the opportunity there is to get connected, is the most cost-effective thing you can do, because people like working with people they know, and so, if you are part of an association or part of a community such as the CMA, it will allow you to get much further ahead, you'll be able to tap into available resources on a very costeffective basis. You'd be able to get the latest professional development that you need. You'll be able to tap into a lot of the training and guidance, and round compliance matters, which are critically important, especially in this evolving technology and compliance space. I would say don't try to do it alone, get involved. There are a lot of great resources that are available to help, and a lot of great people who want to help you, and so don't feel like you need to figure all this out on your own. There are many people in many organizations such as the CMA who are willing to help and want to help. That's why we're here.

Managing the fallout from a


workplace investigation

They say that sometimes the aftershocks from an earthquake are as bad as the initial disaster. When the ground stops moving people assume they’re safe and begin putting their lives back together, only to realize when it’s too late that the smaller, less dramatic seismic rumblings to come can send the structures around them crashing down. In the workplace context, the fallout from a protracted investigation into sexual harassment or bullying has its own aftershocks that can have equally catastrophic results. Why? It’s common for business owners, managers and HR professionals to assume that because they’ve satisfied their obligation to investigate incidents or complaints of workplace harassment and have taken steps to deal with the investigation outcome, their job is done and it’s back to business as usual. The reality is that in the wake of an investigation, a seemingly insignificant crack in morale can erupt into a far more damaging fissure derailing the organization’s culture. Organizations that ignore this fact do so at their peril. Now, we can all agree that a post-incident emphasis on returning to business as usual makes sense. Leaders want to help employees regain their peak productivity, restore bottomline growth and bring employee engagement to pre-investigation levels, while also taking efforts to rebuild their damaged culture. The idea of dragging out an uncomfortable episode any longer than absolutely necessary is anathema to any leader, let alone one committed to the success of their organization.

This reality may cause leaders to opt for silence rather than transparent communications. Sometimes they simply don’t know what to say, so they say nothing for fear of creating greater challenges, say, by making inaccurate or ill-advised statements. Employee rumour mills grind into high gear. In the absence of information, people create their own narrative. Cliques can form and employees will often take sides, even with the alleged harasser, which can lead to workplace bullying and exclusion. Management inevitably finds it near impossible to regain control of the message. Staff become disgruntled and dread the thought of working in such a toxic environment. Employee turnover spikes and the organization’s financial performance suffers further. To be clear, this isn’t some far-fetched doomsday scenario. We see this playing out routinely in the client engagements where we’re asked to help restore a workplace after an investigation, when the organization is unfortunately in reactive mode. One of the most infamous examples of the impact of a disruptive workplace investigation comes courtesy of our national broadcaster. Most of us will recall the devastating effect that the probe into alleged bullying and sexual harassment by former Q host Jian Ghomeshi inflicted on the CBC and its workplace culture. Some say the episode was a catalyst for the #MeToo movement in Canada. A leaked employee engagement survey from 2015 quantified the extent of those cultural aftershocks. It found that CBC employees’ ‘pride of association’ in their employer fell to 69 per cent from 92 per cent in 2012. Overall employee satisfaction with the CBC fell to 42 per cent from 69 per cent, while only 29 per cent of employees who participated in the survey felt management was able to effectively deal with “situations that may threaten or harm employees.” And that was three years after the initial incident. So, what’s an overworked, budget-conscious, growth-hungry CEO to do when faced with the prospects of managing a potentially costly investigation, as well as its aftermath? As counterintuitive as it may sound, look at this as an opportunity to optimize your workplace

policies and procedures to ensure they’re not only legally compliant and crafted to mitigate potential labour and employment law risk, but also address the unique needs of your organizational culture. This is an opportunity to use those policies to develop a progressive plan to move past the disruptive incident and build a better workplace. This is a chance to make your leaders visible and accountable, to liaise with both middlemanagers and employees to reassure them that the organization will emerge stronger. This is the time to remind staff that your management group is competent and has a strategy to deliver ongoing success. Communication is critical to the process, as is leadership training. Give managers the tools they need to re-engage their teams and address simmering issues, including methods to track employee performance and make operational adjustments as needed to restore key performance indicators. Leaders should not only be available, but proactive in their dealings with employees. Have managers arrange one-on-one, small-group or town hall meetings (tactics will vary depending on the size of the organization) to listen to employee concerns and generate ideas on how to make your workplace not only less toxic, but more effective at delivering its products or services. Just remember to keep the primary focus on employee wellness and engagement. Restorative team building activities and a renewed alignment around strategic priorities—potentially with the launch of exciting new initiatives—can be important final steps. Tough decision-making will likely be needed. Some employees may remain cynical and disengaged and may have to be reassigned or their employment terminated to allow the workplace to move past the incident and restore its culture. This is where effective leaders earn their stripes. The bottom line is that companies that make a difference, that attract and retain top talent and manage consistent growth are those that navigate disruption and leverage it to their advantage. As structural foundations are crumbling, the strongest leaders are already looking to build them back up. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 I



Beyond International Women’s Day 15 Ways To Support Women Owned Businesses Every Day By Silvia Pencak While many HR professionals immediately sounded the alarm in diversity & inclusion space, immediately evaluating their programs and looking for improvements, at WBE Canada we looked at supplier diversity space and the results we were seeing in corporate procurement. With only 1% of top corporations being committed to opening their procurement opportunities to Canadian women-owned businesses and diversity spend in Canada being way under 5%, we we know there is still a long road to travel.



Sadly, even though it’s 2019, women still face obstacles and challenges when it comes to landing corporate contracts.

Silvia Pencak

When Canadian Press released their analysis of D&I initiatives at the top Canada’s corporations in August 2018, many of us were in shock realizing that corporations might be going backwards. If you missed their article, their findings were that “despite pressure to improve gender equality in Canadian workplaces - and a myriad of initiatives and corporate pledges to boost female representation - top-earning women continue to be paid less than their male counterparts, while the number holding the powerful management roles of chief executive officer and chief financial officer has shrunk compared to five years ago.” Their analysis confirmed that less than 8% of the top paid management roles were held by women. On top of that, they were paid an average 64 cents for every dollar earned by the average male holding a C-Suite position.



This month I have a challenge for you. I believe that you too can make a difference for women around you. And here are my suggestions how to become a game changer. Whether you are a woman or a man, in business or workplace, Halifax or Vancouver - I have an action list to help us start making impact in entrepreneurial space in Canada and beyond. Each day select at least one item from the list below, act on it and at the end of the month report back to me to let me know the impact you have seen. My contact information is at the end of this article. Feel free to tag me in any actions you take based on this article. 1






Listen to a woman business owner. Ask a woman to share her story. Pay attention to those stories of survival, overcoming, failures and victories. Encourage a woman founder by letting her know what potential, strength, talent you see in her. Promote a great business woman you know. Let your community know how she inspired you and what made her stand out in your eyes. And if you are a leader, make sure that your promotion isn’t just verbal. Consider expanding the existing contract or referring her to another potential client.



Send a personal note to a female entrepreneur. Encouraging words can go far and high. Whether you send it via snail mail or email, your personal note will be appreciated. Mentor a woman. A long time ago someone mentioned to me that every 5th grader seems like a “god” to a 1st grader. You don’t have to be on top of your game to help someone. There already are women around you who can benefit from your help and support now. Become a mentor who can help her to break through the barriers and move to the next level. Buy a book written by a female entrepreneur. Many business women shared their advice and stories in detail through their books. Consider buying a book and even better, buy multiple books and gift them to friends, family or co-workers. Hire a woman speaker for your next event. Women can be passionate and inspiring speakers. Consider securing a woman speaker for your next event. Sponsor event supporting womenowned businesses. Here’s my little plug. WBE Canada actively seeks to support success of women-owned businesses. We host over 20 events across Canada each year, both virtually and in person. Consider supporting Canadian womenowned businesses through sponsorship opportunities. Be an advocate. Don’t let others talk about women in negative terms as long as you are in the room. Stop the bias on the spot. Recommend a woman for a project or promotion. One of the reasons why women don’t get promotions or contracts is that they promote themselves differently. They wait

for their results to speak loud enough that someone will notice. Unfortunately, many times this is misunderstood as lack of aspiration. Become a champion for a woman around you. 11


Host a workshop for aspiring female entrepreneurs. If you are a seasoned business owner, consider hosting a workshop for future female business owners to help them overcome costly mistakes and help them get off the ground quickly. Help a woman founder reach her goals. Some women are driven and seeking great accomplishments. Instead of telling a woman how “insane” or “unreasonable” she sounds, help her navigate toward her goal, providing her with tools, resources and introductions along the way.

13 Invest in a small business owned by a

woman. Many times, a small loan can go a long way with women-owned businesses.


Sponsor initiative benefiting womenowned businesses. At WBE Canada we see many gaps in women entrepreneurship ecosystem. Our results are always limited by our budget, not our imagination. Your support can go a long way and impact many businesses across the country.

15 Buy from a women-owned business. Even

though encouragement is great, buying from women creates opportunities for their businesses to scale up and grow.

This month and every day after, let’s celebrate, support and promote Canadian women who make a difference in spite of challenges they face, making a pathway for many others to follow.

Silvia Pencak is the President of Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada), Canadian nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating relationships between Canadian women-owned businesses and large corporate and government organizations across North America. WBE Canada promotes the economic advancement of Women Business Enterprises (WBEs). As a quality third-party certifying of businesses that are 51% owned, managed and controlled by women, WBE Canada has been connecting them to large supply chains since 2009. To learn more about their initiatives, visit You can connect with Silvia directly on Twitter - @SilviaPencak.


BRING IT TO LIFE! HELP FOR ONTARIO’S ENTREPRENEURS. The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) is a collaborative network of organizations across Ontario designed to help entrepreneurs, businesses and researchers commercialize their ideas. It provides a comprehensive suite of programs and services spanning the full commercialization continuum from idea to market. The ONE network was created to bring together the various resources for entrepreneurs, so you don’t have to search. The less time you spend finding and accessing programs and services, the more you can focus on “the business of running a business”. With a simple visit to, you can get connected with the right expert for all your business needs.



Maria Locker: The Mompreneur


Founder & CEO, Mompreneur Showcase Group Inc. Maria grew up in the world of retail business, as one of four children to her entrepreneurial parents; her family has owned and operated La Rose Bakery in her hometown of Milton, Ontario since she was 2 years old. Maria earned her BA from The University of Guelph in 2002 with a focus on Languages and International Business, and her B.Ed. from Lakehead University in 2004.

What was the inspiration behind Mompreneurs? What inspired you to launch this business? I used to be an elementary school teacher. My kids were 18 months apart. I realized it didn’t make sense to go back to school and help thirty Grade 3 kids, when I had my own children at home. I was doing some freelance marketing work and I was also helping on the administration side of my family’s business. I established a relationship with the mothers at the park where I would go to with my kids and I realized that even though most of them happened to be entrepreneurs, nobody mentioned it. Mompreneurs was all about getting like-minded women together. That’s where it all started. It was a lot of word of mouth and snowballed to where it is now. What are you hoping to accomplish through Mompreneurs? What is the main goal? Our mission and purpose is to support and connect women with each other and help them feel that their business is viable. We want women entrepreneurs, no matter where there are in Canada, for them to understand there is support and guidance out there. I’m hoping to accomplish that goal in Canada and then expand internationally. We currently have members in Australia, in Europe, and women reaching out to us from all corners of the world. I’d like to get to the point where we can support women internationally. How is Mompreneurs helping women across Canada start and grow their business? We have 3 areas that we focus on: Community, promotion and education. These 3 pillars hold up everything that we do. We feel the power of word of mouth and the power of women so community is number one for us. If they have a question about their business, the support of the community around them helps them solve their business questions. The women that I met in the park held back sharing what they do and held back that they were business owners. We give women a platform to share their story and business success to help them with promotion so they don’t feel that pressure.




Especially in the startup stage, education is extremely important. Our members range from their early 20’s to their late 70’s. We have women that have been in business for 20-30 years and things have really changed since the day they started their business so we might help them navigate social media, and provide assistance in various other areas. The name “Mompreneurs” suggests that you only provide services to mothers who are entrepreneurs. Do you also provide resources and services to women entrepreneurs who are not mothers or do you solely put your focus on mom entrepreneurs? The word Mompreneurs is where we started. The first thing that I often tell women that are interested in joining is that you do not have to be a mom. That specific message is something we’re looking to develop within our marketing plan. There is a big demographic of women that when they hear the word Mompreneurs, they feel it doesn’t apply to them. This whole community is about understanding entrepreneurship and family and how the two interact. Some women in their teens have come from high school and are already taking advantage of the resources we offer. I think there is the mystery about how women do this while having a family. There’s the whole idea of gender norms and we’re seeing a shift but we’re not fully quite away from that. Women often feel the guilt that if they focus on business, they’ll leave the family behind. Our goal is telling women that whatever works for you, works for you. Every single person is different and we are all individuals. We are taking the stance as an organization that the two elements in our lives that are most important, entrepreneurship and family, work together. We also have an incredibly diverse community that we’re extremely proud of. Being a mom has its challenges. It’s even more challenging when you’re running a business. How do you help mothers find that balance between motherhood and business owner? We talk about this question all the time within our forum. Balance is an illusion. You take a picture of two things being weighed equally on both sides. We try to help other women understand it’s not a balance but an “ebb and flow”. Sometimes family will be the majority of your time, and sometimes you’ll shift to your business. It’s about figuring

out that cohesiveness on your journey as an entrepreneur. Parenting in general is a really difficult and overwhelming and often a daunting challenge. When you add entrepreneurship in there, it’s a lot to take in. It’s the understanding that you can’t do all things all the time. When you’re focused on your family, be 100% in. When you’re focused on your business, be 100% in. What would you say is the biggest challenge that women face when they are taking the path of entrepreneurship? How can Mompreneurs help them overcome t his challenge? The biggest challenge I would say is that women don’t tend to ask for help. Women are getting better at it but they don’t necessarily want to show that they don’t know the answers to their questions. Moms are used to handling everything all the time so that mentality is shifted towards their business. That is when things spiral out of control. We try to help with those 3 pillars discussed earlier to make sure they’re comfortable talking about things. We are a collective and take their advice as much as they rely on us. The second biggest challenge is the “mom guilt”- the feeling of shame if they are really focused on their business and if they’re late picking up their kids or forgot to make their lunches. We continue to work with women on helping them get rid of that entire “mom guilt” concept. What’s the biggest accomplishment that Mompreneurs has had so far? What are you most proud of? Every year we have our conference and seeing 300 women in one room that come together is incredible. It’s a very powerful and emotional experience. Especially because we’re from all across the country, and some are international members who are a part of our community and it’s really cool to see these women who have never met in real life come together. It becomes almost like a high school reunion and we see women coming out of their comfort zone and bonding over their shared values. We see women reach out to us from all over the world and it’s truly inspiring and amazing to see that happen.

Number one would be to make sure to have support around you and to talk to your inner circle - your spouse, children, friends - you’re going to need people behind you who believe in you and will help you along the way. I would also stress to any woman just starting entrepreneurship, the importance of flexibility. Set out limitations for yourself. Sometimes the stress that can happen with entrepreneurship on its own will take you out of being able to do your job and nobody will be able to fill in for you. I’ve started to learn myself that it’s important to put things in place right from the beginning to take care of yourself, take care of your family, and keep them in the loop. In your opinion, what is the number one mistake that an entrepreneur makes when it comes to starting/managing their business and how can they avoid that? It’s all about insurance protection and financial, is where I’ve seen women really struggle. We work with a business insurance provider, especially when women work from home. They don’t really think about their picture in the bigger sense that it truly is. And number two is the finances. If you don’t know your numbers, you’ll be driving blindly behind the wheel. If it’s not your strong suit, hand it off to someone else. The numbers can be really fun to look at if you know what you’re looking at so you can be successful.

If you could give a advice to a woman who has just taken the path of entrepreneurship, what would it be?




The roots of Hoame run deep Over a decade ago founders Carolyn Plater and Stephanie Kersta began sowing the seeds of what would eventually grow into Hoame. Both founders studied psychology at university and went on to postgraduate training in mental health and addictions. When they first met they quickly realized they shared an uncanny similar passion for helping others. They both followed this passion for continuing education. Carolyn pursued her masters in social work and Stephanie her masters in psychology. Ever the eternal students their thirst for knowledge had them also obtaining numerous other credentials along the way. Professionally, they both worked clinical roles in a variety of hospital, academic and community settings. Carolyn worked primarily as an emergency room psychiatric clinician and Stephanie worked in community mental health both at the ground and policy levels. They also both went on to accept several faculty teaching appointments and felt most at home in a lecture hall with their students.

What was the inspiration behind Hoame? We have been mental health clinicians and registered psychotherapists for over a decade, and have used meditation and yoga practices clinically for years. We saw the hundreds of thousands of studies linking meditation to decreased stress, anxiety, increased focus, productivity, and a whole slew of physical health benefits and wanted to bring meditation mainstream. This wasn’t being done in Toronto in a big way and we wanted to make meditation accessible, and exciting for Torontonians. What sets Hoame apart from other meditation studios? First and foremost, our clinical background, because of our extensive clinical and research experience we have woven science and technology into every room. We have created the rooms to be as stress-reducing as possible, through the immersive touches, our signature scent, signature tea, and apoptogenic charcoal lemonade on tap. We also created a discover room, which is a space to hold our extensive programming, hoame is not just a meditation studio, it is a health 30


and wellness hub and our workshops, fireside chats, and events all reflect that. Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about mental health awareness. More and more organizations are supporting the cause. Do you believe that there’s been an increase in people who have mental health issues? What do you believe is the cause? This is a complicated issue that requires larger discussion, what we do know for sure, is that stigma of mental illness is decreasing, and more people are talking about their experiences, which is amazing! There are many causes exacerbating mental health, our non-stop plugged in society, social media, parenting styles, challenges for this generation, lack of sleep, lifestyle factors, are all correlated with mental health issues. Today, people are more open to talking about mental health issues compared to just a few years ago. In your expert opinion, why do you think that is? While we don’t want to generalize, as there are still many people who are uncomfortable discussing their mental health challenges,

what we are observing are the many social campaigns, influencers, and companies who are creating a safe space for people to talk about their mental health. What are the benefits of Hoame on mental health issues? Research tells us that there are numerous benefits of meditation and mindfulness practice on mental health – including decreased anxiety, improved mood, better quality of sleep among other. These benefits can also be enhanced when shared among other like individuals – such as in the class environment provided at hoame. We also know that there is power in connection. In fact, one of the most significant predictors of longevity and quality of life is our relationship with other people. It was incredibly important to us to create an environment where people would feel comfortable and safe – a place where connection and community were central to the experience. Do you believe that constant meditation can help people who are struggling with mental health issues?


Yes, research shows that with regular and consistent practice, you are more likely to reap the benefits of meditation as a method to reduce or alleviate symptoms of mental health issues. What are the main health and business benefits of meditation, Himalayan salt and infrared sauna technologies on both the body and mind? The benefits of meditation are numerous, it is often said the benefits of meditation span from the top of our heads to the tips of our toes and everything in between. Professionally, meditation can increase productivity, drive, and focus, all great things for our careers! The Himalayan salt cave and infrared saunas were two additional experiences that both have numerous health benefits, and were added to space as a way to create an optimal “hoame” for relaxation and rejuvenation. How has your past experience helped you in your current role? We always say that we remain clinicians and educators first, as we are both still practicing clinically and teaching at a number of universities and colleges. Our clinical experience truly informed the creation, and curation of the space, and as we keep an eye on current research, informs our ongoing programming and our growth strategy. What is the best advice you can give to someone who is struggling with mental health issues? Talk about it! It doesn’t have to be to a professional, but you need to get it out of you! So often we see clinically, that just talking

to someone and sharing your burdens with someone, immensely helps. Would you say that there are a lot of business owners who suffer from mental health? There aren’t any studies showcasing a direct link between being a business owner and mental health issues, however, what we do know, is that stress is a major contributing factor for mental illness, and we know how stressful running a business can be! On the flip side, however, is that being a business owner, can allow for flexibility in your day and autonomy in your day to take care of your well-being, and also allow you to live your passion. In your expert opinion, what would you say is the main cause of people who are suffering from mental health? There is no one single cause for mental health issues, in our field we say it is a complex interplay of biological, psychological and social factors.

Carolyn Plater

On a final note, what inspired you to go into this line of business? We became clinicians as we had a desire to help others to overcome obstacles, and support people through their darkest days, and over the last decade have had the privilege to meet and support many people. Our current health system, unfortunately, is quite reactionary in nature, we only see people once they have reached their breaking point, and with hoame, we aspire to create a culture of prevention, where we take care of our brains and mental health as well as we take care of our physical health, to prevent people from reaching that point.




Business woman of the Month

Phoebe Yong: Principal and Founder of Magnolia Communications

With over 25 years of industry experience in B2B marketing, Phoebe has built an award winning boutique marketing agency based in Vancouver that services high-tech, fintech, financial and manufacturing clients. With a degree in Communications and MBA in Marketing, Phoebe has led partner marketing campaigns with some of the biggest brands in the world – Dell, HP, Microsoft, Vodafone and China Mobile. At Magnolia, she has led a successful team to build a full service marketing agency focused on PR, content marketing and marketing automation. For more information, visit What was the inspiration behind Magnolia Communications? It’s a cliché but I really believe everyone has a story to tell. I envisioned Magnolia to help passionate business owners or founders with a great vision to tell their story in a professional and authentic manner.


What sets the company apart from other similar organisations?

Magnolia Communications has won several awards and received honorable mentions. How does that make you feel?

Targeting B2B marketing solutions/services for enterprises, telecommunications, electric utilities, public safety and shipping vessels (fleets) was the foundation to my corporate experience. I took that knowledge and applied those same principles when I started Magnolia. Our business model is focused on serving B2B businesses, but also – I simply love playing in the B2B space. I see so much opportunity and growth here and it’s what gets me up every morning, the conversations I have with my clients on reaching their B2B audience.

Honoured and grateful. When a client trusts us with their brand and allow us to tell their story in an authentic and genuine way, it’s an honour. We are successful and when we are allowed to tout that story for the rest of the world to know, it’s a very gratifying feeling. It’s a collaborative process to work with our clients on product launches and campaigns. There are many factors for an award-winning campaign, such as ensuring all teams are on message, highly responsive and agile, and striving for the same goals. When all elements are executed properly, it’s a great feeling of


team achievement and reaffirmation that the work hard put in was worthwhile. What is your perspective on how SMEs can stay competitive by taking a niche approach when it comes to customer acquisition? Marketing offers a broad spectrum of opportunities for today’s marketer. The choices are endless on how, where, and what to do for customer acquisition. With limited budgets, I’ve always recommended to go deep and wide within that market. Know your niche market well, and live and breathe that market by knowing your customer – with a welldefined ideal customer profile (ICP) – and their pain points specific to that market. Ensure your solutions and services are well catered to


their problems and do it better than anyone else serving your niche market. Your customers will respect you for it because you are not painting with a broad brush to solve their problems but using specific tools to help them serve their end customers. What are some of the strategies you use to create business to business public relations? When it comes to B2B PR, the approach isn’t too different from B2C. With B2C PR, the impact of social or online influencers is certainly more involved but PR is, always has been and continues to be the message. I often get asked if we have contacts at highly desirable media outlets like the Wall Street Journal, and I usually reply it doesn’t matter because the reporter will still hang up on me if my message isn’t relevant or timely. If he knows me, he may give me an extra five secs before hanging up. With a public relations program, take a longterm approach with compelling news to keep your company relevant and top of mind with your contacts. Be a thought leader in your space so reporters can reference you as their “go-to” resource for the industry. Often, clients forget that PR is a long-term strategy and it takes time to build the brand but done correctly, it’s a highly powerful and cost-effective way to build their brand. In your expert opinion, what are some of the common mistakes that SME owners make when it comes to marketing and public relations and how can Magnolia Communications help them? While there are many strategies to consider, a miscue I commonly see is not having a completely integrated marketing plan. Field marketing, marketing automation and PR programs are working in silo. With many competing priorities in running a successful SME, it’s not unusual for companies to be reactive and go their marketing partner for immediate requests, but whether it’s ad placements, sponsorships, events or PPC campaigns to attain leads, it’s fundamental that the programs all work together in accord. All cylinders can then be firing in unison at a desired target, and this will ultimately help SME owners leverage their budget and resources. What is the best advice that you can give to SME owners who are just starting up in relation to marketing and PR? Take purposeful steps. Even if it’s a small step, do it well. This way you can measure the

success in stride, adjust if needed, and re-apply those same fundamentals to other programs. For example, defining your audience. To deliver the right solutions for your audience’s pain points, you need to create a relevant message. Take the necessary time to define your ideal customer, their needs and buying behaviour. This is a fundamental but critical practice that will help you have successful execution of your programs. How do you believe your past experience has helped you in your current role? Early in my career, I was fortunate to work in SMBs with revenue ranging from $5M-10M. After 7 years when I left my marketing position at one of the SMBs, the revenue had grown to approximately $280M with international offices, over 350 employees and had gone through an IPO and trading in TSX and NASDAQ. One big lesson I took with me is when we were a smaller company partnering with or closing deals with the 800-pound gorilla such as MacDonald Dettwiler or Microsoft, it was vital we acted like we belonged. We believed we were a big player so we had to act like one, and this was reflected in external communications that were consistently professional and our business practices followed the same suit. I still take that high level of professionalism and intensity to execute at the highest level with our clients (big and small). What is the main goal of Magnolia Communications? What are you hoping to accomplish? As we celebrate our tenth anniversary this year, the industry has evolved over the years, especially the last few years with the insurgence of digital marketing, Account Based Marketing and metrics driven marketing. As the industry evolves, so does Magnolia. We have seen our business evolve from a PR-centric agency when we first started in 2009 to a full-service agency offering PR, content marketing and marketing automation services. With the backing of our team, I hope we can accomplish more awardwinning demand generation programs that help our clients reach their end customers and grow their business.

brands -- Google, IBM, Nike – all have invested heavily on corporate social responsibility programs as well as paid and earned media programs so that their customers identify with their brand and be their best ambassadors. These ambassadors are invaluable in growing the business. When media identifies with your brand as a go-to industry expert, it also gives your business additional credibility. What advice can you give to business owners when it comes to finding the right audience for their services? Have the insight to truly know if what you are offering is what your customers need, as opposed to want. There is a big difference between a nice to have to a must have that will help them grow their business and help their end customers. And also take the time to define why your product and service is superior to your competitors and what it is that makes your unique offering the solution they are looking for. This will greatly help you in listening to your customers, and ultimately finding the right audience. On a final note, what inspired you to go into this line of business? I’ve always wanted to use my creativity. I had thought in my younger days that creativity meant graphic designers but I quickly realized being a communicator gave me ample opportunities to be creative. I eventually started Magnolia using my creativity to help customers who are passionate about their stories (or company) achieve their dreams.

What are the benefits for SME owners to create a brand that is appealing to everyone? How can this help them in the success and growth of their business? Building a brand that projects a positive image or influence takes years of investment and doing the right thing consistently. Today’s biggest CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 I



Canadian SME owners face taxing challenges in their dealings with CRA Remember the days when you, or your accountant, could negotiate with the Canada Revenue Agency and settle a matter without the worry of punitive fines or protracted litigation? Those amenable outcomes are now far harder to come by. The current reality for owners of small and medium-sized businesses across Canada is a CRA staffed by aggressive auditors whose interpretation of the Income Tax Act isn’t always favourable to otherwise tax-abiding entrepreneurs. This isn’t a new problem, of course. It’s been mounting over the past decade and peaked two years ago when the federal government hired dozens of new auditors and, at least implicitly, made it known that tax collection trumped cordiality. A new culture took hold across the agency and, right or wrong, business owners have been paying the price ever since. At the same time the CRA has been steadfast in the implementation of new high-tech tools to catch tax cheats. Advanced algorithms parse tax-filing data for irregularities or patterns of potential malfeasance, then flag and review files in a fraction of the time that it once took buildings-full of inspectors to do the same. Of course, we can all agree that Ottawa’s commitment to catching fraudsters is laudable. Those who attempt to avoid paying their fair share to the federal treasury should be punished. But this isn’t simply about fraud or willful noncompliance. The vast majority of entrepreneurs comply with the Income Tax Act, and even though mistakes do happen—as we often see when a deduction or credit is disallowed, for example— business owners will actively work to correct the error and make payments, including potential fines and interest, as per CRA rules. What we’re seeing now is something altogether different: an orthodox, punitive application of the law that presumes guilt, often resulting in an uphill battle for taxpayers trying to prove their innocence. The measured enforcement of yesteryear has largely disappeared. Case in point: The introduction of a new Voluntary Disclosure Program that came into effect in March, 2018, negated the benefits to entrepreneurs who might otherwise proactively come forward to disclose tax oversights or errors. The indiscriminate—and rapidly-increasing—use 34


of desk audits to watch for potential fraud or catch basic mistakes is also problematic. Then there are the cases involving our own clients where the CRA has been materially incorrect in their interpretation of case law and tax legislation, but refused to admit their error. In one instance, one of our clients was forced to pursue litigation after the agency applied a gross negligence penalty on taxes owed on the client’s return. The client eventually won on appeal, but only after incurring significant costs in challenging the decision. Some agents’ accusatory tone and unwillingness to afford benefit of the doubt have made an already difficult situation intolerable. In one high-profile case, the CRA was ordered to pay $1.7 million in damages to a B.C. couple charged with 21 counts of tax evasion relating to tax returns from various businesses. Even though the agency was incorrect in its interpretation of case law, it pushed forward with a prosecution before a judge took the extraordinary step of calling out senior CRA inspector Keith Kendal: “The CRA is vicariously liable for the conduct of Mr. Kendal and its employees,” the judge stated in his decision. “Its conduct in this case was highhanded, reprehensible and malicious … It offends this Court's sense of decency and was a marked departure from conduct expected of an individual in Mr. Kendal's position and an agency such as the CRA.” A high-profile case such as this must have prompted a rethink of aggressive CRA policies, right? Think again. For the first time, Ottawa this year applied the Criminal Code of Canada’s proceeds-of-crime provisions to a tax case. In this instance it was used to prosecute an Ottawa couple accused of under-reporting $3.1 million in rental income on several commercial and residential properties, as well as several related crimes including the manipulation of supplier invoices.

Armando Iannuzzi Tax partner, Kestenberg Rabinowicz Partners LLP also prevented from declaring bankruptcy to bypass the payment of back taxes. The pressing question: who will police overzealous CRA officials who might attempt a wider application of heavy-handed laws intended to catch terrorists? Here’s the problem (among many) with employing these tactics. Because most business owners are forced to take on at least some accounting duties in their business—even if they rely on a professional to aid with the preparation of their annual tax returns (as most do)—the vast majority of CEOs have almost no understanding of the Income Tax Act (and why would they?). They’re often forced to juggle multiple duties in their business, from managing operations to marketing and everything in between, and have no time to stay abreast of tax law developments. Therefore, they are prone to making errors that are more indicative of financial clumsiness than deliberate attempts to defraud the government of Canada. In some cases, the CRA’s current, hawkish approach to tax collection costs the federal treasury revenue when auditors are incorrect in their application of the law, thereby wasting thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal fees when a case goes to court, while sullying the agency’s reputation along the way. The difficult reality is that all the griping in the world won’t change the situation for Canada’s entrepreneurs, at least not until the CRA’s culture is refocused on customer service and mutually beneficial collection outcomes that make sense. Until then, entrepreneurs are best advised to choose an experienced and reputable tax professional to handle their personal and corporate tax affairs, while putting a high priority on filing those returns accurately and on time. Sound accounting practices and risk mitigation are the watch words of the day.

The individuals are not charged with international money laundering or terrorism, illicit activities the law was designed to curb. No, these are your everyday, run-of-the-mill alleged tax evaders. But by invoking proceeds-of-crime legislation, the CRA can seize foreign assets, If you, or your accountant, were ever inclined to make dubious claims or test the limits of not to mention property ranging from homes to CRA’s tolerance for unnecessarily creative tax cars, as a case makes its way through the courts. minimization techniques, now is the time to Tax cheats convicted under this legislation are think twice.


Data Privacy: Keeping

Your Customers and Business Safe By Matthew Tyrer We recently celebrated the first Data Privacy Day since the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. Additionally, November 2018 marked the go-live date for new rules for data breach handling for companies operating in Canada with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

whether a breach or incident was deemed to have met the RROSH threshold, all breaches of any kind must now be properly recorded. Those records must be kept for a period of two years and be readily accessible to the OPC upon request.

If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to take a look at how you’re approaching customers' data and privacy -- and to ensure your business is taking a proactive, informationdriven approach to privacy protection. For small businesses in particular, reputation is everything, and a single breach could impact your entire business.

Every breach.

Changes to PIPEDA: What you need to know While the data privacy law itself did not really change, there were two very important additions to the existing legislation that any company will need to be mindful of: Breach notification: It is now mandatory that any breach deemed to have “Real Risk of Significant Harm” (RROSH) is reported as soon as feasible. This means there is no hard window within which notifications must be made. This flexibility was built in to allow companies time to work with law enforcement, and to assess if the notification itself may add to the damage in the short term. That isn’t to say you can sit on it forever, as the Office of the Privacy Commission (OPC) will evaluate your overall incident response (and possibly add fines). Obviously, the OPC needs to be notified, as do the individuals affected by the breach. Less obvious is the last group needing notification: “other” organizations. This could mean having to notify law enforcement, but it could also mean having to notify banks or credit companies depending on the data that was affected. This really drives home the need to have a proper Incident Response Plan in place to identify all the whos and whats. You can even be penalized for NOT having a plan or properly established security safeguards. Record keeping: The other change will really cause some folks heartburn! Regardless of

Think about that for a second.

So what’s considered a breach? Any event in which the loss or theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use, modification or destruction of personal information (PII) constitutes a breach. That’s quite a broad spectrum of possible events. Accidentally delete a backup of your client database? That counts (destruction). Lose a laptop with client data on it? Totally counts (loss). Email a list of customers to another company? Yup (unauthorized copying/use).

Set your business up for successful compliance

• Take a good look at the processes you have in place. Make sure you have an Incident Response Plan, for example, so if an issue arises you are prepared in advance to take action. • Don’t just focus on applications – unstructured data and laptops probably account for 70-80 per cent of your data and will still contain large amounts of personal data. • Investigate tools that can support these actions and initiatives. Commvault offers many solutions to ensure you are compliant, and that data remains safe. Data has value. Your data, for example, can be sold for advertisers to target, hackers to compromise, or other third parties to use for research or perhaps less malign intents. The game has changed, and the time for us to question the players is now. Your data and your clients’ data has value and you should be sure you are treating it with the same care you would any precious cargo.

So, how can you strengthen customers' privacy to comply with regulations, and ensure you are ready to effectively identify and respond to any breach? Here are a few things to consider: • Frequently review privacy settings for the various tools you use. Don’t take it for granted! Many applications reset their privacy configurations following an update, which may leave you exposed if you don’t go back and check on them. • Be aware of what information you are giving away! Does that site really need a postal code or birth date for us to download its promised content? • Are the companies you partner with just as diligent in their handling of data as you would be with your own? Do you trust those companies will respect the privacy of your clients as much as you do? • Know where your data is and what it is – in your data centre, in the cloud, at the edge… everywhere. Keep a detailed index of the data that you can reference, search and audit against.

Matthew Tyrer Matt Tyrer is the Ottawa-based Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing for the Americas for data protection leader Commvault. Matt is an IT industry veteran with nearly 20 years of experience, including the past 10 with Commvault. He has worked with teams from around the world to build and implement data management and protection solutions for customers of all sizes. A self-described geek, Matt understands the importance of Han shooting first, why being "shiny" is a good thing, that boxes are excellent camouflage, and why one should always be afraid when it's Buffy's birthday. Beyond this, he loves to travel (sometimes with his family), plays golf (poorly), tries to find time for the dusty PS4 (rarely does), and always finds time for his family. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 I



Four tips to set your

business up for success By Jason Storsley

Jason Storsley

Entrepreneurial spirit is strong in Canada with more than half of Canadians considering business ownership. Nearly as many of those who don’t already own a business are engaging in a side gig to explore their passion project or test new ideas for a future business.


Vice President, Small Business, RBC Jason Storsley is the Vice President of Small Business at RBC where he leads the development of small business segment and client experience strategies. For more information on RBC’s beyond banking solutions for small businesses, visit

Whether you’ve just started your business or you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, here are four tips to set your business up for longterm success.





Develop a business plan and treat it like a living document. In the early stages of entrepreneurship, it’ll help you think through the feasibility of your idea, and define the purpose of your business and measures of success. As you manage and grow your business, your plan will help you stay focused, prioritized and accountable. Your plan should include: an outline of your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT); a forecasted cash flow; your channels of distribution; and a detailed marketing plan that includes research on your competitors, target customers and advertising tactics. Periodically review and update this plan to make sure your goals and actions remain relevant. Register your business. Doing so helps establish your brand as an official business entity and enhances its credibility. It’s also required from a tax and legal perspective if you earn more than $30,000 in revenue annually. offers an affordable and straightforward service for business owners in Ontario, Alberta and BC to register or incorporate their business in minutes.


Separate your personal and business bank accounts. This will give your business an independent identity and boost credibility, especially when it comes to the exchange of money with your customers and vendors. From an accounting perspective, you’ll save yourself the hassle of having to untangle your personal and business finances during tax season and you can easily produce financial documents that are connected to a business-related account. This is especially important when developing relationships with banks, investors and other third-parties. Once you’ve registered your business, you can set up a business account online in less than 15 minutes with RBC’s online application. Explore digital solutions to simplify and streamline how you manage your business. Time, money and resources are in short supply for business owners. RBC has partnered with service providers like Wave, Acquisio, ADP and others to offer integrated solutions that go beyond banking to help entrepreneurs start, grow and manage their business with less hassle. Digital marketing solutions like Acquisio’s Promote can help owners reach new customers with targeted online advertising campaigns and Wave offers simple invoicing and expense tracking solutions to save you time. There are also free templates available from Quickbooks to plan your cash flow. Taking these four foundational steps early in your business ownership journey will help save you valuable time and money down the road, and set your business up for success.

Conceptual image only, subject to change.

A NEW SICKKIDS WILL RISE. This is Phase 1: the new Patient Support Centre (PSC). Phase 2 will be building a new, state-of-the-art Patient Care Centre (PCC) that lifts, not limits care. Thanks to donors who believe that twenty-first century medicine needs to be practiced in twenty-first century buildings, we are over halfway to our fundraising goal of $1.3 billion. The PSC is where a transformed SickKids begins. Join us.





Our HABITS Make Things Happen

By David W Smith

David W Smith CMC, ACC David W. Smith, B.Comm, CMC, ACC, RPM. Principal, Logia Consulting Inc. “emPOWERING Leaders... with Human Capital Consulting, Coaching and Training” 306.373.1998

With so many choices to make every day, we need to sift through our options before stepping into action. Many have heard of the Serenity Prayer which encourages us to Serenely accept what we cannot change and focus more heartily on those things we can, have the Courage to tackle what we can and seek the Wisdom to distinguish between the two. Much depends on our ability to be proactive, not only reactive to our environment and circumstances. To truly accomplish this, we must learn to make solid decisions and build good habits. A few years ago, I read Charles Duhigg’s 2012 book, the Power of Habit. He did a masterful job of unpacking fascinating aspects of neurology and psychology relevant to our habits. Duhigg cited a 2006 Duke University research report which discovered that more than 40% of the actions people perform each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits. I’ve dialogued with psychologists who purport that a majority, perhaps as much as 90%, of our behaviour is subconscious, emanating from nature (genetics) and nurturing (early childhood formation). I don’t know the actual percentage, but I observe a keen desire in many people to be more mindful of thoughts and decisions and stronger governors in aligning their actions to priorities, values. Habits play a large role and there is hope, because we can adapt and grow them. However, Dr. Ron Jenson points out in the old adage: ‘the highway to hell is paved with good intentions’, which can be timely as we navigate into the new year with our hastily gathered resolutions. Let’s say that ‘hell’ in this case is the junkyard of our good



intentions that never got out of the garage, let alone down the highway of purposeful intention. Thankfully, our world is filled with smart, creative, skillful people with great ideas, and people with really good intentions. Unfortunately, it is less likely that the person who takes an idea, a dream, or a project, actually sees it through to its fulfillment… makes things happen. Making things happen requires selfdiscipline including the ability to regulate conduct by principle and judgment rather than impulses, desires or social norms. Duhigg’s works point to the need to be very self-aware, plus, conscious of our habit making process, the habit loop. This loop includes Cues to trigger the brain to go into automatic mode and which behaviour to use. Then, Routines which can be physical, mental or emotional. Finally, there is a Reward which helps our brain figure out if this behaviour is worth remembering for the future. Understanding the loop and its components is vital in successfully forging new habits. The next essential step is to find a practical methodology to design and practice new habits. Making things happen is not so much about working harder as it is about working smarter. If we just work harder and harder doing the same things repeatedly, without dealing with the roadblocks and blind spots, they will simply trip us up more frequently and more intensely. It’s all about creating and establishing better habits. What are your HABITs? Here are some insights and suggestions to help reflect on new habits to get you on the road, some are courtesy of Dr. Jenson.

Habits are actions that people first decide to take deliberately and keep doing subconsciously. Since a majority of our actions may not be known to us, we need to seek and welcome trusted feedback to establish where we might need to change. Potential new habits need to be brought to our conscious mind to begin any effort at change or growth. Determine precisely what habit you want to adapt or create and then draft a clear written statement of what you intend to mindfully undertake differently. Be sure it is important to you and your success. Always remember the principles, value or truths behind why you are changing or growing a habit. If we routinely remind ourselves that the new behaviour is consistent with our personal or professional values, an enhancement to our career trajectory or even better for our health, we are much more likely to stay with it. Also, be patient with yourself as you practice! ‘Once and done’ is not often our reality. Many psychologists agree that if we can do something for 21 consecutive days, it becomes a habit. Take the right amount of time to build a new habit and/or support the people around you as they build new ones too. Consider the successful completion of your new habit and how you will joyfully celebrate the accomplishment ... the reward. We are all human so we can have setbacks in our discipline of practicing the new habit. If so, it may be worthwhile envisioning a negative penalty. Nothing harsh or outlandish, perhaps not watching that discretionary favorite Netflix or sports show so it stings a bit. If the habit impacts another person or if you need some personal support to muster up the focus, conscript the kind and persistent help of an accountability partner. It could be a business associate, boss, family member or even one of the many downloadable apps that are available to keep you on the path.

Valuable Insight… Simply stated… if we want different results, we will have to develop different habits. If we want to avoid the highway ‘paved with good intentions’ and inactivity, then we may need to deepen our disciplines and introduce new habits that will enable successful adaptations to our personal and professional lives. If we want success, personally and professionally, then we must become more proactive and take initiative to build our habits, to Make Things Happen.

Twelve Canadian Companies Named to the Global Cleantech 100 List More than half include EDC customers from diverse markets and sectors across Canada (OTTAWA) – January 29, 2019

Once again in 2019, Canadian cleantech companies are making their mark on the world stage, with 12 companies being named to the prestigious Global Cleantech 100 list at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco. This year, the list of innovative and promising clean technology companies represents strong diversification of markets and sectors with representation from across Canada.

Minesense Technologies Ltd. – Extractive (Vancouver, British Columbia)

SemiosBios Technologies Inc. – Agriculture (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Terramera Inc. – Biochemicals (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Eight of the 12 companies being recognized are Export Development Canada (EDC) customers, a banner year for Canadian cleantech companies whose locations span across British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia covering many different sectors including energy, biochemicals, extractives and more.

EDC is the largest Canadian provider of financial solutions for Canadian cleantech companies looking to export internationally.

EDC has a dedicated Cleantech team of professionals with representation across Canada with the sector knowledge and expertise to help facilitate the growth of Canadian Cleantech companies.

In 2018, EDC provided over $2.0 billion in support for clean technology companies – a record year.

Since 2012, EDC has quadrupled its cleantech customers, facilitating more than $6 billion in business in 114 countries.

The cleantech global market is estimated to be worth US$1 trillion and expected to surpass US $2.5 trillion by 2022.

“EDC would like to congratulate the Canadian companies who have been selected for this year’s Global Cleantech Top 100 list. The innovative solutions offered by Canadian clean technology companies are being used globally to reduce environmental impacts and allow for more efficient use of natural resources,” said Carl Burlock, Senior Vice President, Financing, Export Development Canada. “Canada’s clean technology sector continues to evolve, and EDC is proud to be supporting the international growth of Canadian clean technology companies.” Congratulations to our customers: •

CarbonCure Technologies Inc. – Advanced Materials (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

CoolEdge Lighting Inc. – Energy Efficiency (Richmond, British Columbia)

Ecobee Inc. – Energy Efficiency (Toronto, Ontario)

Enbala Power Networks Inc. – Smart Grid (North Vancouver, British Colombia)

Metamaterial Technologies Inc.– Advanced Materials (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)

Quick Facts

About EDC EDC helps Canadian companies go, grow, and succeed in their international business. As a financial Crown corporation, EDC provides financing, insurance, bonding, trade knowledge, and matchmaking connections to help Canadian companies sell and invest abroad. EDC can also provide financial solutions to foreign buyers to facilitate and grow purchases from Canadian companies. For more information about how we can help your company, call us at 1-888-434-8508 or visit CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 I



Secrets of Success in

Customer Acquisition By Wendy Boyd

Attracting new customers is the one business activity that keeps many business owners up at night. Adding to the challenge, it has become increasingly more difficult to Identify and reach new customers given there are more discrete segments of potential customers and many more media options to reach them. A variety of articles and reports are showing that the cost of acquisition for both B2B and B2C companies has increased substantially over the last 5 years. Hence, there are more sleepless nights for entrepreneurs trying to grow their revenues and profits. Many organizations dilute their acquisition investments as they try to appeal to a broad audience without a rigorous and focused target audience definition. This is especially 40


In this article, we will review a planning process to help you think about your business and how to map out an appropriate acquisition strategy.

market share, market sizing and competitive dynamics relative to pricing and product and service offerings. This number may change as you dive deeper into the targeting process explained in the next section, however, this gives you the ‘goal posts’ for your initial objectives.

Setting acquisition objectives

Defining your target market

In this all-important step, there must be a quantitative target for the number of new customers or business accounts that you want to acquire. By taking the number of new customers multiplied by the expected revenue per new customers, organizations will have a new customer revenue target as well as an absolute number target. The target number should be reviewed for reasonableness by looking at prior year acquisition numbers,

The most important step in the acquisition process is to identify the potential new customer target audience in as much detail as possible with a laser-focused view.

true for newer organizations that think they need to appeal to everyone to be successful.

A great example of a company that started narrow with the target audience is Facebook. Mark Zuckerburg started Facebook by targeting only Harvard students who wanted to connect. Based on the enthusiastic


response, it was then offered to other Universities across the United States. It was only after Facebook achieved success within the university and college group did they then expand to a broader target audience supported by their loyal student ambassadors. When you are embarking on an acquisition effort, it is critical to have a clear definition of the target new customer along with the expected value of that future customer. If you are starting a new business, then you need to answer these questions by using business judgement, primary and secondary research. However, if you already have existing customers, then the best place to turn to understand potential prospects is to look at your existing customer base. To answer the questions above, you will need to understand the value and needs of your existing customers with particular focus on recent high value new customers. This will then allow you to develop a plan that can target and bring on more high value customers that will grow your business.

All customers are not created equal The 80/20 principle, derived from the broader Pareto Principle concept, is alive and well in the majority of businesses as there is usually a small percentage of customers who drive a disproportionally larger percentage of profits. This principle should drive your prospecting efforts for generating qualified leads and new customers. This allows your organization to be focused on attracting the most valuable relationships.

Your best customers should drive your new customer strategy In the ideal world, one would want to locate the most desirable prospects and then spend acquisition dollars that are significantly less than the expected lifetime value of that consumer. In order to find the “best’ prospects, start with your existing customers and all the corresponding data and research, to build the profile of the “best’ customer. It is important to start with understanding the financial value of the existing customers. There are three different approaches that can be used to build that understanding. At the simplest level, segment existing customers by revenue per customer to uncover the 80/20 principle for the business and then rank from highest to lowest If you can allocate costs at a customer level, then move to the next level of sophistication

by developing profit per customer and then determine the new 80/20 ranking If you have historical revenue and retention data by customer, calculate lifetime value by customer and then rank by customer lifetime value If you have a direct relationship with you customer and have historical sales and profit data on each customer, you can achieve the lifetime value calculation. If your company has an indirect relationship or the end user data is unavailable, then you may have to work with a customer revenue approach.

Seven questions for acquisition success Regardless of the approach you use, be sure to complete the analysis listed above to understand the 80/20 rule in your business. Once you identify the highest value existing customers, you can leverage this insight and begin the process to answer the following seven questions for acquisition success. 1. Who specifically are my best prospects? 2. What is their expected value? 3. Where are they? 4. What do they want? 5. How can I reach them? 6. How much should I spend to acquire them? 7. Which programs deliver the most customers with the highest ROI?

Cost of acquisition (Dollars spent on acquisition divided by number of customers acquired) Number of qualified leads (Number of qualified leads) Lead conversion rate. (Number of new customers in a period divided by number of qualified leads in the same period) Cost per lead (Total costs to generate leads in a given period divided by number of leads in that same period) Customer retention rate (Number of new customers who are still active in a given period divided by the total number of new customers that were acquired in that period. Avoid the mistake of neglecting to give revenue targets and retention goals along with your new customer goals as this could create the scenario where new customers may not be the ideal targets. This could result in one or all of the following: Higher than average cost of acquisition Lower than average revenue per customer Lower than average new customer retention rate Invest time to develop a thorough new customer acquisition strategy and you’ll reap the rewards and sleep better at night.

Once you have set your final objectives for new customer acquisition, you can then move to set up sales and marketing goals by geographic area. It is absolutely critical that the quality and value of a new customer is clearly defined to ensure the ongoing health of your organization. Here are some metrics that you can use to help define acquisition success. Number of new customers (Absolute number of new customers in a given period) Total new customer revenue (Total revenue from new customers in a given period) Average revenue per new customer (Total revenue of new customers in a given period divided by the number of new customers)


Principal, AM360

Experienced Managing Partner with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertisingindustry. Strong business development professional skilled in Digital Strategy, Customer Acquisition,Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Account Management, and Lead Generation.




The Secret to

Successful Women Entrepreneurship


ntrepreneurship is a world only distinctive women can delve into. It’s a world where dreamers fly and visionaries sail. It’s the sphere where selective thinkers find focus and a realm where creative minds innovate. Many women explore the world of Free Enterprise, yet the ones that maintain continuity and become successful are the ones that possess the following personality traits.


A Creative Mind

A mind that frequently comes up with new unique ideas is the entrepreneurial measurable power. Entrepreneurship starts with a creative distinct idea that has the potential to turn into a money generating business.


A Dreamer

When the idea is identified as a notion with potential, the next personality trait needed is the ability to dream big. To take an idea and develop it into a dream is a skill only entrepreneurs have. They are people that dare to dream and work hard to make it happen.


A Visionary

With dreams the limit is the sky! Beware, one can get lost in the world of dreams. However, at the point where one can envision the end result and the level of pursued success, the dream gets replace with a vision. That’s when the vision is established and broken down into achievable goals.


A Risk Taker

When the vision is clear and the path is defined some risks have to be taken. One may have to take a loan, pay for office space, hire a consultant, buy equipment or setup a store... 42


etc. Risk takers are the ones that have the courage to proceed at full speed, despite the probability to lose. And entrepreneurs are able to handle failure as much as they can enjoy success.


Selectively Focused

At school, teachers complain when a student has selective attention span or selective hearing. To entrepreneurs that is a strength. The ability to selectively be attentive keeps the entrepreneur focused on their tasks, goals and vision. When they get demotivated it is that selective determination to succeed that keeps them focused and dedicated.


An Innovative thinker

Are you a woman dreaming of starting your own business? Look within you and find out if you possess these personality traits and then determine whether the entrepreneurship journey is the passage that will lead you to immeasurable success. By Grace Nasralla, founder of Ontario Small Business Network (OSBN®) and co-owner of HUDDLESPACE.

Grace Nasralla: Founder, OSBN

It all starts with creativity. However, a successful business owner will need Innovation along the way. Growth comes with the ability to continuously come up with inventive ideas as the vision expands and the dream unfolds. In addition to the above, women in general, have a strong trait that makes them successful entrepreneurs. They use the power of intuition. Women are sensitive and aware of their surrounding, they don’t take things at face value and they are not afraid to speak their minds.

Grace Nasralla: wife, mother, a woman of faith, entrepreneur, business instructor, owner of e-presence Consultants Inc and founder of Ontario Small Business Network.


Mentally Healthy Workplaces:

The Best Investment Your Business Can Make By Alita Fabiano Communications & Marketing - Canadian Chamber of Commerce


very week, nearly 500,000 Canadians miss work due to mental health problems or illnesses, costing the economy in excess of $51 billion annually. In order to remain competitive, businesses need to focus inwards and begin investing in and improving how they navigate mental health in their workplace.

With most adults spending more of their waking hours at work and with one in five Canadians experiencing a mental health problem or illness, addressing the issue of mental health at work is vitally important for all people in Canada—especially employers. Mentally healthy workforces perform better and create opportunities that allow for inclusive growth for all sections of society, which is why the Canadian Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to launch 338 Conversations in February. 338 Conversations is a call to action for all 338 members of Parliament to join forces with local chambers of commerce to promote workplace mental health and encourage the business community to take the steps needed to ensure the mental well-being of their workers. “Addressing the challenges around mental health in the workplace makes for more productive businesses, up to a 30% boost in productivity in some cases. All businesses can, and should, get behind this important initiative. That’s why the Canadian Chamber of Commerce will be implementing the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace,” said Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Businesses have the ability to help shape a healthier and more competitive Canada, but in

order to move forward, we must acknowledge that mental health plays an important role in our ability to achieve economic success. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce not only talks the talk, but walks the walk on mental health. It has taken simple steps to building a more mentally healthy workplace by enrolling in an employee and family assistance program, developing a psychological health and safety policy, having all employees complete mental health training, providing staff with flexible hours and the ability to work remotely. All of the Canadian Chamber’s locations are secured offices with natural lighting and quiet spaces. Its headquarters in Ottawa also features an employee wellness room. It is not only socially responsible for businesses to prioritize a mentally healthy workplace, but also fiscally responsible, all while promoting employee retention. As the leading cause of short and long-term disability in Canada, mental health takes a substantial toll on Canadian workplaces. The longer an employee is absent from work, the higher chance there is for an unsuccessful integration back into the workplace. Businesses must prioritize adopting best practices for workplace mental health in order to mitigate the risk of losing their employees. A low employee turnover heightens a business’ financial performance over time. Additionally, a workplace that champions good mental health makes employees more productive and assists in the recruitment of new workers. Canadians deserve to feel happy, comfortable and understood in their place of employment. It is up the business community to take the important steps needed to help end the stigma around mental illness because when employees succeed, businesses succeed, and that is what makes a stronger Canada.




The new 2020 ALPINA B7 xDrive Sedan -

Power, Dynamics and Luxury in a new contemporary Design.




4.4 Liter twin-turbocharged V8 produces 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. • 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds • ALPINA Sport+ chassis settings lower vehicle 15 mm. • Market launch in Q3 2019. • Pricing to be announced closer to market launch. Richmond Hill, ON. ALPINA Automobiles, together with BMW, is pleased to introduce the updated version of the exclusive ALPINA B7 xDrive Sedan. The new 2020 B7 is the 6thgeneration full-size performance-luxury model from ALPINA and the 3rd generation of B7 to be available in Canada.

Smooth performance, explosive power delivery. Besides its much lauded smoothness, the new ALPINA B7 xDrive sedan impresses with its sharpened responsiveness and enhanced power delivery over the entire rpm range. Continuous developments and detailed improvements mean the combination of high torque output and a transmission with great dynamic capabilities results in improved driving performance over its predecessor. The latest generation 4.4-liter V8 engine with two, twin-scroll turbochargers, direct injection and Valvetronic fully variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing, delivers 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.

The exhaust side of the turbochargers are equipped with a 54 mm (previously 50 mm) diameter impeller. Additionally, the ALPINA-specific intercoolers feature an interconnection to equalize and reduce pressure pulsations between the two cylinder banks of the V8 engine. This, together with a new engine management software, means that the peak torque of 590 lb.-ft. is now available from only 2000 rpm all the way up to 5,000 rpm (previously 3,000 – 5,000 rpm). This leads to significantly improved throttle response, more engaging power delivery and an effective performance gain in the most relevant rpm range.

has been thoroughly reworked by ALPINA and adapted specifically to the performance characteristics of the new twin-turbocharged V8, offering exceptional driving comfort and performance in all situations.

All components of the ALPINA highperformance cooling system are designed to remove inefficiencies and maximize effectiveness – special high-volume coolers are interconnected by large diameter piping for maximum throughput. The intercoolers comprise an indirect air to water to air set-up to facilitate short air intake paths. Combined with additional external water coolers and a transmission oil cooler, the system ensures the thermodynamic stability of the twinturbocharged V8 engine at all times, even under highest loads and high ambient air temperatures.

Transmission components such as the torque converter with lock-up clutch and the planetary gear sets are reinforced and along with the inner transmission cooling are designed to cope with the high torque output of the twin-turbocharged V8 engine. This means that no torque reduction is necessary during upshifts.

The new ALPINA B7 features the latest generation 8-Speed Sport Automatic Transmission from ZF (8HP76) with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC. The transmission software

Close gear ratios and a total spread of 7.81:1 results in high levels of shift comfort and efficiency. In Automatic Mode the combination of eight gears and high engine torque facilitate relaxed cruising at low engine rpm even when travelling at higher speeds. In Sport Mode, the shift times have been improved over the previous generation of B7 and are now considerably quicker.

The stainless steel ALPINA sports exhaust system is responsible for a reduction in both back pressure and weight. Active exhaust valves allow the driver to change the sound experience by using the Driving Experience Control switch to select between Comfort and Sport Mode. In typical ALPINA fashion: the two twin tailpipes of the exhaust system are integrated elegantly into the rear bumper.




Make a Statement The Mac App Store welcomes Office 365

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The Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV makes its Canadian Premiere at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) Breitling recently launched its first capsule collection – the Navitimer 1 Airline Editions – celebrating the brand’s important role in the golden era of aviation and some of the most emblematic airlines of that time. The collection took off with Swissair, and the second airline to join the team was Pan Am. Now these iconic carriers have been joined by TWA, whose aircraft were a familiar sight in the world’s skies throughout much of the twentieth century. Available at:



Textured Weave Suit Basic textured weave jacket with pointed lapels and long sleeves. Two front pockets. One chest pocket. Lining and double interior pocket. Two back vents. Front button closure. SIZE EUR 50 Plain slim-fit cropped chino pants. Two side pockets. Two back welt pockets. Belt loops. Front hidden zipper and button closure. Available at:

Boss Nobis Sports Jacket This lightweight Nobis sports jacket from BOSS is tailored in a flattering slim fit from a virgin wool, cotton and linen blend, finished with a mĂŠlange knit. It's designed with classic notch lapels, twobutton closure and a double vent for unrestricted movement. You'll look especially refined when wearing the sleek style, whether layered over a crisp buttondown or a basic t-shirt on the weekend. Available at:

Montblanc Ballpoint Pen This extraordinary pen from Montblanc is part of the brand's limited edition James Dean collection. The standout writing instrument is engraved with a standout pattern in a sophisticated mix of silver and red. Available at:

Montblanc MeisterstĂźck Sfumato Document Case This document case from Montblanc is made from subtly textured leather for long-lasting and luxurious use. It's equipped with top handles for a comfortable grip as well as a removable shoulder strap for effortless carrying. The practical yet stylish design has pockets for all your necessities on-thego including a mobile phone slot, laptop sleeve and pen holders. Available at:




Millennials and Your Business Internet Speed With the scope of technology revamping the business world, your IT partner could be the reason your success grows; it could also be the reason your business collapses. You should not feel guilty thinking about switching IT providers. There are many companies that are unhappy with their current IT situation. However, there are even more that don’t realize that they could have it better. One of the main things that makes a company successful is staying relevant. If your customer base is aging, you need to do well to adapt to their needs as they change. If you focus on one set of demographics, it’s dire to keep up with their behavioral changes. One of the biggest business trends out there today is the need to adapt to tech changes. If your competitors are providing a service that you don’t, or if they have updated tech and do it better than you can- you will miss out on a portion of the market, and this loss could eventually spill over into overall customer retention loss. IT providers should act as partners, focused on improving your bottom line.


Millennials and Your Business Internet Speed

Millennials include those born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 22 to 37 in 2018). Research shows that 73% of Millennials are involved in B2B purchasing decisions. Millennials are trendsetters and are very active on social media; consequently, they influence the other generations’ purchasing habits. Millennials are actually expected to surpass Baby Boomers in population in the U.S. in 2019. Whether your business is in B2B or B2C, you will benefit from practises that attract this generation. The power that comes with these numbers is unavoidable for a successful business. 48


Aleksandra Mackiewicz Millennials are trendsetters, and decisionmakers. They have influence and buying power. Millennials are more impatient than their predecessors. Information is at the tips of their fingers. In fact, they can just vocalize their search requests to learn more about the product or service they are considering. Here are some examples of what Millennials expect: Places with wait-times, or line-ups, would have an easier time keeping customers happy with good Wi-Fi connection available. It also doesn’t look good when your employee is embarrassed over how slowly the system is loading while the customer is standing right in front of them. (Consider medical offices, accounting firms, law offices, dental practises, massage clinics, cafe’s, restaurants, school offices, etc.) 81% of Millennials use smartphones regularly and 92% shop online –make sure your website, social media posts, and online ads are all very mobile-friendly. Millennials expect your site to load fast. Stats show that 40% drop-off your site

after 3 seconds of load-time. Make sure you have high speed internet. Fibre is the way to go. If you don’t have fibre optics, you’re already behind!


If You Don’t Invest, Your Business Will Not Grow

Businesses fail because they do not invest in the right things. Every business owner makes mistakes, but it is how you bounce back that will define your brand in the long-run. With the tech era afoot, it is time to focus on your business tech infrastructure. The right technology is affordable, if you partner with the right IT company. Your IT partner should have your business industry trends in mind, as well as your individual situation as a company. This helps them create a scalable, personalized plan for your technical infrastructure. Going forward, as your efficiency and productivity improves, your business will need to meet higher demand. If your initial investment into your infrastructure was too low, it is likely to be costly to attain the technology you do need to meet the rise in demand.

Some tips on how to plan ahead:

Data Breaches Make Trust More Important Than Ever


Know What to Invest in: Get a proper consultation, with a company that cares about your business on a personal level. A good IT consulting company will do it for free.

Engagement Builds your Brand, Invest in it: Personalized apps and customized software can really improve the customer experience, as well as the employee experience. CRM is becoming a necessity, especially with a customer-centric focus being the new norm. Building relationships builds trust, which improves your bottom line.

website: Consumer_Trends_Report_EN.pdf Chevalier, M. (2018, July 05). Small and Mid-Size Businesses Need to Focus on Cybersecurity. Retrieved February 13, 2019, from Deepa. (2018, November 30). Top 7 trends driving enterprise IT transformation in 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019, from

Bad News is Everywhere: The accessibility to news about businesses’ mistakes is as close as voice activation and asking for the local business news updates. Prevention is key when it comes to data breaches- make sure you are prudent about your network security. Customers are growing more careful every day, especially with the constant spew of news about major data breaches all around the world.

Dimock, M., & Dimock, M. (2019, January 17). Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins. Retrieved February 13, 2019, from Fry, R. (2018, March 01). Millennials expected to outnumber Boomers in 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019, from http://www.

Your IT Infrastructure can Make or Break Your Business: Contrary to popular belief, hackers actually target small business networks. This is probably because most small businesses do not have very good security networks in place. You may think a data breach is not a big deal, however not only do you do a nosedive on the trust scale with clients, but over 60% of small businesses will fail within 6 months of experiencing a data breach.

The Customer Always Comes First

Good Customer Support is Paramount: Customers do a lot more research than ever before, and if a company takes too long to reply to their inquiry, they often move on to another prospect. Make sure your phone and internet connection are fast, and have very little downtime. Avoid those pesky internet connection outages with fibre connections. For example, we layer the connection, so if there is an issue with one, the signal is rerouted through the parallel connection.

February 13, 2019, from Business Development Bank of Canada


You could Get Scammed: You must do your research. From hidden fees to unclear contracts, there are many ways for companies to trick you into overpaying for managed IT services. Sometimes these run-arounds can make it hard for your company to switch IT providers in the future.

New Tech means New CX Ideas: Businesses today are focused on providing trendy ways to send marketing messages and provide innovative service. Follow business blogs, and consult with tech companies focused on growth and customized software.

5 Game Changing Consumer Trends(Rep.). (n.d.). Retrieved

Customers and Businesses are Focused on Privacy: Growth in technology is paired with a growth in cybercrime. Data breaches can ruin your brand’s reputation overnight. The ever-changing scope of technology growth is best countered with a proper IT infrastructure, and a good team to maintain your security throughout all the changes.

You could Lose Momentum: Your business is growing now, but if you fail to meet the demands and expectations of consumers or clients, they will go elsewhere. Remember, retention is key, but it’s harder than it sounds when tech is constantly improving. Make sure to pay close attention to your competition!




It’s a Race to Stay Current with Business Technology Robots, AI, Machine-Learning, and automation of all kinds are transforming the workforce and completely altering the customer experience. In order to compete in the current marketplace, no matter what industry you’re in (Medical, Law, Finance- you name it), your tech needs to be up-to-date. Partner with a Good IT Company: You teach us about your company- issues and all- and we provide IT solutions to improve it. That’s how your IT provider should be working with you to improve your bottom line. If they don’t make you feel safe and comfortable with their service, it’s probably a good idea to trust your instinct: make the switch. If you’re in the Toronto area, call us today at 416-363-9880 or email us at to discover what IT should be.




The Man behind Purpose Investments

Som Seif President and CEO of Purpose Investments Inc.

Som Seif is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Purpose Investments Inc., which he formed following the sale of Claymore Investments to BlackRock Inc. in March 2012. Prior to Claymore Investments, Som was an investment banker with RBC Capital Markets, where he played a key role in developing the structured products group, raising capital for both Canadian and U.S. asset managers. Som is a CFAŽ charterholder and has a Bachelor of Applied Science with an emphasis on Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Toronto. He has a strong commitment to community and is currently a member of the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation Board, Chair of the Art Gallery of Ontario Corporate Development Committee, a member of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Foundation Board and University of Toronto Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Advisory Board, and a board member of The Next 36. In 2011, Som was recognized for his vision and leadership by Caldwell Partners International with the Top 40 Under 40 award.




What was the inspiration behind the launch of Purpose Investments? Purpose is a business that I founded when I sold Claymore Investments, my previous company. I built it up over 7 years and I started off in a very naive form. When I sold the company and stepped back, I was very proud with what we’ve done but I didn’t solve the real job I was supposed to do and focus on risk management and help clients succeed with their goals. I have been working on Purpose for 6 years now and our goal is to create the best investment company there in the world. What sets Purpose Investments apart from other investment companies? We’ve been focused predominately not just on the idea of if the markets go and up and down – let’s just beat the market. Rather, we focus and give more respect to the fact that risk management is a core component in investing. Also, doing that with low fees (not just being a predatory high cost management like a hedge fund for example). Finally, we focus on delivering this all into a way that investors can get outcomes. We’re always focusing on innovating and differentiating ourselves. Our goal isn’t to win massive market share. Rather to showcase to all of our peers that the industry needs to be focused on this as a priority, rather than the way most investment companies are managed. What is your ultimate goal of the company? What are you hoping to accomplish through Purpose Investments? To truly help the industry be better on behalf of our customers. What are some of the challenges you face on a daily basis and how do you overcome them? The reality of a business is that when everyone comes together, it’s fun and exciting. But executing is a challenge. It’s an up and down ride. None of the people reading this would be unfamiliar with this – it’s a volatile experience. Some days have amazing ups and some have tough downs. That’s what I do more than anything else- my job is focused on continuing and setting vision, and ensuring we’re on the right path and making sure we have the best people solving the problems that have to dealt with.

Purpose Investments strives on being innovative. What are some of the strategies you take in order to stay innovative?

At what stage of their business should entrepreneurs consider investing some of their profits?

Our entire business is based on our people. It starts with the ability to bring and inspire a group to think on behalf of the market. We hire amazing, energetic, curious, passionate people that ask questions and push each other to not just settle on being “okay”. By innovating, we’re always looking and creating a theme of innovation. In every meeting, I’ll ask why do we do this and why are we thinking this way. When you get others to think in those terms, you end up leading by your own design.

As soon as they have excess capital sitting on the balance sheet which is above their debt capital. If you’re using working capital debt, you should be paying that down first and foremost. Whether it starts with the most risk averse strategy, or ultimately in the long run if you have excess profits, then tax-efficient strategies become more efficient.

What is the most common mistake that entrepreneurs make when it comes to their investments and how can Purpose Investments help them? The hardest thing that everyone has to recognize that you don’t get rich investing in the markets. You get rich in investing in yourself. As an entrepreneur, you’re taking a risk in investing in yourself. You become wealthy in life through investing in yourself – whether than be intellectually, monetary, etc.

On a final note, you’re also part of several charities and foundation boards. What foundation would you say is closest to your heart and why? I’m an immigrant to Canada. My parents came when I was very young and that what the greatest decision they made for my life and career. I love this country and I’m involved heavily with various organizations since I was a teenager. It’s a moral and structural dedication that I have and to work on making Canada even better in the future.

The more you invest in yourself, the more you can drop into the savings line and then invest. You should be very conservative in what you expect in your investments. You’ll often have an expectation of return that is high (20%, 30%, or 40%) because you’re used to investing in yourself and achieving high returns within your business. When investing in the market, you should have a more reasonable expectation. The goal of investing in markets is that you’re diversifying yourself from the core risks of your business. What is the best investment advice you can give to a small business owner who has just started out? Nothing to do with the markets at all. It is all about prioritizing and focusing on building the business that you’ve established and staying true to that. I have many friends that have started businesses and will often dilute their business by focusing on other ventures. Stay focused on building a foundation with your investments that stays outside of what you’re doing on a daily basis. Spend 99% of your time focusing on your business and the other time on the investment structures you’ve set around you. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 I



As head of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, what are some of the projects that you have planned to help small business owners successfully grow their business?

One on One with the head of the CCMM

Michel Leblanc CEO of CCMM

We’ve been active for several years with services directly aimed at SMEs. One of them is a service for new entrepreneurs which assists them with intelligence about markets, how to develop a business plan, strategic planning. It also provides them with information on all government programs at all levels for funding or resources. We also have a service that aims at helping all those new businesses going global or international as fast as possible. We organize missions abroad and we make sure that we try to bring together all the SMEs that could be of interest to large organization’s procurement services. Lastly, we have services that aim at helping immigrants learn French and helping businesses find qualified immigrants.

Michel Leblanc is President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Quebec’s leading private economic development organization. In this position, he is the official spokesperson of the organization, and is responsible for planning, managing, coordinating and monitoring all its operations. With extensive experience in the public and private sectors, Michel Leblanc has an in-depth knowledge of metropolitan issues. A trained economist, he has a clear understanding of economic questions and the challenges facing the business community. Recognized expert in strategy and in economic development, Michel Leblanc was an Associate Partner at SECOR. He had previously occupied senior-level positions at Génome Québec, Montréal International, and the Institute for Research on Public Policy. He has also worked as an economist for the Department of Finance Canada. 52


Michel Leblanc received a Bachelor of science in economics in 1987 and a Master of science in economics in 1992 from Université de Montréal. He has been named the 2009 honorary graduate of the Université de Montréal’s Economics Department. In October 2012, he was honoured by the Université de Montréal’s alumni association for his professional achievements. Michel Leblanc chairs the board of directors of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE. He also sits on the boards of directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal Foundation, the Institut des troubles d’apprentissage (Institut TA), C2 Montréal and GoodnessTv. He is also a member of the Conseil emploi métropole, of the Comité directeur sur la mobilité des personnes et des biens dans la grande région de Montréal (Mobilité Montréal), and of the Steering Committee of Montréal, Cultural Metropolis. He is also ambassador of the Quartier de l’innovation (QI).

Of course, what we are as an organization is the voice of a business service. We’ve been working with the City of Montreal for several years on a program that would compensate small retail stores affected by large scale road work. I went to Europe to do some research on how large scale road work affected small businesses and I realized that in Europe there are programs that compensate local stores for loss of business. This program is now running in Montreal. Montreal is a very diverse city when it comes to small businesses. What would you say are some of the current trends that you’re seeing in the small business industry in the city? First, a little bit on the numbers on the intent of starting a business – Quebecers were less inclined to be entrepreneurs compared to other Canadians a decade ago. In 2007, when we were asking surveyors regarding their intention of starting a business, we had a 7% intent. In 2018, it’s 19.5%. It has almost tripled in 10 years. Furthermore, immigrants are even more inclined to start a business than the local population. As an immigrant, you might be more of a risk taker and the entrepreneurial qualities are there to provide a greater advantage for immigrants.




I believe that you have to be passionate. The people that are most prepared are the individuals that astonish me. Without that high level of preparedness, it’s very difficult to reach success. It doesn’t mean that you have to do it all by yourself. There are so many accessible resources out there to help you along the process.

Montreal had the highest growth in GDP in Canada recently and this environment helps those that have a will to start their business go ahead. The public finances in Quebec are extremely strong. We have been in surplus, and you won’t face continuous fiscal pressure of increasing taxes. In fact, it has been the opposite. Big players are opening up AI centres in Montreal, as well as smaller businesses. Mile X is an area in Montreal, booming with new businesses – both large and small. There has been a tradition of Montreal being a university city. It helps to have all those university level students in the sense that the environment is a young environment. That certainly has an impact on the willingness to start a business in the high tech sector for example. Montreal is voted as being one of the top cities in Canada to start a business. It’s also been featured as one of the top 20 Startup Ecosystems in the world by Startup Compass. Why do you believe that is? What makes Montreal stand out from other cities when it comes to starting a business? If you have a young environment with dynamic people with the intent of starting a business, it’s a big plus. Cost of labour is relatively low compared to other cities in North America. You won’t be strangled by cost at the start where you might be elsewhere. If you set up shop in Montreal, you’ll be able to reach your markets with free trade agreements with so many countries around the world. Obviously, other Canadian cities have this same advantage, but the general environment is very conducive towards growing your business here. The more “international” a city is the greater positive impact on productivity and the economic performance of that city, which has certainly helped Montreal be a top city in Canada to start a business.

What is the best advice that you can give to entrepreneurs who are looking to start a small business in Montreal? One is preparation. You have to prepare and you should not run your business based on improvisation. Second is that we strongly advise on having a “Born Global Approach”. When you start with your plan, project yourself on going global. This will help with your website and other tech tools that you will implement. Thinking of ways to go global later on will always be more difficult. Lastly, hire a good team. I think that’s old advice but it’s as valuable today as ever. You can’t do it all on your own. They don’t have to be extremely experienced, but they should complement your vision with their strengths and the motivation to succeed. In your opinion, what are some success factors that every small business owner should have? Resilience – it won’t be an easy road. You’ll have bumps along the way but successful entrepreneurs are resilient. You also have to allow yourself to fail fast. Failure is not final. A strong entrepreneur in a strong entrepreneurial area has to allow themselves to have a few attempts to learn from their errors. You will face obstacles but you’ll need to have the wisdom of knowing when it’s time to move on to the next project. A lot of startups fail within the first five years of business. What do you believe is the number one mistake that entrepreneurs make when starting their business?

individuals that astonish me. Without that high level of preparedness, it’s very difficult to reach success. It doesn’t mean that you have to do it all by yourself. There are so many accessible resources out there to help you along the process. The government of Canada provides a lot of resources to help business owners launch their business. What is the best resource for Canadian SME startups that CCMM offers? We offer two elements: First, we offer a voice. The voice is that government and public institutions are aware of the challenges that SMEs face and the programs we run are designed to address that. Secondly, we offer a networking area that’s quite unique. Through our services, an SME that has an innovative proposal, be it a service or a product will reach the decision makers of large corporations. One element of developing your business is going out and meeting customers. We’re providing this in a B2B environment, and we provide a great platform for that. On a final note, what does the future hold for the business industry in Montreal moving forward? I’m extremely optimistic. I’m an economist and have been in the business of economic development – trying to understand what stimulates business creation. Right now, the recipe in the Montreal environment is working extremely well. The willingness to start a business, the strong economy, the focusing on talents, attracting immigrants – all that means that it’s going to be a very dynamic decade ahead of us. With tech and AI, some jobs will disappear but many new jobs will be created in Montreal to develop AI, big data, deep learning applications. We're very excited to see what’s in store for Montreal in the next decade.

I believe that you have to be passionate. The people that are most prepared are the CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 I



Real Talk with

Craig Alexander from Deloitte Partner & Chief Economist at Deloitte Canada A senior executive and leading economist with 20 years of progressive experience in applied economics and forecasting. A strong and motivational leader with experience managing a large team of economists and support staff. You have over 20 years of experience as a senior executive and leading economist in applied economics and forecasting. How do you believe your past experience has prepared you for your current role? I studied economics at university. I did an undergrad in economics and then went off to grad school. I’ve been doing economics right from the university. I’ve never had a job where I haven’t been an economist - studying economic trends and talking about economic issues. Throughout my career, I’ve probably covered a series of all economic perspectives. I started at Statistics Canada, and then moved on to covering the global economy at TD Bank, and then covering world financial markets at CIBC. I was then the commodities economist back at TD. When I left TD, I spent some time in the non-profit economic think tank world and then I joined Deloitte. You’re the first Chief Economist at Deloitte Canada. Why do you believe Deloitte or any of the Big Four accounting firms never had a Chief Economist before? Deloitte brought me on the be the first chief economist because it would complement their economic advisory practice. It’s been a growing business. In the past, the big picture was not really looked at - the macroeconomy - and the group had not done economic forecasting. The goal is to do national, provincial and industry economic forecasting, and use that capability to support businesses in Canada and support all the other activities Deloitte does. For example, if you’re trying to understand real estate, you need to understand the economic cycle. There’s an economic dimension to mergers and acquisitions for example. Economics is involved in practically every area of business. 54


Furthermore, the Future of Canada Centre at Deloitte produces research that touches on Public policy issues. Also, when you’re doing economic forecasting, you discuss how the labour markets are changing and there’s an initiative at Deloitte that is devoted to exploring that further. What are some of the projects that you’ve been working on since you took this role? What we have already done is built that capacity to do national and provincial forecasting. We published our first quarterly forecast in November and will continue publishing a new report every three months. I’ve been travelling coast to coast, talking to businesses and government about economic trends. I’ve been tackling the question of what are the implications of the tentative new free trade deal between Canada and the US, and what are opportunities for businesses to take advantage of this deal. The deal still has to navigate its way through Congress, so we’ve been exploring the risks as well. I’ve been talking about a lot of the risks for the outlook – issues like Brexit and China’s economic slowdown. There’s always a lot of interest in Canada about the vulnerabilities of the housing market so we’ve been looking into that. And what the outlook is for the Canadian dollar.

Businesses need to understand these things when evaluating their business plans and how it could impact them. They need to look at how can we take full advantage of the new technology available in the market. One of the economic challenges we have is that Canadian businesses are being riskaverse, and yet we need investments and new technology to boost competitiveness. There are some areas where Canada has amazing competitiveness. We have the most educated population of any industrialized nation. But there are areas where we have a competitiveness challenge. We are not as good as other countries in R&D for example. Competitiveness embodies many different facets. Infrastructure for example- Canada is in the middle of the pact. Economies grow because their population grows or they use their labour more productively. Immigration cannot fully offset the ageing of the population, and that the ageing population has become a real problem for our economy in Canada. Can you give our readers some insight about what a regular workday is like for you? When I’m not on the road, typically I get up early and head over to the office and get ready for the morning’s economic releases. I get into the office early enough ready for the 8:30 am release, and I go through it and do some analysis, and often put together some thoughts. I spend a lot of time keeping up with



Technology investments in new tech can be expensive but pay off in increased productivity and effectiveness. It can be a great enabler to propel economic growth.

the global economy and politics. I read several newspapers every day. I use a Bloomberg terminal to stay on top of financial markets and events. I get email questions and phone calls from clients or internal Deloitte staff and help provide an economic lens. One of the big challenges is that in today’s age, people want to know what it means immediately. When you have economic development, people want your immediate thoughts. When I started my career, I had to manually input the data in Excel every morning when I would receive economic releases. Now, that has been automated with the flip of a button. As a result, the market need for information and analysis is immediate because of technology, and that has been a challenge for me to provide them with an immediate analysis. Is there ever a “right” time for an entrepreneur to start a business based on the current economic climate? Would you recommend an evaluation of the economy prior to deciding to start a business? If so, describe the evaluation process? There are always economic opportunities. When we think of the economy, there are going to be times when it’s doing better and it’s easier to succeed. And vice versa. When it comes to entrepreneurial behaviour, Canada needs more of it. When economists see more businesses starting out, that is typically a very positive factor which stimulates growth in an economy. There is an economic cycle that entrepreneurs need to be mindful of, but it’s always almost a good time to start a business. One of the issues is that businesses, in general, are psychologically impacted by the news they hear. Since 2008, we’ve been in a risk-filled economy, but that should not stop from starting a business. You have to be thoughtful about risk, and take risks you understand. Even in tough economic times, there can be good opportunities. When I was at the TD Bank, we launched our US expansion in 2007/2008. It was one of the worst


environments you can think of. But because TD bank was in a good financial position compared to competitors, when the crisis lessened it allowed the expansion to grow rapidly.

businesses. This is a bit of a conundrum and governments have been struggling with. The good thing about that is because there is an awareness, there is support out there that entrepreneurs can take advantage of.

One of the things that we can do with economics is we can build scenarios. This is our base case scenario, and then you start building out any possibility of analyzing the risks and opportunities.

For example, BDC helps a lot of domestic small enterprises and can help support their growth. Export Development Canada can help businesses grow in global markets.

If you could give advice to someone who is just starting as an economist and looking to advance in the corporate world, what would it be? I do a fair number of career sessions. Economics is a paradigm. It’s a way of thinking about things. We have this complex thing called an economy. You can apply it to practically anything. If you’re passionate about professional sports, you can apply it there. If you’re passionate about the environment, you can become an environmental economist. And this is one of the reasons from the professional point of view, I’ve benefited from different roles and different environments to apply economics. I like telling businesses and entrepreneurs to try their best to understand the economy. If there’s a young economist out there, figure out what dimension of economics you’re most interested in and then find the economics job that would let you do work in that space. Experience different roles! Each new experience I had given me a new skill set. There is a tendency to become good in one area, but try to experience different industries and roles that will broaden your skill set. What advice you will give to our readers when it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur? Canada is a great place to start a business. If you look at how easy is it to start a business in Canada, it’s far easier than other countries. The biggest challenge here is scaling

Generally speaking, we need more small businesses to go global for growth. If you look at it in the global aspect, Canada is roughly 2-3% of the world’s economy so entrepreneurs should consider tapping global markets. SMEs need to engage globally and tap global supply chains. Technology investments in new tech can be expensive but pay off in increased productivity and effectiveness. It can be a great enabler to propel economic growth. On a side note, when you study economics, you should study the history of economic thought. It’s one of the areas of economics that I have found most interesting and helped me understand economics. Over time, we developed a new and better understanding of the economy and how it behaved. The classical economists had a view that the economy would clear and supply would equal demand. Keynes discussed how do you deal with tough economic times. After Keynes, there was neoclassical economics which developed a more modern understanding of how economic relationships play out. When we think about the Canadian economy, it’s somewhere in between the US and Europe. The US is a more market-driven economy and a lot of Europe is much more managed and heavily regulated economy. China is on the far end of the spectrum and is very centrally controlled. Canadian society likes a capitalist economy that will create a rising standard of living but Canadians expect a significant role of government in ensuring the well-being of its citizens.




Michael McMullen gets serious with Aboriginal Business CEO, Vice-Chair of Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce Michael is President & Founder of MCM Consulting Limited. MCM client firms cover a broad spectrum including Public Relations, Pharmacy, Marketing, Municipal Corporation, Federal Government agency, Technology, Film Production, Junior Hockey & Human Resources. MCM provides strategic path direction, analysis, implementation planning & execution platforms for all clients. MCM Consulting led Michael to a 15-month engagement with Ashley Furniture in 20132014 in Brandon, Florida. As COO & EVP, he was accountable for the growth and expansion of the $2.4 Billion North American Licensee Division. Other engagements have included a six month stint as interim President of a technology company operating in the “Internet of Things” space. Six-month Prior to founding, MCM Consulting Michael served as Executive Vice President for the North West Company for the Northern Canada Retail Division from 2007 - 2013. His portfolio covered 132 stores stretching from the coast of Labrador to the border of Alaska. Prior to the North West Company, Michael had many years of experience with large and small retail firms. As President and CEO of Warehouse One The Jean Store, he led the firm from bankruptcy in 2002 to a 105 store operation primarily located in the western provinces. His extensive retail background came from IKEA North America where he held a number of Executive positions over a sixteen-year career, including Director of Human Resources for North America and as a Retail Division Manager, North America. Michael is now a Governor of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, previously served on Executive of the CCC Board of Directors & as the Chair in 2014 -2015. Since 2016 he has been ViceChair of the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, a Director for Diabetes Canada & the CEO & Chair of SickNotWeak, founder Michael Landsberg’s, Toronto based mental health Foundation.



How does it feel to be the head of such a great organization? It’s a privilege to represent this part of Canada’s demographic in Manitoba where the Indigenous percent of the population is 17%. I’ve been engaged with The Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce for over 3 years now. We were at a low point when I entered and we have made remarkable strides, What are some of the projects and initiatives that you’re hoping to put in place that can benefit SME owners? The most important thing is leading by example. At the end of last year, we launched our indigenous leadership series. That included speakers from the private sector. For us, it’s demonstrating that there is a path towards success and that these leaders are examples of that, and the Indigenous entrepreneur can learn from that and have the same success. The strongest initiative that we are launching is our Procurement Initiative with Western Economic Diversification Canada. Manitoba added 9.3 Billion dollars to the economy last year. Many indigenous businesses don’t easily gain access to government procurement at any level – national, provincial or municipal. And we’re proud of the initiatives we’ve launched to benefit SME owners.

SME owners face a lot of challenges during the start-up phase of their business. What would you say is the biggest challenge that the Aboriginal community faces when it comes to starting their business? Fundamentally, it’s the same as most entrepreneurs. The biggest difference is that Indigenous entrepreneurs often lack the initial exposure at earlier stages of development. There aren’t that many role models in place on reserves where many of these individuals grew up. Networking and understanding the gateways to starting a business to get financing, to supply chain and distribution is often more difficult because of the lack of exposure from an earlier age. The government of Canada has been putting in place several resources and services in place to encourage Aboriginals towards the path of entrepreneurship. What is the number one benefit that the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce has put in place to help Aboriginal entrepreneurs? It’s hard to articulate the number one benefit. A pragmatic benefit- we just signed a contract with a national insurance company that would supply benefits that are tailor-made to the Indigenous population. If I launch a business, how do I take care of myself



I’ve been in multi-billion dollar organizations and we’ve talked about stumbling forward. For an SME, I would say launch. A failure to launch leads to “would’ve could’ve should’ve”. It’s very much about encouragement for us. Our advice is to address individual’s barriers in a long run manner. And by defining them, you can find solutions to step across them

and my employees at a cost effective rate. This recent contract with the national insurance company should certainly help with that.

in Indigenous education, business success has increased. That has encouraged others to take those natural instincts, combined with education and launch forward.

The number one benefit overall would be practical things - the policies we’ve advocated the last couple of years which include the duty to consult process and procurement. We have many Aboriginal entrepreneurs who are operating from their house, and I love that aspect of Indigenous entrepreneurs.

The Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce prides itself on its values of the seven sacred teachings: Love, Respect, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Humility and Truth. How is the ACC putting these values into place when it comes to helping Aboriginal entrepreneurs?

Can you tell us about some of the programs and resources that the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce offers to SME owners wishing to expand their business? It’s not the old school networking. I think it’s driving awareness to forward momentum. I give the example of one of our Indigenous entrepreneurs that funds startups and small businesses run by Ian Cramer. Ian is the CEO of First Peoples Economic Growth Fund. For the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, it’s often about connecting the dots between SMEs and sources of financing. Would you say that there has been an increase in Aboriginal businesses in the last few years? What do you believe caused it? There has certainly been an increase. Just in Manitoba, this report just came out – there are over 700 Indigenous businesses in the province. We account for 35,000 jobs and 1.1 Billion in salaries. When we look closer, what inspired that? There are breakthrough companies. They’ve elevated the Indigenous brand and that’s given encouragement to the rest of the community. It was well stated by the President of the Manitoba Metis Federation, David Chartrand: Indigenous people have always been traders. Its part of their cultural heritage. For me, we can’t claim that it’s totally cultural in nature but it is part of the makeup. I would say that with the increase

We looked at our bylaws 2.5 years ago and some of the 7 sacred teachings didn’t reflect our culture. Maybe it seemed quite formal, but it was crucial for us to integrate the 7 teachings in our culture. It was easy to write that down on a piece of paper but the challenge was how do we lobby that? What we can do as a chamber of commerce to embrace those changing? We’re bringing in Dr. David Suzuki – one might think that he is an environmentalist and doesn’t exactly embrace the resource center. However, if we embraced the 7 teachings, we would see that we can certainly learn a lot from him. Our goal is to apply each teaching effectively. You counterbalance the David Suzuki visit to a month later, having a Procurement Initiative that will embrace the resource center: how do indigenous entrepreneurs have a foothold in business supply chains and distribution. We respect others. We have the courage to listen to others. And we’re honest with ourselves that we may not know everything which leads to wisdom. This leads to humility and ultimately leads to the truth. What is the best advice you can give to SME owners who are looking to go on the journey of entrepreneurship? Start! Just step forward and start. It requires courage. The humility aspect is that it’s ok to ask and search for answers. It’s ok to share


your thoughts. It’s ok saying that this is a weakness that I need to address.

Look for good role models. You can learn a lot from researching other firms that have been successful. There are enough Indigenous businesses that you can learn from. I’ve been in multi-billion dollar organizations and we’ve talked about stumbling forward. For an SME, I would say launch. A failure to launch leads to “would’ve could’ve should’ve”. It’s very much about encouragement for us. Our advice is to address individual’s barriers in a long run manner. And by defining them, you can find solutions to step across them. On a final note, what inspired you to go into this career path? My work with ACC was inspired by 2 things: My experience as the Chair and Executive in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for 6 years was very inspiring. I spent most of one year visiting a lot of small communities. The Indigenous population and reserves are typically in small towns, or often in a town within a town. The Chamber of Commerce in small communities are not only an engine for commerce but a chamber and engine for culture. It’s the cultural engine that sustains the community. The second inspiration is that I’m one of the few Canadians that has had the privilege of travelling to 170 First Nations and Inuit communities. Seeing these communities firsthand and seeing the spirit of some very challenged communities, has inspired me to work in an organization that can make real differences. That can drive the underlying economic foundation. What inspires me is to ask the question: As an organization, can we move the dial to bring communities with different backgrounds together. Can we do that? I think we can.



Sleep Well At Night With Pay Cheque Insurance

A Must-Read for Every Small Business Owner

Allan Madonik

Wealth and Health Broker, Blue SWAN Financial 416-270-5954.

What are the three key steps to good health in 2019?




Eat Right



Yet, many Canadians either neglect or find point #3 elusive. Sure, you would love the required shut eye time, but you can’t fall asleep so easily. According to the Better Sleep Council of Canada (, Twenty three percent of Canadians say family issues are preventing them from sleeping. Sixteen percent of individuals blame personal finances on lack of shut eye. Luckily, there is a solution that allows many Canadians to Sleep Well At Night and reduce your stress. It is called Pay Cheque Insurance. If you are not able to work because you are injured or ill, an insurance company will pay you monthly approximately two thirds of your income while you are on extended leave. In order to qualify for Pay Cheque Insurance, you need to be in relatively good health and under the age of 65 years old. If you have group benefits from your employer it’s a good start. However, you should speak to an insurance broker to ensure the group benefit plan provides enough to help you cover your living expenses. Often, you can top up on personal Pay Cheque Insurance to fill in the gap. Fortunately, the premium is not much more than a cup of coffee a day. Sweet Dreams!



Breaking the Time Barrier provides clear ways for readers to think about the value they bring their clients and how they can begin charging what they’re really worth. The book has been downloaded more than 250,000 times and has been endorsed by best-selling authors including Michael Gerber, Tim Ferriss and Daniel H. Pink.

Mike McDerment Mike McDerment is co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the #1 cloud-based accounting software designed exclusively for service-based small business owners, with more than 10 million users worldwide. Mike has spent the last decade making accounting software accessible to small businesses and is co-author of Breaking the Time Barrier, which helps professionals better price their services, and has seen more than 250,000 downloads since its release in 2013. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times he is reportedly the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes. Visit


The Generation Gap in the Workplace: How to Manage Staff When Your Employees Are Generations Older Than You By Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson The Wilson Companies provides HR and insurance solutions for businesses. Employco USA, Inc.: HRoutsourcing; StaffWorks, LLC.: staffing; Corporate Risk Management, Inc.: insurance broking Specialties:Human resource outsourcing services, insurance consulting & broking and staffing.

Human resources expert discusses ageism in the workplace and what employers need to know about managing older workers Ageism continues to be a growing concern in the workplace, with a new study finding that over half of workers who are 50+ years say that they have been pushed out of their positions before they were ready to retire. Yet despite this research, older workers report that they are happy to work under younger managers and don’t mind navigating any generational differences in order to succeed at their job. “Research shows that 8 in 10 older workers say that they are comfortable reporting to a younger boss,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “However, the fact remains that there could be some challenges presented by these age gaps…for instance, by a baby boomer being managed by a millennial.” Wilson says that study respondents identify several key issues that are presented by a multigenerational workforce, including dissimilar work ethics or values (26 percent), leadership or learning styles (22 percent) and using technology in different ways(25 percent). “Creating an age-positive workforce should be the goal of every employer,” says Wilson. “There are many ways that companies can do this, including by offering flextime, providing ample health/wellness support, and offering caregiver/caregiving support for workers who might be caring for elderly relatives. It is also important to make sure that your older employees are educated when it comes to things like Medicare and retirement, so having seminars about these topics or offering resource materials to employees on these topics is crucial.” Wilson also says that companies should offer targeted training programs for older workers, along with helping to foster mentorships between older and younger workers. “Older employees have a great deal of expertise and experience they can share with younger generations,” says Wilson. “In turn, younger workers can help to explain technology and share new ideas. A mentorship between these two generations can be mutually beneficial, and most importantly, it can also help to make your workplace age-positive and ensure that all employees feel valued and supported.”



Right now, five million Canadians are living with diabetes and six million more are at risk of developing it soon.

Diabetes is an epidemic. We need a cure.

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