CanadianSME Business Magazine

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Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses


















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Business Topics Canada Business Talks will be talking about the following topics that are crucial when it comes to having a successful business: 1


What are the best resources and tools when it comes to promoting your business to ensure that it gets all the attention you want from the very beginning. How to promote on a small budget and ensure you get the right marketing before launching, along with new trends in marketing. 3


Why going digital is important and investing in technology will make your business grow. Resources and creative ideas on how to use technology to your advantage and ensure your business is kept up to date with the new trends. 5


The best technology tendencies for small businesses. What the current tech trends are for small businesses and how it can help them grow their business. 7



Financial experts that will be partnering up with Canada Business Talks will be sharing best practices and expertise advice on how entrepreneurs can get funding, what are the best loans for SMEs and how to manage and run a budget that will ensure the success of your business. 4


Guidance how to manage your business by hiring the right employees and how to grow your business through available programs, resources and mentoring opportunities that can help all entrepreneurs when it comes to managing a successful business. 6


Resources and tools that are available to women entrepreneurs. Coaching and mentoring opportunities to help women grow their business and be successful.


Orientation and workshops to help business owners become successful leaders. Programs, tools and resources available to help entrepreneurs get the proper skill set when it comes to being successful leaders. 2


Canada Business Talks is a new concept into bringing influential people in the business world together so they can share their thoughts and learn from one another. Business experts and tycoons, industry leaders and entrepreneurs will all come together and take part in sharing their ideas, learning from one another and taking part in brainstorming sessions. The main goal is to create a platform where entrepreneurs can meet and discuss with business gurus and experts to share knowledge and perhaps even get some coaching along with guidelines and advice on how they can grow their business and take it to the next level. Canada Business Talks will also be conducting seminars and workshops that will be hosted by experts in their fields so they can help entrepreneurs be successful when it comes to managing their business. Who Should Attend? Canada Business Talks is for people who have a vision to change the business world. So, we’re talking about business students, business owners, entrepreneurs and people who are looking for expert advice and suggestions when it comes to running a successful company. Organizations who support the expansion of businesses or who are looking to connect with business owners who want to globalize and grow their business, Canada Business Talks is the place for them where they will find all the information they need. Get Involved Canada Business Talks is looking for partners with common goals such as corporations, volunteers or business experts who want to partnership with them. They want people who are interested in sharing their expertise in any upcoming events and having their brand be a part of Canada Business Talks.

WELCOME CanadianSME is very excited to announce its second edition! With even more exciting topics and interviews than the first issue, we are proud to be Canada’s number one choice for SME owners when it comes to finding all the useful information they need. Built to be the most resourceful magazine for small and medium sized entrepreneurs, CanadianSME strives to feature exclusive interviews and resourceful information that can help SME owners manage and grow their business.

CANADIANSME Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses canadiansme canadian_sme canadiansme

With 99% of businesses in Canada being SMEs, the impact that they have on the Canadian economy is significant. Which is why that every month, CanadianSME is dedicating itself to find the best resources and include interviews with experts who offer business advice and exclusive inputs that can help SME owners running and growing their business. Strong believers that having the right information and appropriate tools and knowledge can go a long way when it comes to developing a business, CanadianSME is dedicated to being the number one resource for all Canadian business owners.

Editor & Publisher Shaik Khaleeluddin (SK) Consulting Editor Daniel Zimmer Creative Design Abdhesh Kr. Jha Webmaster Ashraf

In this second edition of CanadianSME, you will find exclusive interviews from Michael Tremblay, President and CEO of Invest Ottawa, the Honourable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Surranna Sandy, CEO of Skill for Change and many more. We are also including great cover stories of several organisations that make it their mission to help business owners.

Contributors Grace Nasralla Rocco Rossi Victoria Lennox Dan Radu David W. Smith Fred Dodd Joel Sears Lisa Shepherd Amanda Wilson

With the New Year that has just started, we hope that you will find all the information you are looking for to start off your business on the right foot. There’s no better New Year resolution then the success and growth of your business and we hope to help you bring it there and be a part of this exciting journey with you.

Happy New Year 2019 Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES)

Stephania Varalli Perrin Beatty Michael Tremblay Shirley Vickers Darrell Schuurman Silvia Pencak Carey-Ann Oestreicher Stephania Varalli

For Advertisements: For Distribution Enquiries: CMarketing Inc. 2355 Derry Road E, Unit 27 | Mississauga, ON | L5S 1V6 Phone: 416 6550 205 MEMBER OF

Quick facts The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) will help women start and grow their businesses by improving access to financing, talent, networks and expertise through an investment of nearly $2 billion. The strategy will help our government achieve its goal of doubling the number of majority women-owned businesses by 2025. WES programs complement our government's broader initiatives to help women, including measures on pay equity, more flexible parental leave and more affordable childcare. Advancing gender equality has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP to the Canadian economy by 2026.

Published by CMarketing Inc. 2355 Derry Road E, Unit 27 | Mississauga, ON | L5S 1V6 Copyright © 2018 CMarketing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photography or illustrations without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

Fewer than 16% of SMEs in Canada are majority women-owned. Only 8.4% of majority women-owned SMEs export, compared to 12.8% of majority male-owned SMEs. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Canada 2015/16 Report on Women's Entrepreneurship indicated that in 2016 Canada had the highest percentage of women participating in early-stage activity (13.3%) and the fifth highest in terms of female ownership of established businesses among comparable innovation-based economies.

CanadianSME is also available on:



In this issue



President and CEO Canadian Chamber of Commerce


A chat with



Exclusive interview with Surranna Sandy CEO of Skills for Change


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Insights from Michael Tremblay: President and CEO of Invest Ottawa


Tap Canada: the best mentor for SME owners

GWENAELE MONTAGNER Director, International Trade Development WTCT

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The 6 Biggest Mistakes in Small Business Marketing Strategies & How to Fix Them!



E-COMMERCE How E-Commerce Can Help Your Business Grow



Minister of Small Business and her plans to help Canadian SMEs grow and succeed


Best Business Advice for 2019 from business leader


10 New Year’s Resolutions to Help Your Business Succeed

LEAD GENERATION 8 Great Lead Generation Ideas for Business-To-Business Companies


What are digital marketing automation tools?


INFINITI QX50: A luxury SUV with world-first technologies on an all-new platform


Women of Influence: Top 25 Women of Influence Luncheon 2018



President & CEO Canadian Chamber of Commerce The Honourable Perrin Beatty is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the 200,000-member Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s largest and most representative national business association.




As the co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada and the founder and President Emeritus of UK-based Charity NACUE, Victoria is recognized by the UNDP and EU as one of the foremost experts in entrepreneurship education; ecosystem and program architecture.

David has over 30 years of experience as an organizational leader, coach, facilitator and consultant. He has worked as a corporate executive and business owner building visions, strategies and delivering successes that grow value(s), cultures and character. He believes that people want to contribute, learn and grow to become the best version of themselves they can be.



Co-Founder, CEO Startup Canada

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner & CEO at Green Lotus Inc.

A successful entrepreneur and business executive, champion fundraiser, and dedicated public servant, Rocco Rossi joined the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) in 2018 as President and CEO.

Bassem is a search engine marketing strategist and speaker with more than 12 years of experience managing online marketing strategies for some of Canadian & International corporations including Canadian Tire, VistaPrint, Egypt Air, Xplornet, Direct Energy and Toronto Star.

MICHAEL TREMBLAY President and CEO of Invest Ottawa Michael Tremblay joined Invest Ottawa as President and Chief Executive Officer in March of 2017. Mike’s mandate was recently expanded to include Bayview Yards. Prior to joining Invest Ottawa, he was the Vice President of Public Sector for Microsoft Canada from April 2007.


Co-founded Logia Consulting Inc

Author of Succession 2020New Beginnings After 10 years of R&D, he founded Success(ion) MMXX Inc to deliver its trade-marked TWMPP planning process to professionally coordinate partnered experts to collaboratively identify, assess, prioritize and address small to medium enterprise (SME) succession/sale/exit issues.


Partner, Branderos

Founder, The Mezzanine Group

For more than three decades, Joel has worked as a copywriter, creative director, strategist, coach and educator. He is a Partner in Branderos, a boutique marketing agency serving small and medium-sized businesses.

Lisa has been working with complex and tech-based B2B companies for almost 20 years. As the Founder of The Mezzanine Group, she has helped over 250 organizations successfully grow their potential – and increase their bottom line.




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.

STEPHANIE CICCARELLI Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer at Stephanie Ciccarelli is the CoFounder and Chief Brand Officer at As the top champion of the brand, she oversees the creation and review of content, and leads the industry in conversation.


Co-CEO at Women of Influence Inc.

As co-owner and Co-CEO, Head of Media of Women of Influence, Stephania is able to dedicate her time to two passions: helping women to advance in the workplace, and sharing information, insights, and inspiration through engaging print and digital content and social media.





Co-founder, Spark Strategic Group.

President, WBE Canada

marketing and communication specialist. Her wide and varied career encompasses journalism, public relations, television commercial production, arts marketing, and advertising sales

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. It certifies firms that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women and introduces them to opportunities with large corporations. The organization also partners with governments, women’s business centres and other womencentric communities across Canada.



President and CEO- Innovate BC Vickers is a serial entrepreneur that brings an unparalleled understanding of multiple industries to the table. Her record includes building several multi-million dollar companies, developing technologies in the resources sector and working in senior health care and medical technology industry roles.

DARRELL SCHUURMAN Co-Founder and CEO, CGLCC Darrell is the co-founder and CEO of the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to expand the economic opportunities and advancement of the LGBT business community in Canada.

Chief Engagement Officer, Potential Unlimited Top 40 Under 40 Award Winner, Carey-Ann Oestreicher, MBA, BA, Chief Engagement Officer, Potential Unlimited, is a highly sought after speaker who travels the world delivering messages based on her business knowledge and personal wisdom to help audiences both emotionally identify with the intended message and rationalize the need to alter behaviors, modify strategies...and become transformed!


Minister of Small Business and her plans to help Canadian SMEs grow and succeed

investments in helping small business owners start up, scale up, and access new markets through programs that offer them access to capital, valuable advice, or even paid interns. Recently, our government announced the Fall Economic Statement. In it we proposed three immediate changes to Canada’s tax system that will make it easier for small businesses. The first will allow businesses to immediately write off the full cost of machinery and equipment used for the manufacturing and processing of goods. The second will allow businesses to immediately write off the full cost of certain clean technology equipment. And the third – a new Accelerated Investment Initiative – will allow businesses across 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.



When I think of main streets across Canada, I think about the creative, innovative, and determined small business owners who help create our beloved communities. I think about the bakeries from which we feed our families, the bookshops in which we find our next read, the restaurants that have become family traditions and the tech start ups bringing new young, talent and energy to our communities. Sometimes these places seem like such fixtures in our neighbourhoods that we forget the immense contributions they make to our towns and cities, as well as Canada’s economy as a whole. Small businesses are job generators. They make up 98% of Canadian businesses and employ 8 million hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. More than this, they promote the industry around which thriving communities can grow. It is because of the entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners across the country that Canada’s economy is now among the fastest growing in the G7 countries and that the unemployment rate is at a historic low.

In fact, the last time the national unemployment rate was lower than it is now, road signs in Canada were in miles per hour and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John was a Billboard Number One Single. People are working, wages are growing, and more Canadians are buying goods and services. There is a renewed sense of confidence and potential in the air. To keep up this momentum, our government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Trudeau, is working hard to make it easier for small businesses. On January 1, we lowered the small business tax rate yet again, from 11% to 9%, giving Canada one of the lowest small business tax rates in the world and giving small business owners to up to $7,500 a year in savings. We also worked with credit card companies to lower the fees they charge businesses. For some small businesses, this could mean thousands of dollars in savings. And because our government knows that it isn’t just about savings but also about opportunity, we have made unprecedented

These are real actions that will make Canadian small businesses more productive, more innovative, and more competitive. A big part of remaining competitive means rolling up sleeves and cutting red tape. That’s why, since 2015, our government has cut more than 450 federal rules that impose an administrative burden on business. Regulations are intended to help us by protecting Canadians, but over time, outdated rules and poor alignment with our trading partners can mean small businesses are held back. That’s why our government is tackling regulatory irritants by harmonizing food regulations and inspections and facilitating greater trade of alcohol between provinces and territories, for example. Whether it’s our easy-to-use innovation. website that provides small businesses with the help they need, or BizPaL, which simplifies getting permits and licences, our government is working hard to make it easier for small businesses to do what they do best: grow amazing communities. Whenever I visit a new place, I love meeting local small business owners, hearing their stories, and thanking them for their many contributions to our communities.




PERRIN BEATTY President & CEO Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“Canadian SMEs are resilient and second-to-none in their motivation and innovation. Canadian SMEs need the tools to scale up their businesses to bolster their success in Canada and grow internationally. Scaling up – not selling off – is the path for SMES to sustained growth in revenues and employment, but aggressive growth strategies can be extremely intimidating. That’s why support programs are so important, whether they be federal, provincial or local, or services like chambers of commerce. They can help Canadian businesses with access to services, intelligence, information and advice, which small business owners are often lacking in time to seek out.”

ROCCO ROSSI President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

“As the voice of our 60,000 members in 135 communities, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s (OCC) mission is to support economic growth across the province by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park. “Small businesses constitute a vast majority of our membership and are the backbone of Ontario’s economy. That is why in 2019, our advocacy priorities include decreasing regulatory burden, lowering taxes and taking significant strides to address the skills mismatch in Ontario. We want to ensure that Ontario is well equipped to be the engine of the Canadian economy. “To support the SME community, we will continue to advocate for delayed taxation on corporate income growth to help businesses scale, a variable Small Business Deduction to boost investment, more experiential learning opportunities and making it easier for SMEs to participate in government procurement. “It has been a successful year filled with critical policy changes at Queen’s Park that have eased the burden on small businesses. In this coming year, the OCC will continue to ensure that the voice of small business is heard.”

SILVIA PENCAK President, WBE Canada

President & CEO - Innovate BC

Take time to learn from your mistakes One of the best things entrepreneurs can do before jumping into new adventures is to take time to reflect on the past year and evaluate their wins and lessons learned. Without reflection, we end up repeating the same mistakes over and over, never levelling our results. To take it a step further, you can dive even deeper by looking at lessons you have learned from others.

Being an entrepreneur means taking risks, feeling uncomfortable, and learning from your mistakes. It doesn’t matter how talented of an entrepreneur you are, if you aren’t extremely passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll never be able to get over those speed bumps and keep pushing forward.

Be intentional To have a truly successful year, you need to stop reacting to situations and events around you and start being intentional with your relationships, time, focus and action. And to achieve the best results, it’s important that you look beyond your business and include your personal and family life as well. Wishing you a successful 2019!




On a more practical side, it’s absolutely critical to nail the value proposition and get it validated as quickly as possible by real customers – the market shouldn’t just want your product, they should need your product. Work the customer discovery process hard and try and find customers that will back their need for your product with money – there’s no better money raised than money from a customer!



Partner, Branderos

Co-founder, Spark Strategic Group.

MARKETING TIPS FOR SMEs. What is the number one advantage that smaller businesses have in their marketing? Themselves. Larger enterprises struggle to define a brand that represents such a diverse workforce. Smaller businesses, meanwhile, take the imprint of their owners, managers and workers and then projects it outward into a real-world brand that is clear and authentic.


TIPS: Sincerity beats hyperbole. Reality is more powerful than promises. Establish realistic expectations, then over-deliver, instead of setting unachievable expectations that can’t be met. Market to your customers the way you talk to them. Make it personal and relatable. Take pride – in larger businesses so much is out of the individual’s control that it’s difficult to take ownership of an initiative. Smaller businesses succeed because the owners, managers and employees are more accountable to their customers than a larger business can ever be. Don’t be in a hurry to look large – tell your own story. People love the underdog.


• • •

The passion you had when you started The passion your first team members invested in your business The passion your first customers or clients had for you, for your work

As your business grows and becomes more standardized, more efficient, more revenue-focused, it’s easy to lose sight of what got you there in the first place. It’s easy to replace people with numbers, customers with targets. If you want to stay as fresh and focused as you were at the start, never forget how you felt back then and what you wanted so badly to achieve. Stay as excited about your team and your customers as you were the first time. Keep checking in with yourself to ensure your core values don’t become compromised along the way. Most importantly, don’t become too big to care about the people who help you succeed. Winners never win alone.


Co-CEO and Head of Media, Women of Influence

Chief Engagement Officer, Potential Unlimited

One of the key challenges SMEs often face is attracting top talent. The question I always encourage business owners to ask is: Have I considered how my diversity and inclusion practices could be helping, or hurting, my talent search? And if you haven’t even considered D&I at all, don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and it can immediately expand your pipeline. Try to get outside of your own network to find individuals that can bring in diverse thinking. A blind resume practice can help get more diverse candidates through the screening phase. And when interviewing, remember there’s a difference between a values fit (would integrate with your company culture) and a social fit (would be a good drinking buddy). If you make diversity a hiring priority — and foster a working environment that welcomes it — you’ll be sure to find a positive impact on your bottom line.

Being involved with a SME is an extremely rewarding experience. You have the freedom to do something meaningful that aligns with your values and the mark you want to leave on the world. My advice is to remember to not become overcome by your drive for success that you forget about what's most important to you. In my early days, I became so entangled in my passion for the business and my ambition for it to succeed that I worked extremely crazy hours and started to forget about what's really most important. For me, suffering a brain injury was a turnaround point for me. Through rehab I learned about mindfulness. I now practice mindfulness and incorporate it into my work life as well as into my business coaching with clients. When you feel stressed, instead of continuing to push through it, stop and take a few moments to breathe deeply and reset. This clarity will help you tremendously in business and in life. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 I


ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT STRONG WITH MAJORITY OF CANADIANS THINKING ABOUT OWNING A BUSINESS: RBC POL Forty per cent of non-business owners demonstrating entrepreneurial behaviour TORONTO, September 20, 2018 Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Canada with more than half (54 per cent) of Canadians saying they have thought about owning their own business according to the 2018 RBC Small Business Poll. Of those who have considered owning a business, 56 per cent are already putting their entrepreneurial skills to use by making money from their passion project (28 per cent), taking on side jobs when they need money (20 per cent) and testing out a new business idea (8 per cent). "Many Canadians are taking the entrepreneurial steps to earn money outside of their regular income, but don't necessarily view themselves as small business owners in the traditional sense. Starting a business can take on many different forms, from a casual side-hustle to a more formal, planned commitment," says Jason Storsley, VicePresident, Small Business at RBC. "Regardless of what path is right for your business, putting the appropriate disciplines in place from the start, like proper accounting and marketing practices, will allow you to focus on growing your business." Business ownership aspirations strong across the country Albertans lead the country when it comes to business aspirations, with 63 per cent saying they have thought about owning a business, six percentage points higher than Ontario. In British Columbia, the number one reason cited as a motivation to own a business was to have control over one's career, while all other regions in Canada cited being their own boss as the top reason for wanting to own a small business.

Business owners have a secret to getting a business off the ground – prospective business owners take note The majority of non-business owners (61 per cent) said that access to financial capital would be the number one factor that would encourage them to start a business, ahead of having a great idea (51 per cent). However, for those who already own a business, only 25 per cent said that access to financial capital was an encouraging factor, and placed far more emphasis on having a great idea (48 per cent) and understanding the fundamentals of business admin (30 per cent). Owners and non-owners agreed that attracting and retaining customers is the biggest challenge in business ownership. Millennials feeling the drive to be 'selfmade' Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of Canadians aged 18 to 34 have thought about owning a business, and 59 per cent of millennials who don't already own a business are engaging in entrepreneurial activity to supplement their income. This includes: • 28 per cent who are currently finding a way to make money from a passion project or hobby; and • 11 per cent who are already testing an idea for a business. A further 24 per cent say that they wish they had a side-hustle but don't know how to get started. What would encourage more millennials to start? While access to financial capital and a great idea are two major factors, experience and connections are important for realizing their business ownership dreams. Many feel they need a better understanding of business fundamentals (49 per cent), a stronger Have thought of owning a business

















network (45 per cent) and access to ongoing support and advice (41 per cent) before they can start a business venture. "Equipping prospective entrepreneurs with the tools, knowledge and resources to help realize their business ownership aspirations will be key to creating a thriving economy and vibrant communities across Canada," adds Storsley. The RBC Small Business Poll was conducted by Ipsos Canada from July 6 -15, 2018. More than 2,000 surveys were completed online by Canadian adults, represented in six different regions (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada). Representative sample results are weighted to reflect the Canadian population. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population represented. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error, and measurement error. About RBC Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada's biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at

Apple launches app development program to support women entrepreneurs


New Entrepreneur Camp Offers Immersive Technology Lab and More for Female App Developers who are Founders and Entrepreneurs

Toronto, Ontario — Apple announced the launch of the all-new Entrepreneur Camp, a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to create new opportunities for app-driven businesses owned or led by women through an intensive technology lab, specialized support and ongoing mentoring.

“This is a program that matters,” said Gina Bianchini, investor and founder and CEO of Mighty Networks. “The new Entrepreneur Camp says Apple wants to invest its expertise in a different, richer, more diverse range of app developers and product experts in a meaningful way, and that is a big deal for the industry.”

To be eligible for the program, applying app-driven businesses must be femalefounded, co-founded or led and have at least one woman on the development team — as well as a working app or prototype and desire to leverage Apple technologies to benefit their mission. The program’s pilot session, beginning in January 2019, is now accepting applications.

Entrepreneur Camp will hold sessions on a quarterly basis, with a cohort of 20 app companies accepted for each round. The pilot session will include 10 companies.

"Apple is committed to helping more women assume leadership roles across the tech sector and beyond,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re proud to help cultivate female leadership in the app development community with the new Apple Entrepreneur Camp, and we’re inspired both by the incredible work that’s already happening, and what’s sure to come.”

Once accepted, each company will have the opportunity to send three attendees to Cupertino, California for a twoweek immersive program at Apple’s campus, including one-on-one codelevel assistance with Apple engineers, sessions on design, technology and App Store marketing, as well as ongoing guidance and support from an Apple Developer representative. Each participating company will also receive two tickets to the following year's WWDC. Female entrepreneurs continue to face challenges obtaining funding, training and support in the VC landscape — receiving $1.9 billion in funding in 2017 compared to $83.1 billion for men. Despite such obstacles, women-owned businesses are growing more than two times faster than the US national average, with women-led tech startups delivering a 35 percent higher return on investment than tech startups led by men. For more information on Apple Entrepreneur Camp or to apply, visit





INNOVATE Invites Canadian small businesses to develop innovative solutions to eight new challenges As the single largest purchaser of goods and services, the federal government is using procurement to help Canadian small businesses succeed. Through the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program, government departments are inviting small businesses to come up with a new innovative product, service or solution in answer to specific challenges they face. Winning small businesses may receive up to $150,000 to refine their research and development and, if accepted into Phase 2, receive up to $1 million to develop a working prototype. The government can then act as a first customer, helping small businesses to commercialize their innovations, scale up their business and create good middle-class jobs across Canada. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, today announced the launch of eight new challenges. National Defence, through its Canadian Safety and Security Program jointly led with Public Safety Canada, is challenging small businesses to: •


Develop tools to help first responders make more timely and informed decisions, with the goal of better protecting Canadians in emergency situations such as terrorist threats or natural disasters. Develop tools and technologies to help identify available resources and the timelines for their delivery during emergency situations. These tools and technologies will help ensure that the right resources are at the right place at the right time to best protect the safety and security of Canadians. Develop innovative devices, applications or protective equipment to help firefighters rapidly assess threats, hazards and obstacles they face while fighting fires. This will help firefighters make more informed decisions, be more effective and better protect Canadians.

Public Services and Procurement Canada is challenging small businesses to: •

Develop a cost-effective and innovative method of stabilizing the coal mine tailings that are currently contained under water behind the Victoria Junction Tailings Dam in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The goal is to decommission the dam while keeping tailings stable to protect the local environment.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is challenging small businesses to: •

Develop a chemical compound that would attract a wide variety of insects that attack hardwood tree species such as maple, poplar and oak. The compound would help in detecting those insects more accurately and sooner. This will enable better protection of local trees. Develop an innovative device to detect volatile organic compounds associated with invasive plant pests. Better monitoring and detection of these plant pests will help CFIA better protect Canadian plants. Develop an effective and easy-to-use device that fishery industry workers and others could use for early detection of marine biotoxins. This would help avoid the distribution and consumption of unsafe shellfish.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is challenging small businesses to: Develop a digital tool to trace real-time inputs and outputs from the steel supply chain. The adoption of this new digital technology will provide information to enhance the production of higher-quality steel. It will improve the identification of the source of raw material and the tracing of the product through supply chains. This tool will help Canadian steel manufacturers be more efficient and more competitive. Innovative Solutions Canada is a key component of the government's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year plan to make Canada a global innovation leader and prepare Canadians to succeed in tomorrow's economy.


"Our government is using its purchasing power to help small businesses innovate and become more competitive. Through Innovative Solutions Canada, we're accessing quality products, while businesses are growing and creating good middle-class jobs." – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and employ over 8 million hardworking Canadians. That's why our government is committed to helping small businesses start up, scale up and access new markets. Innovative Solutions Canada is a fantastic program that uses government procurement to help small businesses innovate and then commercialize their innovations. These are worthy new challenges, and I can't wait to see what our innovative Canadian small businesses come up with." – The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion Quick facts Program funding will come from the 20 departments and agencies participating in Innovative Solutions Canada. Each department will set aside funding for this initiative that amounts to one percent of its 2015–16 combined procurement and internal research and development expenditures. Together, the funding from the departments and agencies represents a more than $100-million investment over the course of five years. Small businesses make up 98 percent of Canadian businesses and employ over 8 million hardworking Canadians. Innovative Solutions Canada is encouraging submissions from businesses owned and led by women, Indigenous peoples, youth and members of visible minorities by ensuring those groups are included in the program's outreach plans and activities. There are hundreds of programs and services that offer everything from funding to expert advice to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada's economy. With a simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes. SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Ca+nada



SCOTIABANK LAUNCHES THE SCOTIABANK WOMEN INITIATIVE™ A comprehensive program empowering women to take their businesses to the next level

Kristine Owram, reporter, at Bloomberg, sat down with Gillian Riley, Executive Vice-President, Scotiabank, and three Scotiabank clients, Elaine Ilavsky Bowes, Sonja Davies and Teresa Cascioli during the launch of The Scotiabank Women Initiative event on December 5

Scotiabank today launched The Scotiabank Women Initiative™, a comprehensive program that will advance women-led businesses in Canada through access to capital, education and mentorship. Academic research and Scotiabank's own exploration has shown that women business leaders face significant challenges in achieving growth. Scotiabank is confronting this issue by offering meaningful support to female entrepreneurs in order to help them take their businesses to the next level.

The Scotiabank Women Initiative has three core pillars, including: •

ACCESS TO CAPITAL: Scotiabank has deployed financing to support the growth of women-led small and mid-market businesses. In addition, Scotiabank will ensure equal access to its full suite of financing solutions. Female business owners/leaders can leverage a financial partner to help support their growth. MENTORSHIP: An advisory board, made up of men and women with deep experience in financial services, has been created to help women grow their

business through facilitated small group membership sessions. These sessions will cover pre-identified topics and complex business problems. Clients will have the opportunity to interact with senior leaders as well as other likeminded women in business. •

EDUCATION: Through Un-Mentorship Boot Camps™, Scotiabank will provide access to a series of sessions that "unteach" traditionally-held ideas about how to succeed; explore businessfocused issues like governance, adopting technology, and recruiting and retaining employees with Scotiabank executives and other experts; and hear from other successful women and advisory board members.

"To help shape this program, Scotiabank consulted with customers, researchers and industry leaders to understand more fully the challenges women business leaders face," said Gillian Riley, Executive Vice-President, Scotiabank. "Specifically, we learned about unconscious bias and its effects on women business owners and their ability to access financing. For example, the ratio of requested

versus approved debt for women is significantly lower than for men. Through The Scotiabank Women Initiative, we will better understand and serve women business leaders, and be a valued partner in their success." To celebrate the launch of The Scotiabank Women Initiative, Scotiabank hosted a panel discussion this morning at the Scotiabank Centre. The event featured a panel of female business executives who discussed their challenges in owning and leading businesses. Keynote speakers at the event included Gillian Riley and Sarah Kaplan, Professor and Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto. "The Scotiabank Women Initiative is being piloted in Canada with Commercial Banking clients, with an eye to future expansion," added Riley. "However, we don't see this just as a business opportunity, but also as our way of helping address an important social challenge." Women business leaders can visit to learn more about the initiative, including details on each of the three pillars. SOURCE Scotiabank CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 I



10 New Year’s Resolutions to Help Your Business Succeed



New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and what better time to review your resolutions and set new ones? With the year coming to an end, you often start reflecting about everything you achieved during the year and how you want to start the next year. The best questions to ask yourself when you want to start thinking about your resolutions are “Where do you want to bring your business next year?” “What do you want to do?” “Where do you see your business going” and “What can you do to bring it there?” Once you have that part figured out, the rest will come naturally. Obviously, no matter what your resolution is for the next year, one thing is clear: you want your business to succeed. So here are some top resolutions to help you towards that goal.



You can never invest too much when it comes to learning something new that can help you grow your business. Whether it’s an online class, a webinar or a conference, take some time and invest in learning new things. The more you know, the more you can come up with great ideas to grow your business. You’ll be smarter, faster and take your business to new heights. There are so many resources available today to business owners. So take some time and register for an online class or a seminar that’s happening in your town. It can only help you grow as a business owner and as a person. 14




Having the right contacts can go a long way when you’re trying to grow your business. So why not join a business organization or a networking group? Or maybe even attend a few business events happening in your town so you can meet other business owners. You might meet great people with who you can do business with or share ideas. By talking with other entrepreneurs like yourself, you can get a fresh set of eyes on your business and even come up with greater ones. Even if they can’t help you with your business now, we guarantee it that there will come a day when that list of contacts will definitely come in handy.


3 DELEGATE There’s no shame in asking for help. It’s obvious that you can’t do everything yourself. The common mistake that business owners make is thinking that they can do everything themselves. It’s impossible. There aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything yourself and there are some things that you simply can’t do because you’re just not qualified for it. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s a community of people out there who are looking to help out business owners like yourself. Find out what area you need help with and delegate. By delegating certain tasks, you’ll have more time to focus on what’s important: growing your business.

4 MAKE PLANNING A HABIT Whether it’s an app on your smartphone or a weekly planner, take some time and organize your week. Plan out what you’re meetings, your upcoming events, orders or what not. As a business owner, you often have to be Jack of All Trades and do a little bit of everything. So it’s normal that you can sometimes lose track of what’s going on and forget a few things. That’s why it’s important to plan out an effective schedule that keeps your day organized. It’s better for you and your business. So take some time during the week where you can effectively plan your schedule and be on top of everything. Make it a regular thing. It will help you in the long run to have a successful business.



If you haven’t already, then bring your business into the new era. Social media is the future. Today’s generation is all over social media. It’s the best and most effective way when it comes to marketing. So take some time and create your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profile. Promote your business. Show the world who you are and what services you’re offering. There are so many great social media management tools available. Choose the one that’s best for you and see your business grow. It will be the best decision you made for your company.

6 Be Proactive The most successful business owners are those who are always one step ahead of everyone else. So be proactive. Look at what the

new trends are. See what you’re competitors are up to. Start brainstorming about how you can be better and do it. Get some information on what’s new in the market and what new products are launching soon. See what’s next that way when announcements are made on a new product that just launched, you’re already ten steps ahead of everyone because you did your research. You were proactive and already started putting a plan together on how it can help your business succeed. Everyone loves an entrepreneur that’s aware of what’s trending and what’s going on in the business world.



It’s never easy to let go of something that you invested time and money in. But if you see it’s not paying off, if you’re clients are not loving it, then it’s time to let go and move on. Often, ideas that we think will be great and that will be a huge hit don’t always turn out that way. That’s when it’s time to let go of them and come up with something better. Don’t waste your time on something that’s not working. Go back to the drawing board and come up with something better that your customers will love.



Before starting your business, you have a solid business plan that draws out your services and what you should expect once you’ve launched. However, when you launch, there’s bound to be some changes and your business plan doesn’t happen exactly the way you thought it out to be. So what better time to review your business plan when you’re going over your resolutions. Go over what’s been working so far and what hasn’t. Make adjustments where necessary and perhaps come up with a new and better business plan now that you’ve been in business for a while and have a better idea of what’s been working.

better. See what they’ve been up to. It never hurts to know what the other party is up to.

10 INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY Now that your business is up and running, you have a good idea of what’s working and what’s not. Take some time to come up with better ways of doing things that can make you more productive. Maybe there’s a better and faster way of doing things? Perhaps there’s a system that can help you become more productive and save time? Do some brainstorming. Have your employees keep a log of their entries and how much time they spend on certain tasks. Review them and see where there’s room for improvement. The more productive you are, the better your business can grow and become successful.

"This year I just wanna go on more adventures. Be around good energy. Connect with people. Learn new things. Grow." Anonymous "This year, be structured enough for success and achievement and flexible enough for creativity and fun." Taylor Duvall


9 COMPETITION Take time to know who your competition is. Do some research on them. See what they have that’s making their business more successful than yours. Come up with ideas and brainstorm on how you can improve. It’s important to know who your competition is and what they’re up to. They give you a different perspective of what your clients want and can even help you come up with ideas of your own on how to be better. So, get to know your competition

"Approach the new year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day." Michael Josephson





PERRIN BEATTY President and CEO Canadian Chamber of Commerce

The Honourable Perrin Beatty is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the 200,000-member Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s largest and most representative national business association. Prior to joining the Canadian Chamber in August 2007, Perrin was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Association (CME). 16


A descendant of one of Canada’s most prominent manufacturing families, Perrin grew up in Fergus, Ontario and graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1971. Perrin was first elected to the House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative in 1972. During his 21 years in Parliament, he served as Minister in seven different portfolios, including Treasury Board, National Revenue, Solicitor General, Defence, National Health and Welfare, Communications and External Affairs. In 1994, Perrin joined a number of private sector boards and worked as a consultant in the field of communications. He was an Honorary Visiting Professor with the Department of Political Science, University of Western Ontario. From 1995 to 1999, Perrin was President and CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In 2008, Perrin was named Chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. In 2013, he received an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from Western University. In 2016, Perrin received an honorary degree, honoris causa from University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Perrin is also a member of the board of directors of Mitsui Canada.


About the organization / Goals and objectives Representing over 200,000 businesses, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce connects businesses of all sizes, from all sectors and from all regions of the country to advocate for public policies that will foster a strong and competitive economic environment that will benefit not only businesses, but communities and families across Canada as well. With a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, we are the largest and most influential business association in Canada. As the primary and vital connection between business and the federal government, our views are sought after and respected by government, business leaders and the media thanks to our well-researched reports, analyses, position papers and policy resolutions that reflect a broad business perspective.

The Canadian Chamber network represents over 200,000 businesses of every size and sector in every part of the country. Often, as when Canada negotiates an international trade agreement, different companies or sectors have competing interests. Both the government and those of us who are called upon to advise the government have to make tough choices about what is in the best interests of the country as a whole. These can be extremely difficult and divisive issues to resolve. Another example is when we argue that the government should interfere in the marketplace as little as possible. This often means that businesses that benefit because the government has placed its thumb on the scales to help one company or one region at the expense of others will be unhappy. Governing is about making choices. What’s essential is to ensure that the best interests of Canada as a whole take priority when we make these choices. When it comes to deciding what is best for businesses and families across Canada, what do you base your decisions on? What are some of the facts that you take into consideration?

How your organization is helping business women? Our economy cannot afford to leave anyone behind, which is why our organization has a Diversity and Inclusion Policy and a Board Diversity Policy to ensure people from all economic sectors, regions and backgrounds can take part in and benefit from a healthy and innovative economy. We are proud to have reached our goal of having a leadership team that is at least 40% female. Additionally, we have held events like our Global Success of Women Entrepreneurs Roundtable to learn about the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and where opportunities lie. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is taking the important steps towards working together to enable those who can, should and want to participate in economic growth. What is the biggest challenge that you face as President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce? The Canadian Chamber’s mission is to promote the success of Canada’s businesses in an environment where the competition increases every day. Our biggest challenge is to ensure that governments understand the business realities and act as our partners in creating economic prosperity instead of creating obstacles to business success. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has to often make tough decisions when it comes to doing what’s best for the Canadian economy. Can you tell us about some of the difficult choices that you had to make as President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce?

As a national organisation, the Canadian Chamber’s responsibility is to serve the best interests of Canadians and of Canadian businesses as a whole. When we look at issues, we ask ourselves what approach is most likely to strengthen Canada’s economy and to improve the competitiveness of our businesses. The reason why we are so passionate about breaking down internal barriers to trade or about building the infrastructure that’s needed to get our resources to market is that when decisions are made that narrow or parochial, we all lose.When we put the broader public interest first, we are all more successful. What are some of the policies that you are planning to put in place that could benefit small and medium sized businesses across Canada? The Canadian Chamber’s role is to advocate federal policies that will provide small and medium-sized businesses with the tools they need to grow. That said, given the importance of SMEs to our economy (they make up 98% of all businesses),we will be enhancing our offerings to small and medium-sized members beyond advocacy to include a digital platform that will: •

Provide information on government support programs and preferred pricing on business products and services.

Deliver insights and advice from entrepreneurs who have been successful in Canada and internationally.

Engage SMEs on issues that matter to them and have the potential to impact their success including government policies and Canadian Chamber programs.

Planand deliver in person and virtual professional development events. Can you talk about some of the accomplishments that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has done to help SMEs in Canada?

Some of our recent accomplishments to help Canadian SMEs include: •

The federal government streamlining its suite of assistance programs for entrepreneurs from 92 to somewhere in the 30s. This is in addition to a commitment to focus on high-potential, high-growth SMEs, which was called for by the Canadian Chamber in our 2014 report A Path Forward for Entrepreneurship in Canada.

Launch of the Innovation Canada Portal earlier this year to direct SMEs to federal and regional funding, as well as other support programs. This platform triages them via questions about their location and specifications about their business.

B7 members identifying scaling up small business as a priority for their governments for the first time.

The recent regulatory reforms announced in the Fall Economic Update, which draw heavily on our report on how to improve the regulatory system. If the government follows through, it should help provide some relief from the regulatory burden that makes it so hard for many businesses to succeed. Small and medium sized business owners face a lot of challenges on a daily basis when it comes to managing their business. Do you have any advice or suggestions that you could give them to help them overcome those challenges?

I would advise them not to hesitate in asking for assistance from their local chamber of commerce. Also, most medium and largesized municipalities have resources for entrepreneurs, as do provincial, territorial and federal governments. Finally, whatever business you’re in, never lose sight of the fact that you are there to serve your customers, not the other way round. The most successful businesses I know are also the ones that stay closest to their customers.




There is no one way to ensure business success. However, with the right policy tools in place, I would like to think that people with a vision who see a need to fill in the marketplace should be successful if they are willing to put the time and energy into their business.

What would you say is the biggest challenge that entrepreneurs face today? We recently surveyed our SME members and they told us that the most important issues they face are regulatory burdens, growing their business, and business taxes, which are extremely complex. There are a lot of resources and programs available to help entrepreneurs grow their business. With so many available options, it can be somewhat overwhelming to narrow them down and chose the right one. Do you have any advice that you can offer to entrepreneurs to help them in their search? I suggest the Innovation Canada Portal, which is easily accessible through any search engine. It asks a series of questions about a business including location, sector and area where assistance or information is needed and directs users to resources at all levels of government. What do you believe is the main key to ensure a successful business? 18


There is no one way to ensure business success. However, with the right policy tools in place, I would like to think that people with a vision who see a need to fill in the marketplace should be successful if they are willing to put the time and energy into their business. Can you tell us what your thoughts are on the new deal that was signed between United States, Canada and Mexico? The USMCA? While the agreement is far from perfect, it provides a greater degree of certainty for Canadian businesses. For SMEs, it will largely preserve our duty-free market access to our largest trading partner, as well as protect our existing labour mobility access.The agreement also retains the most crucial aspects of dispute settlement and strengthens intellectual property, which is vital for attracting investment by companies into innovation.Although it’s not part of the agreement, we are still hoping to see the tariffs lifted on Canadian steel and aluminium exports to Canada as soon as possible. Canadian exports of these products to the US do not pose a national security threat.

How do you believe this new deal will benefit SMEs in Canada? As noted above, ensuring tariff-free market access in most products and the labour mobility provisions are important benefits for Canadian businesses. On a more personal note, what do you enjoy doing on your free time when you’re not busy being President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce? I think I have the best job in Canada. I get to work with great people who are committed to making a difference. However, I’m also grateful for the time I get to spend doing other things. I have a bike that I don’t get to use as much as I would like, and I enjoy music and reading, as well as being the family’s cook.My favourite activity is to spend a warm summer evening having dinner with family and friends in Muskoka as we watch the sun set over the lake.

THE BEST MENTOR FOR SME OWNERS international labour and immigration law, IP protection, international sales and marketing, financing, foreign exchange and many more

What can entrepreneurs do on their side to ensure that the training they receive is successful when applying it in their business?

- Specialised organizations including: foreign chambers of commerce, angel investor networks, Centres of Excellence, incubators and innovation platforms

Coming to TAP will change their approach to how they are doing business. They will finish the program with a much better understanding of the importance of solid internal processes, knowledge of their businesses’ weaknesses and how to eliminate them, and keys to maximizing their resources. This increased knowledge will be the foundation of their new growth.

What makes TAP Canada stand out from other similar companies who also offer training and workshops to entrepreneurs?



TAP Canada offers training to help SMEs grow their business and become more successful. Can you go more into detail about how the program is designed to help entrepreneurs? The raison d’être of TAP is to grow SMEs in Canada and beyond borders. We train them to shift their approach from a reactive market dependence to a proactive, dynamic and assertive methodology to transform their business. Through the program, which only requires four days of inhouse training over a six-week period, SMEs gain access to Canada’s top exporting advisors, resources and contacts in both the public and private sectors. The main points of knowledge acquisition include: - Navigating the complexities of the global trade ecosystem - Leveraging Canada’s deep trade and investment resources - Accessing tailored, face-to-face coaching and advice from experts in a multitude of fields - Learning about international best practices, such as how to bridge cultural barriers and access and maximize opportunities in global markets - Developing and implementing a fully vetted export plan What resources are used to create the workshops for SMEs? We have broad resources compiled from the breadth and depth of the Canadian export ecosystem: - All levels of government and crown corporations - Corporate expertise in many fields including: international tax & accounting, web design,


TAP is unique in many ways. It stays away from a traditional academic learning approach to international trade. Extremely fast-paced, it engages companies in interactive case studies, group workshops, mock sales negotiations and many other activities that are hands-on and promote self-confidence and peer-topeer interaction. It forces companies to learn to research and understand their markets and customers, focus, plan and get help. By the end of the program, each company leaves with a written comprehensive export plan, fully vetted by our corporate specialists. How does TAP Canada go about offering training to a diversified clientele? Is their program designed to offer a general training or can they offer different programs to clients who have different business needs? 90% of the hurdles SMEs face while planning global expansion are identical across all sectors of the economy. However, we recognize that companies will face specific additional barriers depending on the complexity of the markets they want to penetrate or the type of products or services they offer. For that reason, we provide TAP cohorts that focus on specific sectors or markets to bring that additional specialized support companies are looking for. The TAP cohorts and contents are planned and listed for the full year and can be accessed through our website.

What happens when entrepreneurs finish their training? Does TAP Canada follow-up with business owners to ensure their success or are they left free to fly on their own? When entrepreneurs graduate from TAP, they will be part of a professional network of peers, highend corporate specialists and key government contacts which will accompany them through their export journey. Through social media, networking events, and promotional opportunities offered by the team at World Trade Centre Toronto and our operating partners across the country, they will be part of the growing TAP Canada family. What would you say is the biggest impact that TAP Canada has had on SMEs? More than 57% of TAP graduates export following their participation in the program. That is in contrast with the national average of 11% of Canadian SMEs exporting - Those companies report a 17% average increase in export sales within a year and a 35% sales increase forecast for the next 5 years - TAP Participants have entered more than 40 markets including China, India, Mexico, Japan, U.K., Italy, Sweden, the UAE and the U.S. to name a few - 76% of exporting TAP companies created new, export-related jobs with an average annual salary of $86,000

Is TAP Canada guaranteed to have a successful impact on SMEs? Results are directly related to the amount of efforts the companies will put in writing their export plans. What we can guarantee is that if a SME enters TAP, takes advantage of all the resources offered to them during the program and spend the time to plan and design an international strategy with the support of our experts, they will indeed grow their companies significantly in Canada and abroad.






Michael Tremblay joined Invest Ottawa as President and Chief Executive Officer in March of 2017. Mike’s mandate was recently expanded to include Bayview Yards. Prior to joining Invest Ottawa, he was the Vice President of Public Sector for Microsoft Canada from April 2007. Michael led all of Microsoft Canada’s Public Sector activities across all levels of government including Healthcare and Education sectors. Mike has 34 years of sales, marketing, operations and general management experience, with considerable experience serving public sector clients. Prior to joining Microsoft, Mike worked for SAP Canada as Senior Vice President, Public Services, managing the Canadian Public Sector market.



We have 46 companies that are directly connected into our Accelerator at Bayview Yards, which is an incredible facility; we are very blessed to have it.

You joined Invest Ottawa in March 2017 as President and CEO. What are some of the things that you are hoping to accomplish? Quite a few things. We have been active both in Invest Ottawa & Bayview Yards. We are very active in our new accelerator facility, which is a former City of Ottawa Truck Repair facility. The first thing that I decided I wanted to get behind, and got great community support for, was to recast our community strategic plan - which we did this past year, and we began execution of it in January 2018. I think at the outset we had a really good plan, and we are executing the plan. But my main reason and my main goal for joining the organization was to help the local region to achieve its full potential. I was born & raised in Ottawa and I wanted to make sure I could contribute & give back after so many years of being blessed with an incredible career, which started right here in Ottawa. You have over thirty years of experience in sales and marketing. How do you believe your past experience can help you in your current position? I think pretty directly. Part of taking on any new role is to learn & develop & grow and I think I am doing that for sure. I think I will also contribute because of the direction that most economies are taking, which is very much influenced by this phenomenon of the 4th industrial revolution; itself tied to a lot of the work I have done over my career. I was very directly engaged in the 3rd industrial revolution, also known as the digital revolution. This later round of it, I would say the stakes are much higher in that we truly do have a global market, and my main goal was to take everything I have learned in big enterprise and big tech companies, and apply some of that learning into the economic development area. I think my past experiences, given what’s happened in the 4th industrial revolution, are very directly applied. And if I can apply a definition around that, it’s a fusion of digital, physical, and biological

worlds. Which means it is no longer about 3 or 4 disruptive tech areas; it’s with the underpinnings of disruptive tech capabilities. I feel like I am able to contribute. I am also definitely benefitting from learning in a lot of areas that I haven’t been exposed to before, so it’s a great balance. How is Invest Ottawa helping business owners grow their business? In a lot of different ways. I should mention that our Mission isn’t limited to domestic entrepreneurship;we also do have foreign direct investment and trade components. I feel that it’s really important to have connection between companies you are attracting to your region and the companies you are building to the vehicle of the market. There is a direct connection, but we do all of the things that you expect a company like ours to do. We help companies by fostering entrepreneurship, we attract new entrepreneurs to take the plunge,and we help tech accelerator start ups with a whole series of programming that we provide. We help small companies to grow and develop because we connect them with big companies and big markets. Invest Ottawa has one main goal: making Ottawa the most innovative city in Canada. How are you hoping to make that happen? That’s probably an old statement. I think I understand the genesis of it.I think one of the reasons that statement was made many years ago is that Ottawa, as the nation’s capital, is very, very fortunate to have 65 research development labs – which, over generations, created a lot of tech companies. When you look at the statistics in Ottawa, we actually have over 11% of our work force in the tech sector, which is actually quite high. We don’t really think of ourselves these days as making Ottawa the most innovative city in Canada. We think differently about it. We have a vision that is to enable Canada’s capital to reach its full potential as

a globally recognized innovative and futureready region. And the real passion I’d like to lean in on here is Ottawa as the best place to learn, live, and play. I just think of that because, from an environment perspective, we do have an enormous abundance of government workers. One in 5 employees in Ottawa works for the government. But a lot of the work population are in tech jobs. We do provide channel programming, but the direction of our focus is in 3 market led areas. One is with respect to government – Technology. The second is Life Sciences and Health Care, with a focus on health care. And then finally Smart Cities, which includes things like the autonomous vehicle innovation program that we have with the Ontario government, which is kind of interesting because almost 90 companies in Ottawa sell some kind of development of technologies or support of technologies that go into the autonomous vehicle area. As part of this discussion, Ottawa is very active in terms of global markets. Can you talk about some of the challenges that entrepreneurs face when they want to grow their business? We have 46 companies that are directly connected into our Accelerator at Bayview Yards, which is an incredible facility; we are very blessed to have it. There is always a range of start-ups that you end up working with. Some are trying it out for the first time and they end up going down the track. There are always financial issues, there are always challenges in getting the right advice; a lot of what we try to do is to make those connections as early in the cycle as we can. We definitely focus on programming and support coaching. Which, for most, is helping to get things underway, which really is our goal. There is nothing worse than getting bad advice and I think perhaps the only worse thing would be trying to go it alone and not getting any advice at all.There is a lot of very active support working with people that have knowledge and skills in terms of helping these companies. We have in our coaching/ CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 I



mentoring network, over 18 that are active each day with our companies. And they are involved in a wide range of skills, including former CEO’s. I think the challenges that we face, we try to address them in accelerator by aligning them with the right subject matter expertise. They’re needed to move things along. Often companies go down the wrong track; it’s just not working out. It may have nothing to do with the idea. It may have to do with execution. Or it may be the actual idea, which requires more effort on the front end. There are lots of different challenges they face. But we definitely have the support network and programming to help companies to move along that continuum in a positive way. Invest Ottawa offers several services to help business owners develop and grow their business. Can you talk about some of those services and how they can be beneficial for entrepreneurs? Invest Ottawa has early stage training, which we do during the course of the year. We train upwards of 4000 or more people with different programming. If you are a new company or someone considering opening a company, we have a wide range of training that is delivered 100% by volunteers. These are subject matter experts; they might be lawyers, accountants. We even had Shopify present a few weeks ago to some of our mainstream businesses, on how to apply E-Commerce and technology to your business; to broaden market coverage. We have training on the front end, so that’s the early stage part of business. We also offer things like PAW company where we actually help you try out a company. This summer we actually graduated 34 youth companies that went through the program and did a wide range of stuff. We have something called “Start a Company,” which is not limited by age. Another program that is funded by the Ontario government helps companies to get things moving. And we have our Accelerator, which has very strong methodologies that help companies with early idea/innovation all the way through to global scale up. That is a very successful, well classed program and one we are very proud to deliver. Beyond that it is coaches, mentors, and all kinds of programming that we have at our facility at Bayview Yards, which includes major events that happen all year long. We have a capacity to run events for up to 300 people with a very wide range of training & programming. Just a few weeks ago Amazon presented to the Machine Learning User Group in Ottawa and shared their perspective on how they acquired learning techniques through AWS through Amazon. It was a very exciting and well-delivered presentation. Those sorts of 22


things are happening every week at Bayview Yards. In a nutshell,we have had very wide programming over a long period of time that has been quite successful. What makes Ottawa so great, compared to other Canadian cities, that makes you believe it has the potential of becoming the most innovative city in the country? Again, I would say we don’t promote the tagline of being the most innovative city in Canada. I think it’s better to share how we partner really strongly with other organizations coast to coast and globally. Our vision is really to enable our region to achieve its full potential. We spend most of our time partnering and focusing on being connected to global supply chains and global markets, though we do have a very strong capability in a wide range of disruptive tech areas, especially considering how large our IT sector is, with over 70,000 employees. We focus on the market; instead of tech being the primary ticket, we focus on market innovation. That is where we spend most of our time. I mentioned the 3 markets that we have. I believe that if I look further out, those are the areas in which we will really make our mark as a region. We were the first city in Canada to provide a public test track that connected vehicles with large city infrastructure. We had the first two in Canada. One is we tested autonomous vehicles on Canadian streets for the first time. This was last fall, so almost a year ago. And we did that testing connected to live infrastructure. So, it’s not people but its cameras looking at streets and lights. It’s actually cars connected directly using network technology with the city infrastructure. And we have extended this past year by enabling newer technology for the next generation, so we are preparing for how to drive capability in Ottawa to support this auto programming both on public and private test tracks. We have a gated area where we will be testing cars. Some of that is actually occurring at a greenbelt site, so we are testing autonomous vehicles and delivering programming very soon to include 5G Capability. It’s very exciting for our city. These are the sorts of things that help to stand out as a region in global markets, which is our goal. Invest Ottawa deals with several partners to put in place programs and services that can be beneficial to entrepreneurs. How do you go about choosing your partners? We are the central agency in Ottawa that works on a wide range of delivery. From a partnership perspective, we actually partner very closely with all the post-secondary institutions; we do partner very closely

with pretty much every body. We are very complementary; we do not compete with any of our partners. Our main goal is to drive high value job creation and long-term economic growth and community prosperity. We are actually very friendly in that respect. We work very closely with a wide range of partners. How do we select them? Often times there are different bids that they may actually co-propose with local regional players to make sure that we can deliver a wide set of programming connected to government funding and government programming. Our role is very much about delivering economic prosperity and the capability that goes with it. We are wide open to working with a wide set of partners. I would say most of what comes together is just by being open and being friendly to those different types of partnerships. What would you say is the biggest accomplishment of Invest Ottawa? The main thing is that as an organization we started off as being called OCRI(Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation). It’s an organization that goes back a long time. As I look at it, the single biggest accomplishment of Invest Ottawa has been constantly working on this whole area of domestic entrepreneurship and foreign investment and trade as a combined function, which I think really positions us very well to operate strategically. Over the past year and a half, we have done a really smart job of getting together our strategic plan. If I was to call out our biggest accomplishment, it would be around building a very strong foundation in the region and then executing against a new plan that takes advantage of full accessibility to position us for the future. There is a full video on our Strategic Plan on our website, which includes a composite understanding of the “Why Ottawa” story and “Why Ottawa is unique.” What you will see in there is a unified approach towards building on our very strong history and legacy of being a tech centric city that is always looking forward. Can you talk about some of the challenges you face on a daily basis and how you overcome them? The challenges that we have are challenges that any accelerator or incubator or foreign investment trade group would have. We have far more demand than supply of services. We are constantly trying to make sure that we are upping our game every day and every week and every month toward being able to focus on the right areas and deliver the highest quality of service. The challenges are the disconnect between veracious demand and the supply that we have to support that


demand. And I think that will only increase for all of us because of the characteristics of the 4th Industrial Revolution, where anyone can create a business in a very specialized way. It’s supplying services where you can have a general purpose. That is how we deal with the challenges; through focus and making very clear decisions about which markets we are in the best position to take advantage of over a long period of time. That is probably how I would characterize it. What makes Invest Ottawa better than other organisations who are doing the same thing for entrepreneurs? Invest Ottawa, from a strategic perspective, is making very clear decisions that are market led. Some regions focus on specific disruptive tech areas, which I think is okay, and you have to have that capacity and capability. But I think in a much longer-term sense where you are reallythinking of big global markets and developing relationships worldwide. Take, for example, health care. Creating networks of healthcare relationships with big hospitals and with big industry players in healthcare over 10 years that will have a very significant impact. Disruption comes and goes but markets tend to have a much longer runway, and if you are connected to the strategic positions of markets, you will have a far better position. I wouldn’t characterize us as better than any other organization. I can say that our focus, I believe, makes us more relevant in markets where we strategically go after them. If you could give any advice to entrepreneurs who are just starting off, what would it be? The simple thing is being clear in the markets you are serving and very clear about what it is that you are offering. Make it about value; if you have a value proposition that resonates with a user and you are not only providing a service that people want to use but they are prepared to buy, that is all the difference. When I was in MBA school, one of the lessons that our marketing professor provided that sticks with me today is, “It’s the fish’s taste in flies that matters.”I really do believe that oftentimes entrepreneurs can get caught up in doing their own thinking; you really have to do market validation; you do have to make sure that what you are offering resonates with your target, not just with yourself. You really have to understand your target market. Some of the most successful companies that I’ve dealt with are the ones that really do understand in extreme detail what that market needs; they find what that niche is and they go after it hard. What would you say are the three common mistakes that entrepreneurs

make when they launch their business, and how can Invest Ottawa help them? Companies will take short cuts at the front end. We have a pre-accelerator program, for if they are not quite ready to go through a full coaching, full mentoring process. We offer to help them get to that stage. You want to take care of basics, like filing your company, make sure that you have the right advice on setting up governance, selecting appropriate board members. The biggest area that entrepreneurs will blow past is that first section, and they will be in trouble later on because they haven’t established the company properly. I think the biggest thing that I would highly recommend is to “Make Sure You Get the Basics Right.” And the way that Invest Ottawa supports that is through early stage programming and some of the early coaching and mentoring. To help those companies get the fundamentals in place; have a good foundation right from the start. Don’t get hung up on the invention, itself; you have to think about what the market wants. It’s not enough to have something that is a really cool invention. Consumers need to want it or businesses need to want it and they need to be willing to pay for it. It isn’t just enough to create an app; lots of people use apps that are free. You want to be able to build a business around it where cash is flying and you are able to scale your business because you are able to fuel it.

fail based on how much attention they pay to how their region listens to the world economy. The driver for me is that I was very inspired by the book. I was already thinking of what I could do to give back. I’m very happy I did. I have learned a ton. We have accomplished a great deal in the 20 months that I have been involved. I have got a great team around me and I really do feel that we are making some ground. We recognize that there are tremendous opportunities but there are also tremendous challenges for those that don’t seize the moment and go after it. We really are trying within our vision to focus on 3 specific objectives that we have set out for ourselves. Any strategic plan is good for 3-5 years. 1.

Really driving hard to deliver worldclass operational excellence. We want to have the very best programming for domestic entrepreneurs and to attract companies to our region in a strategic way.


Passionately drive market-led innovation, which is that idea I was discussing earlier of positioning yourself in long range strategic markets. If we develop capability in our region in and around those markets, the companies that are part of it are going to be extremely well positioned. And if we are doing it correctly, we are doing it very closely with our post-secondary institutions. We will be creating and driving innovation.


Drive hard in optimizing market-led talent attraction. I believe our city is in a good position on that.

Where do you see Invest Ottawa 10 years from today? That’s a good question. 10 years is a very long time. I do believe we will make Ottawa stand out dramatically, and position the capital region overall as being a global tech accelerator. If I was to fast-forward 10 years, Ottawa can be Canada’s accelerator for government technologies so much so that we can be recognized on a world stage forbeing a government technology hub; the place to go if you are government, to find out how to advance your government programming, because Canada has it together. They are organized around coordinating that activity coast to coast. We are very hopeful that over 10 years we will be the clear recognized leaders in Canada in gov-tech. What inspired you to go into this line of business? My main reason for getting into this was that I read a book called “The 4th Industrial Revolution.” It provides a very clear economic prediction of the future. “There has never been a time of greater promise or greater peril.” At my core I believe that. I believe that left to their own devices, cities will succeed or

Ottawa is uniquely positioned to create STEM talents. One in 5 STEM students in Canada is enrolled physically in Ottawa post-secondary institutions. Because we have such deep capability in terms of government R & D, we are very well positioned to capitalize on that talent capability that is being produced in Ottawa. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 I





Co-founder and chief brand officer of, Stephanie Ciccarelli first developed her business idea with her husband. Founded in Ontario, the company is now the world’s largest online marketplace for voice actors and their employers. Considered as one of the most connected people in the industry, Ciccarelli has used her voice to empower women through spoken word, the written word, and song for over twenty years. She believes in the power of voice and she helps others improve their craft through her podcast, Sound Stories. You co-founded with your husband. What was the inspiration behind it? Great question! My husband and I both hail from industry. His background is in audio engineering and mine is in music, specifically voice. One of our shared passions is connecting people to complete meaningful work. We believe that all people have dignity and that there is dignity in work. Spotting an opportunity in a fragmented market like ours to help others connect those dots while applying our purpose, passion and skills inspired the founding of You’re a strong believer of the power of voice and that it can help empower people. How do you believe has impacted people? Do you believe it has had a huge impact and if so, how? The human voice is one of the most powerful and persuasive tools a marketer has. The voice, while important on many levels, serves principally as a vehicle for the words being expressed. As we know, words can be used to build up or to tear down. We choose at to work on those projects that give life, not drain it. Words that give people hope, words that educate them and stories that entertain. The words you hear stay with 24


you and affect you deeply one way or another. Words are powerful. Tone and interpretation also play pivotal roles in how messages are communicated and received. To know that the work we have completed is heard all around the world is astonishing. It’s possible that messages recorded on our platform have graced the ears of approximately 4 billion people, maybe more. That’s a lot of ears, hearts and minds to connect with. What is your biggest accomplishment so far? What are you most proud of? The biggest accomplishment for me personally is that we have been able to positively impact so many people, be it through meaningful work opportunities or the hearing of voice overs recorded on the platform. Knowing that lives are being changed for the better because of Voices. com is a real blessing. is a channel for launching and establishing successful voice acting careers. It is also the place where people know they can go to achieve their goal of finding a voice that connects with their audience. From an entrepreneurial perspective, employing over 100 people in our city full-time and sharing this journey with our

teammates for over 13 years means a lot to me and to my husband. Can you talk about some of the daily challenges you face and how you overcome them? Some of the daily challenges I face as a creative is keeping my inspiration bucket full. I have to remember to feed myself because no one is going to do it for me. When I need a boost, I’ll read some inspirational quotes, have short visits with colleagues to acknowledge their good work or take a walk outside to get those creative juices flowing again. Recharging is so key, especially when you run your own business. Also, working in a tech company, it’s really easy to be looking at screens for hours on end, typing away. When I’m feeling like I have been at it for too long, it helps to physically remove myself from the computer and start interacting with the real world. For me, that might look like writing on a whiteboard with a coloured dry erase marker. We have a number of walls in our office that have whiteboard paint on them. Brainstorming on one of those gets me out of the digital realm and into the real world.


You started a podcast called Sound Stories. Can you tell us what inspired you to start the podcast and what you’re hoping to accomplish through it? Sound Stories is a podcast geared toward creative producers who are looking to infuse greater meaning in their content to foster a stronger connection with their audiences. We started the podcast because I wanted to better connect with our client base (advertising agencies, producers, marketers, etc.). The challenge was, how to best do that when there are so many different companies out there with a diverse set of needs project wise. After boiling it down, I realized that storytelling is what brings all creatives together. Given storytelling is the common denominator, we used it as the unifying glue for the podcast. What resources helped you out when you first launched your business? What tools were a huge help to make the success that it is today?

that you care and that something should be done. Not all businesses are started because someone has a great idea. Sometimes it is because you see a great need and you feel a burden to meet that need. Finding the intersection of where your passion, skills and purpose collide with that heartache will create room for you and your venture. With all of this in alignment, starting a business with the goal of creating real, positive change is within your reach. Where do you see going in the next 10 years? What is the main goal? is poised to scale and serve more people than we could ever imagine. Our goal is to be the place where the world gets its voice. On a different note, what’s it like working with your husband?

adventure. David and I have learned over time that we are very different people, which is great because we each bring something special to the table. Being so very different though also presents challenges personality wise, be it with regard to communication, where we draw energy from, how information is gleaned/interpreted and how decisions are made. The key to any relationship is love and respect. Marriage refines you as does working together as business partners. One way that we manage our working relationship is by remembering that it is just one facet of our relationship. In the Three Circle Model for family business, there is the Family Circle, The Ownership Circle and the Business Circle. The opportunity for growth in all three circles is immense. We’re excited for the future and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Working with my husband has been an

We had an amazing support system in our city for our business to grow and thrive. In our earliest days, TechAlliance was absolutely pivotal to our growth as entrepreneurs and as an organization. We were located at the time in the University of Western Ontario Research Park (now called Western University), surrounded by resources of all kinds and other entrepreneurs who inspired us and grew with us. Aside from tools and connections, it is living in community that propels you forward. You can’t grow in isolation. Make it part of your business plan to connect with others and contribute to your local startup community. Do you have any regrets? If you could go back and do something differently, what would it be? If there was anything I would go back and do differently, it would be to establish a morning routine that not only gets me through the day, but is truly energizing. We all need to plug into a power source to get ourselves going. For the longest time, I was relying on caffeinated tea and sugar to do that for me. What I came to realize though is that focusing on my spiritual well being is actually where I get my strength from and feel more alive. Making prayer a priority and connecting with God makes my days better. When I fail to do this, it doesn’t matter how much tea I drink. I still get thirsty. There’s no substitute for that. If you could give advice to women entrepreneurs who are starting out in the business world, what would it be? Think of a problem in the world that breaks your heart. You might even get angry about the problem, and that’s okay. It just means

ADVICE FOR ENTREPRENEURS Something you can do to make your business even better in 2019 is to remember why you're doing what you're doing. A purpose-driven business will keep you inspired and motivated to reach your overall goals. Remembering the Why behind your business is also key to retaining existing customers and gaining new ones. Likewise, regularly communicating the Why of your organization in the workplace may also result in greater employee engagement, retention and the tangible living out of your company’s mission, vision and values. At the end of the day, this positively benefits your customers. If you've lost sight of your first love (i.e. your passion for what you do), now's the time to dig deep, reclaim it and let that energy and enthusiasm carry you, your team and your customers into the next calendar year and beyond. - Stephanie Ciccarelli, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer at




CANADIAN LGBT AND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE JOINING FORCES TO BRING DIVERSITY TO CANADA’S BUSINESSES Founded in 2003, the Canadian LGBT and Chamber of Commerce is focussed on bringing the LGBT community together with businesses in Canada. Strong believers of diversity, the CGLCC is encouraging economic growth by supporting the LGBT community and their businesses. To help LGBT entrepreneurs succeed, the Canadian LGBT and Chamber of Commerce is focusing on four key areas: access, engagement, visibility and support.






Access: By creating a relationship between the LGBT business community and the corporate world, LGBT entrepreneurs will have further access to new business opportunities. The Canadian LGBT and Chamber of Commerce will also be offering programs to educate LGBT businesses about policies, regulations and opportunities so they have every chance at success.

Engagement: The Canadian LGBT and Chamber of Commerce is a promoter of LGBT businesses demonstrating that Canada’s economy encourages diversity and inclusion. They will also be putting in place a forum where people will have the chance to meet and exchange information so they can share knowledge and encourage other businesses.

Visibility: By doing regular workshops, webinars and events, the Canadian LGBT and Chamber of Commerce is bringing awareness to LGBT businesses within Canada.

Support: The CGLCC is providing training, mentoring, supplier diversity and global programs so LGBT businesses can get all the support that they need to be able to grow their business. They will feel supported every step of the way as they work hard to make their business successful.


Specific programs have been put in place by the Canadian LGBT and Chamber of Commerce which are designed to help LGBT businesses grow and succeed: Supplier Diversity Corporations understand the economic and social value of having diverse suppliers. Therefore, they’re now requesting to solely deal with companies who are run by women, Aboriginals, visible minorities and the LGBT community. Some companies are even including supplier diversity goals into their annual performance objectives. Training and Mentoring The CGLCC creates and delivers its own programs that are designed to increase the capacity of LGBT business owners and entrepreneurs. They also endorse and facilitate access to supporting materials and trainings for businesses of all different types. Among their list of programs are the LGBT Youth Entrepreneur Program which is focussed on helping groups of new entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39 and the LGBT Diversity and Inclusion Training for Workplaces which offers online training courses on LGBT diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Global Program The CGLCC Global Program helps Canadian businesses expand globally by promoting Canada as being a country that is welcoming of LGBT entrepreneurs. They provide access to international networks, partnership opportunities with other LGBT businesses in other countries, inside information about how to do business internationally as well as their trends and markets. The CGLCC Global Program also gives access to the LGBT Chamber of Commerce in other countries which can be very resourceful for LGBT business owners and entrepreneurs. For further information about the Canadian LGBT and Chamber of Commerce, visit their website at or call them at 1-866-300-7556.




Darrell is the co-founder and CEO of the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to expand the economic opportunities and advancement of the LGBT business community in Canada. Prior, Darrell was the Managing Partner at DNA Marketing Group, a specialized marketing company offering a full range of services for the tourism industry. Darrell spent 6 years with VIA Rail Canada as Manager of Market Development and 5 years with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council as Director of Sales & Marketing. Darrell is also the co-founder of the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Business Education Foundation and Travel Gay Canada.

What inspired you to co-found the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce?

thriving Canadian economy and how does the LGBT community play an important part in the that.

It’s my passion for entrepreneurship. When I was growing up, my father was an entrepreneur and I was around that passion my entire childhood. Combining that with my commitment to support the LGBT community: that’s where I saw a huge need to further help the LGBT community grow. So it was a natural fit to combine those two things together.

Our Supplier diversity program helps corporate Canada connect with the LGBT community. That is one of the biggest impacts- giving LGBT businesses greater access to procurement opportunities.

The Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce was founded in 2003. In the fifteen years that it’s been active, what are some of the impacts that you’ve seen the CLGBT have on Canadian businesses? In terms of the 15 years, we have managed to build some really great programming. When we first launched, we launched with tourism and to support our Canadian businesses here. And that put a spotlight on the LGBT tourism in Canada – Canadian LGBT travellers spend $8.6B on a travel year. Certainly, we as an organization help to shine a light on the importance that the tourism industry has on the Canadian economy. We have developed over the years to keep the same mandate in mind: How are we helping to stimulate a

How do you believe the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce is helping Canadian entrepreneurs? We believe that we help economically empower the LGBT community. We’re doing that by helping create opportunities, access to opportunities and helping make those connections – both with SMEs and with corporate Canada. We also connect LGBT businesses with public opportunities – we work with the federal government and municipalities to create those opportunities).

Can you talk about some of the programs that the CGLCC offers to small and medium-sized business owners? The first would be the Supplier Diversity program that I mentioned earlier – creating a network between corporate Canada and the

LGBT community. Earlier this year, we launched a youth program that supports young LGBT entrepreneurs. Basically, the core piece of the youth program is to help connect young LGBT entrepreneurs with mentors that help them on their journey: starting, growing or scaling their business. Another core program is our global program: How do we support our entrepreneurs globally? This past year we did the first ever LGBT “Trade mission” to the US lead by Minister Jim Carr, the Minister of International Trade Diversification. We work on creating these types of opportunities domestically and internationally.

As Co-Founder and CEO of the CGLCC, what are some of the initiatives that you have or hope to put in place that can help business owners? Looking forward, for the youth program, the key part is the mentorship program. In 2019, the main question is how do we take that and make that accessible to all businesses (not just young entrepreneurs). Mentorship is key for entrepreneurs (not just young individuals). How do we continue to further support our businesses when they are looking to access capital – sometimes its more challenging and CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 I



there are barriers. So how do facilitate and support them to access capital? One of the things that we’re focused on is how do we, as an organization, represent all members of our community. Specifically, women entrepreneurs and individuals that identify as Trans entrepreneurs – how do we support them as best as we can. So next year, we’ll focus on building a “Trans inclusion task force”. Those are the areas that we continue to look at implementing.

there on our own but partnering with those organizations that can help us with our mandate.

What are some of the challenges you face on a daily basis and how do you overcome them?

We work with a variety of organizations and partners. In the LGBT space, there are other LGBT business-related groups. Their focus, however, is not so much on entrepreneurs, rather, LGBT inclusion broadly. We also work with other diversity groups as well: Womenspecific, Aboriginal and other visible minorities. We help to further increase the supplier diversity which is one of our core programs. When you have community groups that have historically not had the same access over the years, it’s amazing to speak with one unified voice. For all these groups, it’s more powerful when we speak as one large voice.

As an organization, we are a not for profit organization so our challenge is to utilize our resources to deliver on the program that we want to be able to deliver. But probably more broadly is creating awareness of the need to support LGBT businesses and the understanding of LGBT economic impact that can have on a community or on our country. In terms of overcoming some of these challenges – it’s working very closely with partners and collaborating and a lot of what we do is making sure that was not going in

The CGLCC works with several organisations and partners to put in place their programs and help entrepreneurs. Can you talk about some of the organisations that you partner up with?

The government has been a very big partner of ours. We have done work with the federal

government - our LGBT entrepreneurs have the opportunity to go global and be successful. Furthermore, none of this would be possible without our corporate partners. If they didn’t see the value of what we do, none of this would be possible.

Where do you see the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce going in the next 5 years? What’s the main goal? Our mandate has always been to support the Canadian LGBT entrepreneurs. Now it’s more about the LGBT community knowing that entrepreneurship is a realistic possibility and there are organizations out there to support them. I’d love to see more and more LGBT entrepreneurs out there start to identify themselves as business owners and show our strength as a community.

On a more personal note, what do you enjoy doing in your free time? My background is in tourism. I’m very passionate about travel. So in my free time, I like to travel, explore new places, meet new people, and good food!

Established in 2003, the CGLCC is a trusted partner linking LGBT+ businesses in Canada to the wider business community. It fosters economic growth by supporting and nurturing LGBT+ businesses, entrepreneurs, students and allies, and by helping Canada’s corporate world connect with the LGBT+ business community. A leader in supplier diversity, it is also the certifying body in Canada for LGBT+ businesses.




HOW SKILLS FOR CHANGE IS MAKING NEW IMMIGRANTS CANADA’S FUTURE ENTREPRENEURS Skill for Change is an organisation that provides learning and training opportunities to immigrants and refugees. Their mission is to give them access to every occasion where they can grow and contribute in the workplace and within the community. Strong believer that a community is better and stronger when everyone comes together, Skill for Change has put in place several programs and resources to help new comers take part in the job force and business world. Skill for Change believes that if immigrants and refugees are able to contribute their part in the business world, then it can only help the economy grow. Skill for Change has helped a lot of immigrants across Canada. As CEO of the company, what would you say is one of the biggest accomplishments that Skill for Change has made? One of the biggest accomplishments that Skill for Change has made is that we supply businesses with employees. A small business can receive up to $10,000 per employee from the Canada Ontario Job Grant program to retrain their current staff. We serve over 14,000 people per year and help companies with recruiting, training, mentoring, and subsidies. 2018 marks 36 years of business. This is quite the celebration. If you think about when the company first started out 36 years ago, how far do you think Skill for Change has come from when it first launched? When Skill for Change first started, it was a very small organization geared toward helping refugees in Vietnam. Now we have expanded to 10 locations, serving the GTA and as far west as Stratford. We have grown from $200K in funding in our first year to $7M per year. There has been dramatic growth in terms of the number of clients and locations. We now have partnerships with businesses such as Accenture and Deloitte. You have a great program to help new immigrants start their own business, called the Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub. Can you talk about the inspiration behind this program? Prior to coming to Skill for Change, I was an entrepreneur. I established and ran a company for 9 years. What I recognized is that a lot of newcomers have an entrepreneurial mindset and good business sense. What they do need is entrepreneurial training, skills, mentors, and contacts to be able to build a successful business in the Canadian economy.

As you may be aware, most of the Canadian economy is based on small businesses. We have a wealth of knowledge & expertise within the newcomer community and we want to tap into that. About a year ago, we ran a pilot project to test training programs for newcomer entrepreneurs. It was so successful that we applied for and received funding from the government, and created The Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub. This Hub has a physical space in which newcomers can hold meetings and run their businesses at the business center. There is also 10 weeks of training, coupled with mentor matching with an established entrepreneur. We are quite confident that we will help train the next generation of small and medium sized business owners in Canada, because our pilot program was very successful. Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub is a ten-week program that offers guidance and resources, helping business owners in the process of starting their company. Can you go more into detail about what the program offers and how it can help entrepreneurs? This consists of10 weeks of in-class instruction, for 5 hours each day. We try to accommodate the demands of time by having classes in the evenings & weekends. They will be trained on marketing, finance, legal requirements, business plan development, hiring rights & obligations of employers, marketing, and scaling of their business. They will also be matched with a mentor who has run a department or business or functional area.Also, depending on their needs, we are supportive in getting funds, because not all entrepreneurs have the funds to start a business. We try to make sure people are employed as they pursue their business ventures. We will collaborate and hold “pitch” sessions and maybe partner with getting venture capitalists to come to pitch sessions so the participants may have a chance to get financial support for their business ideas.

Aside from helping business owners come up with an efficient business plan and providing mentorship and coaching, Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub also offers access to Business Training Tools. Can you specify what that is, and what are some of the tools offered? Some of the tools we offer entrepreneurs include software; we have a simulation tool, and we also provide them with training on QuickBooks and Microsoft Office tools so they can manage their finances. We have sales tools and marketing materials, online social media tools, and training on how to tap into social media to promote their business. What would you say is one of the biggest challenges that new immigrants face when wanting to start their own business in Canada? The biggest challenge is that they don’t have the networks & connections. We help to smooth a path into introductions or business development. Those are the biggest challenges that they face. That is why we bring in mentors and host networking and pitch sessions to help them build the connections that they need -whether that is funding or marketing or getting a partnership. Those are all keys to being successful. Finally, to inspire our readers, can you talk about a success story from someone who did the Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub program? We have had multiple success stories. One is about a young man from Hamilton by the name of Craig, who started a marketing business. He was a newcomer to Canada. He participated in the pitch session, applied for and received funding, and opened his office. He created his own space for that, which was really great.



About Next Founders

Vision A nation of bold, successful innovators whose achievements in Canada and on the global stage fuel greater prosperity at home.

Next Founders is a NEXT Canada program that provides founders of high growth ventures with founder development, an incredible peer network and access to investors and customers to help them scale. We believe that by fast-tracking the development of Canada’s most talented innovators, we will help create industry-changing businesses and grow Canada's long-term prosperity. For more information, please visit:

Mission Develop exceptional talent to build world-class ventures,foster lifelong entrepreneurship, and propelthe adoption of cutting-edge technologies. Corporate Boiler Plate (long) NEXT Canada is a national, non-profit organization that develops exceptional talent to create world-class ventures and propel technology adoption. Founded in 2010 as The Next 36 by a group of pioneering business leaders and academics, NEXT Canada is today a leader in the delivery of cutting-edge programming designed to foster lifelong entrepreneurship in three streams: NextAI, Next 36 and Next Founders. Our programs, delivered through meaningful partnerships between government and the private sector, strengthen the foundations of Canada’s current and future health and prosperity. NEXT Canada is supported by generous National Partners including, EY, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, and Power Corp as well as NextAI Founding Partners, BDC Capital, Magna, RBC and Scotiabank.NEXT Canada has directly impacted over 370 alumni who have built companies including, Bridgit, Deep, Kira Talent, Nymi and Thalmic Labs. These alumni have created over 1,300 jobs and $319 million in economic impact.





For more information, please visit: About Next 36 Next 36 is a NEXT Canada program that delivers a world-class founder development program to Canada’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The program provides a select group of undergraduate students and recent grads with a unique combination of education, mentorship and up to $80,000 in seed investment to launch a new business. We believe that by fast-tracking the development of Canada’s most talented young innovators, we will help create industrychanging businesses and grow Canada's long-term prosperity. For more information, please visit About NextAI NextAI is a NEXT Canada program that was launched to create a worldleading AI ecosystem in Canada by funding, supporting,and mentoring entrepreneurs working on AI technology. The program is open to both Canadian and international students, professionals and entrepreneurs, who are interested in developing and building commercially viable ideas underpinned by artificial intelligence.This is the third program launched by NEXT Canada, a national non-profit organization devoted to fostering entrepreneurship in Canada.NextAI is delivered in two of Canada’s AI hotbeds: Montréal and Toronto. NextAI - Montréal is delivered in partnership with HEC Montréal. For more information, please visit:



NEXT Canada is building a nation of bold, successful innovators.



By Victoria Lennox, CEO- Startup Canada

Building a startup can oftentimes be a very lonely road; however, the good news is that there is no need to do it solo. The most successful entrepreneurs out there have leveraged their networks, have talked to mentors, attended conferences and talked to people who “have been there, done that”. This way, they can get better insights not only regarding technical tasks or skills but also on how to deal with the stress, frustration, and anxiety that may arise when starting up. In fact, many entrepreneurs mention that in order to achieve success, building a strong network before you start up is crucial as that network will possibly provide you with future clients, mentors or even investors. Most importantly, some of the people in that network will become your “trusted circle”, a circle of people, either friends and/or family that will be there to support you through thick and thin. Every entrepreneur knows the journey isn’t always a bed of roses, and you will need this circle for support along the way.

Building a network In order to build a network, entrepreneurs need to get out there and make time in their busy schedules to attend meetups, conferences, and accelerators and not to be scared to reach out for help. Entrepreneurship as a concept is now a reality and there are several organizations and government programs that offer not only funding support, but also a network of mentors and peer entrepreneurs to have a chat with. When it comes to people, entrepreneurs should always keep in mind that the next person they meet might become their CoFounder or CEO later on!

Four eyes can see what two eyes can't You would be surprised to know that many productive and creative conversations - even solutions - come up during informal contexts like Startup Drinks where you can meet new people that give you a different perspective on a specific topic. Now, if the benefits of leveraging and building a network are so numerous, why do many entrepreneurs still choose to ride solo? There are several reasons, from egos to personality traits or even lack of information, yet the truth is that four eyes can see what two eyes can't. Your solution may be great, but it could be even greater. How? You only need to reach an angle you haven’t reached because you are standing in one side of the room, and that’s when you need a third party in the room to tell you what they can see from their perspective. That's a great way to combine forces and ideas to come up with a bigger and better one!

ADVICE FOR ENTREPRENEURS Canadian entrepreneurs need to start thinking globally in order to achieve success in 2019. In 2018 we saw that the ecosystem is maturing: nowadays, Canada has amazing entrepreneurs and companies, there are more resources to leverage, more funding opportunities are being created, and entrepreneurs now have more access than ever before to building a start-up. A factor that is missing though is a global mindset. In order to be successful in 2019, entrepreneurs need to think about going global from the first start. This does not mean taking the leap from the beginning but considering going global in the early stages of business. When you have that goal in mind, your product or service will adapt to a global audience from the very start, making it easier to get out there when the time comes and own the podium for Canada. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 I





Starting a small business is challenging. Finding the right idea, planning it out, promoting and so forth. It’s overwhelming to say the least and there’s always that fear of it not working out. A lot of entrepreneurs invest time and money for to launch their business for it to not work out in the end. So why not start small? So many great businesses started at home before going big. People often think to start a business you need to put a crazy amount of money into it. Not necessarily. There are so many at home businesses that don’t require you to put money into it at all, or very little at the least.

FREELANCING Freelancing is extremely popular and on high demand. So many people are offering their services from the comfort of their home, why not be one of those people? Find what you’re good at and put up on add. Whether it’s writing, translating, graphic or web design, there is opportunity for you to freelance. Websites like PeoplePerHour, Upwork and Fiverr make it easy for you to offer your services. They are the gurus of freelancing. You can even put your add in your local Craigslist or Kijiji. It doesn’t cost you anything and clients will come. All you need is your laptop or computer and you’re pretty much set. Find out what your good at and passionate about, and start working on your add. You’ve got nothing to lose.

YOUTUBE CHANNEL Having a YouTube channel is huge right now. It’s the new trend and everyone is doing it. If you’re good on camera and have a good way of keeping people interested when you talk, then having a YouTube channel is perfect for you. From makeup and hair tutorial to cooking to reviewing or commenting on current events, there’s bound to be something you can talk about. People love it and the more views you get, the more money you make. 32


BECOME A BRAND AMBASSADOR There are so many companies looking for people to promote and sell their products. Why not find one you’re passionate about and become their ambassador? Obsessed with Tupperware? Contact them and become an ambassador by hosting parties and events to sell some and make commission from it. Whether it’s Tupperware, Mary Kay, Herbalife or organic oils, there are hundreds of companies to choose from. So, find one you love and make a living out of it by becoming an ambassador. There are hundreds of businesses you can do from home, all you have to do is find out what you’re passionate about and start doing it. There’s no time like today, so do some research and start your business. It’s time you started living your dream.

SELLING PRODUCTS If you’re good at baking, crafting or making accessories, then why not start your own little workshop at home and start selling them? You can start small and then see how it goes from there. It doesn’t take much and you can promote your business on social media like Facebook and Instagram.


5 FIVE WAYS TO TURN YOUR STARTUP INTO A SUCCESS STORY What is that one thing which Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson share? Apple wasn’t always headquartered at Cupertino with more than 100 stores operating globally, and neither was Branson’s Virgin group of companies merged with 400 firms overnight. These entrepreneurs did not take any shortcuts in achieving what they dreamt of. They took one step at a time. They all started small and gradually grew themselves big into multinational firms. PERFORM EFFECTIVE RESEARCH Research is the key to give you an in-depth view of the market on the inside. You can easily hit a billion-dollar idea and yet end up discarding it, just because you didn’t think it had the potential to survive! What you did wrong was that you never performed an effective research. Research shows whether your product is going to turn beneficial for the community or even if it will survive in the long run. Specify sometime on your schedule to perform adequate research on the project. In fact, sign up on different social media platforms and pitch your idea to various groups and communities. Allow others to present their opinions and build constructive criticism on it. You can’t imagine what fruitful results may come out for you; some belonging to the most enthusiastic business owners from around the world. Do your Research! It is vital for success.

UNDERSTAND THE MARKET If you know your idea is valid and has the potential to become another success story, the next challenging task you can end up facing is how to build the right audience for your specific business. Here’s why you need to understand the market more thoroughly than before. Market analysis is essential! You need to learn what drives your customers to make buying decisions, and how you are going to convince them, so they make that purchase. It is unavoidable to address that once you start your business, you will be entirely consumed with the operational dealings. You may also find it difficult to settle with abrupt adjustments. A proper market research will help you gain insight into your customer and product and eventually, you can deploy your business to yield fruitful results in the long run. Letting your customers know what you are offering them and how you are offering them gives you an advantage over competitors on the market. Thus your business can omit the initial steps to growth hacking.

MAKE EXCEPTIONAL PRODUCT We are all aware of the fact that nothing in the world is perfect. However, whoever said you couldn’t strive to make it a perfect fit for your business? What we can always do is fine-tune our products to match as close to the ideal state as possible. Even though you tweak and maintain your product and business every day, you will realize that there is always more room for improvement. Therefore, you should commit yourself to a single purpose... create an endless loop of testing and tweaking with a mindset to keep your customers always happy. Yes, it is all about customer satisfaction, and yes! Business does flourish if you have a large community of satisfied customers bouncing around all the time. Make sure that your audience walks away from your doorstep knowing that you give your best to deliver them a par-excellent experience.



Over the past decade, technology has dramatically transformed the world around us. With the introduction of smartphones and the Internet, businesses are resulting in more profitable outcomes as never before. If you are not advertised online, or you don’t have a website, you may not be entirely recognized among the educated and literate larger population around the world.

You have laid the foundation, you have performed the research, you understand your market, and you have an online presence... hmm so what else is there that’s missing! A resonance! Yes, it is time to create those ripples (the one you longed for) by sending your product out into the market. As they say, you may strike when the iron is hot! Also, yours is already burning red.

To make your business connect with people in a more orderly fashion, it is necessary that you create an online presence for your business. A website will help customers understand your product, and it will give them the chance to connect with you by dropping a single message. While phone numbers and business cards can be misplaced, an online message may remain in your inbox for a while. So, think about it! An online presence does matter.

Create personalized pitches, contact journalists and bloggers, design the perfect content, target all size of businesses and start with publications already. It is time to create a buzz about your business. Make sure your product appears in different online/offline magazines and local entrepreneurs’ websites. Buy email lists and send press releases to them! Your audience should know that a new giant has stepped into the market. Therefore, you see, it’s not as difficult as it is perceived to be. I accept that the competition on the market is more of frenzy and it is not always easy to take the initial step, but time never stops, and the opportunity window can easily slip. So, instead of waiting for that chance to move on, go! Grab it before it’s too late. Network efficiently, maintain relationships and mix it all up with a great plan! I assure you, your business is going nowhere below the break-even line. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 I



X-Out the Negatives By David W Smith CMC, ACC

ave you ever had a bad day? week? month? year? Well that’s common as we are exposed to a lot of negative messaging and uncertainty in our businesses and lives. Shifting social/political/ economic trends, thousands of daily media messages, hundreds of emails and texts, very few of which deliver messages of good cheer. A study from a US-based family research institute revealed that even the average family says ten negative messages to every positive one. John Gottman Ph.D., researcher and psychologist, finds that it takes five positives to erase every one negative. Psychologist, Marcial Losada, Ph.D., used mathematical modeling to determine there is a ratio of three positive comments, experiences or expressions to fend off the languishing effects for one negative. It’s clear we have many circumstances to X-Out the negatives in our personal and professional lives. As I work with leaders in many industries, I continually find that no one is immune from the need to develop the art of digesting massive doses of negativity. Health in the storm requires developing the right perspective toward problems, life, people, time, and our self-image. I’ve heard it said that ... our attitude determines our altitude in life. John Milton wrote in Paradise Lost that, “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” 34


Our negative attitudes, thoughts, and emotions can cause us to live well below our abilities and keep us from achieving great things. Life has a way, if we are not careful and diligent, of bringing us into a form of subtle bondage where our attitudes and thoughts hold us in the vise-like grip of ineffectiveness, frustration, and possibly even depression. (Future Achievement Int.) In 2004, a Harvard University Crimson poll revealed that 4 in 5 Harvard students suffered from depression once in a school year. Depression rates today are ten times what they were in 1960. (Peterson, C. 2005) In Canada, we hear that 1 in 5 will experience clinical depression in their lives. When this occurs, the consequences for our productivity and our ability to rise to a level of personal excellence can be disastrous. It’s important to admit that we are all going to have negative, challenging events that may even hurt us, occur in our businesses and beyond. That is life! We all struggle through difficult times. One of the major secrets to maximizing our character and personal leadership effectiveness (PLE) is in the way we learn to deal with negativity. You may share the observation I have that some people seem to be reservoirs of negativity. They seem to be filled with an endless stream of criticism, discouragement, rumours and innuendos...all intended to keep trouble stirred up. When this type of person

enters our businesses or lives, we must find ways to filter out their negativity to avoid being pulled down and risk having the joy of being ripped away. If not, we risk becoming infected and spreading the same disease.

Negativity Must Be Erased… X-Out Here’s a simple analogy, you'll notice that almost every pencil has an eraser to remove a writing mistake. In a sense, the eraser is there to help X-Out the Negative result and allow for the creation of a positive and successful result. Every human being has an “eraser.” It is our free will to erase certain mistakes made or bad attitudes we are exposed to. We can choose to allow the negative stuff to cause us fear, anxiety, and discouragement. Or we can choose to X-Out the Negatives in life and focus on the things and people that are positive, affirming, and encouraging. The point in that we all have the choice to “erase” what we want and create and make better personal and professional circumstances. I’ve found great relevance in supporting business leaders and their teams in personal and team leadership effectiveness with Dr. Ron Jenson’s work…


“Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.” Most of what we fear will never happen.

ABC’s of X-Out the Negatives ACCEPT PROBLEMS - don’t deny them, because in reality, work and life often have difficulties and what we make of them depends on the challenges we choose to accept or seek. Small house… small problems; big house… big problems. •

LEARN FROM MISTAKES. That’s where innovation comes from. Fail fast, fail often, but always fail forward.

CHOOSE TO BE POSITIVE IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. That is a choice we can all make in each moment and situation.

TAKE RISKS… It keeps us on our toes. When we make prudent decisions, smart choices and take leaps of faith, then we can really live full and productive lives.


Believe and affirm every day that we are significant and that we have soft spots (weaknesses) to conquer methodically with new habits.

Believe that others are around to help, not harm. When we trust ourselves and others, much more will be achieved.

Take the right view toward life by being thankful (Grateful). According to psychologist Robert Emmons Ph.D. (2007), “Grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving, and less likely to be depressed, anxious or lonely. Few things in life are as integral to our well being.”


Reject your fears.

As Zig Ziglar says,

Root out doubt… which often stems from cognitive thinking distortions. Dr. Dave Burns has many solid remedies in his text ‘Feeling Good’.

Realize the possibilities and practice positive, accurate thinking. Author Joseph Campbell said: “Our experiences push us to new levels and create numerous opportunities for each of us to grow. We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

In order to maximize our personal and professional leadership effectiveness, it is critical to learn to X-Out the Negatives and seek opportunities for growth and advancement. As Isaac Singer, writer and philosopher once said, “If you keep saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of becoming a prophet.”

Valuable Insight... As the encircling tsunami of negativity nears, resist the manifestation of pessimism, fear and negativity. Take a moment to reflect on the productivity that is lost by employees who possess pessimistic attitudes. A negative attitude or outlook takes a vast amount of energy to keep up and the toll on relationships that comes out of this can be enormous. Often the negative stuff that happens to us is within our control and we will have to determine how best to resolve it and turn it around for good. Jenson’s ABS’s to X-Out the Negatives offer sound instruction on how to withstand storms of negativity and discover opportunities to build both our character and personal leadership effectiveness to advance our goals in life, personally and professionally.

David W. Smith

David W. Smith, B.Comm, CMC, ACC, RPM. Principal, Logia Consulting Inc. “emPOWERING Leaders... with Human Capital Consulting, Coaching and Training” david@logiaconsulting. ca 306.373.1998 David has over 30 years of experience as an organizational leader, coach, facilitator and consultant. He has worked as a corporate executive and business owner building visions, strategies and delivering successes that grow value(s), cultures and character. He believes that people want to contribute, learn and grow to become the best version of themselves they an be.


YOUR VALUES... KEY TO SUCCESS IN 2019 In my experience, organizations move toward their definition of success which originates in the vision, mission, values, and then is lived out in goals, strategies and behaviour. At the same time, employees are navigating toward their own personal definitions of success. These are uniquely based upon each employee’s values, goals, interests, capabilities, and work-life challenges. The larger the organization and the more uncertainty in the overall environment, the more complex. If you have 10 employees, you will have 10 different definitions of success and values; 2,000 employees, you have 2,000 unique definitions. 2019 will challenge leaders to be charismatic, confident and clear about how their organizations will succeed and what values will support the journey. This will help them find an intersection as high up the scale on employee engagement as possible, while also getting the maximum contribution to the organization’s own goals and objectives.






ith time business practices change based on economic transformations and business drifts. It is recommended that Small business owners are on the lookout for trendy patterns and up-to-the-minute business broadcasts in order to improve their performance and develop their revenue generating methods. Here are 4 business practices that will enhance small business growth In 2019.

1. Use of Technology to Enhance Client Experience Technology is ever changing and each generation uncovers innovative minds that come up with new ideas and life styles that generally determine how we do business. Expectations are that in future years we will see an increase in Online supplies. Online payments will continue to boom and more innovative ventures in that industry will emerge. 2018 have seen an explosion in the food industry due to facilitating ordering online and providing fast and reliable delivery structure. The online fashion industry is now flourishing and facilitating payments, delivery and the ease to return products are leading to major triumphs for that industry. It is time for the service industry to find ways to provide its clients with an online experience. Already some personal trainers have started using tools like SKYPE, ZOOM, WHATSAPP and HANGOUT to work with clients. Some have gone global and now have clients from different parts of the world. The future is very promising for the small business. Are we ready to embark on the use of latest technology to grow our business?

2. Recognizing the Importance of Client Feedback Millennial clients will require some changes in customer service. They seek not only excellence in service but also comfort in service. With the many new exploding



business ventures, options have increased for clients and they seek a way to measure performance and product/service excellence before they choose who to go to. We find young clients more engaged in reading and writing reviews as they shop and choose vendors. It is very important for the small business to invite clients to write reviews and share their wonderful experience as clients.

of virtual office hours have made hiring qualified candidates from different parts of the world a feasible reality that is starting to shape the future of modern small business circles. Yes, the future may hold uncertainties for the small business; however, if small business owners move into 2019 with a futuristic approach and an open mind to embrace change, growth is inevitable in that case.

3. Realizing the power of relationship marketing This generation more than ever are open to engaging with new people and developing relationships across the board. Networking events will take a new direction that will organize it and make it even more relational based. Social media has opened new venues and businesses will have to realize that clients appreciate a personal touch like sending a card during occasions, asking for comments when writing blogs, using instant messaging or social media to stay connected with clients.

4. Embracing Global Hiring Globalization has given employers a wider selection for choosing the right candidates. Quick access to higher levels of education, wider range of specialized skills and the possibility of finding perfect fits for job requirements are components that are instigating contemporary employers to seek global job candidate. Today’s advanced communications technology and the flexibility

Grace Nasralla: Founder, OSBN

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



By Laura Williams

traditional HR policy and compliance norms have been turned upside down. Many are struggling to keep their organizations afloat in a sea of constant employment standards change, unsure how to cope.

LAURA WILLIAMS If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you founded your company with a clear goal in mind: changing the world—or at least your industry—in a meaningful way. Whether you were trying to build a better mousetrap, provide outstanding services or develop some kind of game-changing technological innovation, the focus was on making that dream a reality. Generating significant revenue and maximizing profit were key operational considerations, of course, but probably came second to the rush of building a business from nothing and watching it grow. Then reality struck. Labour and employment law compliance obligations mounted as your team expanded, added human resources policies and procedures meant more red tape and the nimbleness that defined your culture in the early start-up phase became harder to maintain. If you’re like most CEOs, human resources and legislative compliance were probably at the bottom of your priority list, and explains why these important considerations often fall by the wayside. Add legal volatility to the mix and it’s no wonder many business leaders cringe at the very thought of falling in line with their province’s labour and employment laws. Indeed, to many business leaders, it seems like

It’s an issue causing sleepless nights for entrepreneurs, especially those paying close attention to the shifting HR law playing field in provinces such as Ontario, where regime change at Queen’s Park and subsequent rounds of sweeping legislative reversals have left many HR professionals and business owners struggling to keep up. While the recent passage of Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, dialed back earlier labour and employment law reforms passed in the contentious Bill 148, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017—thus pleasing Ontario’s business community—it also frustrated companies that had to once again revise their workplace policy manuals after taking pains to comply with the previous law. The Doug Ford government has since indefinitely delayed implementation of the Pay Transparency Act—which would have required larger employers to publicize their wage grids, and permitted employees to discuss wages with their co-workers—further complicating matters for HR teams, even if that reversal, too, was welcome. Many business owners and operators are wondering when this upheaval will end, and whether they really need to spend time caring until it does. The short answer: probably never and, yes, unless they’re willing to sacrifice their organization’s bottom-line performance. The reality is that governments can change every four years (or sooner), and Ontario, in particular, has seen policies shift dramatically from that of the previous Liberal government under Kathleen Wynne, which was determined to modernize the Employment Standards Act, 2000, despite pleas from the business community that the HR law changes were too comprehensive and too swift to allow cash-strapped employers to remain competitive. Odds are that at some point in the future, a new government will take a vastly different approach than Doug Ford’s Conservatives, creating further uncertainty and triggering another round of costly HR compliance requirements for the province’s SME community. The story is similar in jurisdictions across the country. Of greater significance is the question why, as a business leader or HR professional, this upheaval is worthy of your attention.

Legislative compliance is essential because organizations that take a head-in-the-sand approach can face major risk exposures to everything from lawsuits to human rights challenges. Put simply, employees are savvy. Many will assert rights to various employment standards entitlements—even obscure ones— that can easily catch organizations off guard. Any ensuing legal action can be remarkably destabilizing, will often invite added scrutiny from the Ministry of Labour and can also compromise an employer’s credibility. That last part is especially important for companies that compete for talent in sectors such as technology. Employees are in a seller’s labour market as Canada’s unemployment rate continues to hover at record lows. In the current business environment, attracting and retaining top talent is a key benchmark of business success. Elite performers can virtually hand-pick their next employer, which is why it’s crucial to position your organization as an employer of choice— the kind of place where the most desirable candidates would want to work. Top employers are typically the ones that take a proactive approach to communicating expectations, obligations and entitlements through employment agreements and workplace policies. In fact, they go a step further to create a workplace that encourages ideasharing and innovation, supports employee growth with career-development opportunities, offers its people challenging work, provides constructive and professional feedback, fairly compensates, and makes a point of defining, living and breathing its core values. Notably, these organizations are intentional in their HR policies and procedures, even exceeding legislative requirements as a matter of practice. While we might all feel that HR compliance has become more complicated in recent years— because it has—we must also remember that our organizations can turn what seems to be a costly, time-consuming drag on productivity into an HR advantage over our less-astute industry rivals. If it’s true that chaos breeds business opportunity, this is one worth seizing. Laura Williams is the founder and principal at Williams HR Law (WHRL) and Williams HR Consulting Inc. (WHRC), Markham, Ont. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 I




Happy New Year! Another year has come and gone… So quick! The pace of change appears to be accelerating. Each passing year represents a smaller percentage of our life’s experience; the same experience we rely so much upon for our extrapolation and interpretation of the future. As we stand on threshold of Mega-Change, everything that we think we know is about to become everything we once thought we knew. Everything Boomer driven is about to go into reverse, but first, we must deal with the realities of a global economic slowdown. While this may be painful, we cannot afford to think of this one just in terms of its immediate impact. This is merely the beginning of Mega-Change. There is much more to follow! North American Boomer worker transition into retirement will be a significant component of Mega-Change. Considerably more significant are the Boomer SME employers who appear in denial of an increasing pace of change, and the fact that most are much closer to the end than they wish to acknowledge. Denial is avoidance, and that is preventing appropriate preparation for the unavoidable! Younger SME owners, who want change, see all this much differently. Many see the Boomers as obstacles to their success, and can’t wait until those cursed Boomers get out of their way. Regardless of desire for, or resistance to change, neither side is ready for the 38


consequences of Mega-Change that lies just over the horizon. Out of sight… out of mind! For young and old alike, there is significance in this looming reality for everyone. Who survives? Who seizes the opportunities that lie within? Who succeeds? Who fails? SME owners require some perception of the future to do what they do. No one gets to be successful over many years without envisioning a future… and then planning around that vision. Reliance on personal experience has worked well while the Boomers were in ascendancy. Can SME owners continue to trust their experience as Boomers fade into their next phase of existence? I do not believe so. Until now, every New Year has begun much the same way with a call for reflection, resolutions and planning for success in the coming year. We no longer have the luxury of those quaint pleasures of the past. We must think beyond 2019… We must understand Mega-Change. Winter is coming! Game of Thrones aficionados should recognize this familiar reference to the looming invasion of White-walkers. Reality is often stranger than fiction. Our looming reality is living Grey-Walkers, not the walking dead. But like White-walkers, the Grey-Walker wave will eventually swamp everything in its path. The Boomers are an aberration of history. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of WWII, the children of those who had witnessed so much destruction and horror found themselves in a new world of advancing technology and global communications. As man’s first step on the moon created a giant leap for mankind, Boomers around the world saw themselves

as one, in the unlimited dawning of the Age of Aquarius. For the first time in history, a single global culture dominated everything from music and fashion to communication and business. From the beginning, the Boomers were builders. Their mere arrival gave birth to the “Burbs” that required a necessary infrastructure build-out all over North America. As they began careers and families, Boomer spending spawned the rise of Consumerism. Eventually, manufacturing outsourcing efforts began to form links in a supply chain of togetherness on a global scale. Consumer Boomers sowed the seeds of Globalization! However, every boom eventually bubbles over with greed… and every bubble eventually bursts. Mega-change may be the bubble buster! Over 44 million North American Boomers contributed to building and saving, giving more than taking. As 30 million 1st and 2nd wave Boomers transform into Grey Walkers over the next 3-6 years, they will do the complete opposite. Then, just as it appears over, the remaining 12-14 Million will have their turn. Think of this coming timeframe as a tidal wave of opposites, everything that we thought we knew… no longer applies. Leaves falling from trees are early indicators of approaching winter. An economy is much like a tree with unseen roots and visible branches and leaves that give oxygen to economic life. Economic sub-sectors represent branches of the tree; businesses are the many leaves. Falling economic leaves and branches suggest economic winter is near.


The first signs of the long winter to come appeared in 2008/09 with the global Financial Crisis, when many leaves fell. The Great Recession spawned newly printed money. The initial $10 Trillion was like a heroin injection creating the illusion of an extended economic summer. That lasted until 2015-16 when global economies once again showed signs of falling demand. Within that period, S&P 500 company profits declined in 6 consecutive quarters. Falling profits… are falling prophets! In early 2017, Europe and Japan and the UK, desperate to keep their own economic illusions alive, printed another $3.6 Trillion in US dollar equivalents. That heroin injection lasted only until mid-2018, when the signs of falling global demand, once again, began to reemerge. Since early October, Global stock markets have gone from volatile into free-fall, and so has the price of a barrel of light crude oil falling from around $75 to the low $50s. Virtually unnoticed, governments, big business and individuals, each different branches of the global economic tree, have fallen into much greater debt. Global debt doubled since 2008! Neither newly printed money, nor doubling the debt load, has been the answer to wasteful governments falling into technical bankruptcy. So many leaves and branches of the global economic tree of life have begun to fall that, despite all efforts, global manufacturing and exporting economies are running out of steam. The Boomers have stopped spending, well before their transition to Grey-Walkers. The real problem is not supply, it’s falling demand!

As Boomers, they were consumers and builders, genuine economic generators. As Grey-Walkers, they will move into replacement-only mode and spend less and less. That’s a huge problem for SMEs and big business alike. There is no visible replacement consumer population with the same depth and purchasing power of the Boomers. That harsh reality will eventually change everything we have come to expect as normal. A fairly recent IBM C-Suite study indicated that 40% of globally focused Corporate CEOs do not think their companies will survive the next 5-8 years. What about your company? How well are you and it prepared to survive, and take advantage of opportunity? On the other hand, if you are one of an estimated 12-13 million North American Boomer SME owners who need to sell to help fund retirement, how well prepared are you to make that a reality with the economic backdrop just portrayed? If you have not yet begun to plan, isn’t it time you started? Time waits for no one! The Future welcomes only the prepared. In my last article, I wrote of a widespread failure in big business, institutional and political leadership. Myopic, self-serving and predatory leaders are ill-prepared for leading in the coming decade fraught with business challenges risks and opportunities never seen before.

do so because they know themselves, their values, their strengths and weaknesses. Younger SME owners and new entrants will see their wishes come true as millions of those they see as obstacles begin to retire in significant numbers. Retiring Boomers are not obstacles to younger entrepreneurs. They could be and should be valuable mentors. I believe that many soon-to-retire successful SME owners will be the answer to a growing need for the kind of leadership we will need in the coming years. Unlike too many low-life individuals aspiring to leadership, SME owners have nurtured success with fair dealing, guided by personal values and a moral compass. SME owners are natural leaders and regardless of age need purpose in their lives. Those who have taken the high road of life will have no trouble finding a post-retirement purpose that needs their skillsets. In my next article, I hope to help SME owners of every age, to assess and understand their personal vision of leadership, so that they can begin to position themselves and their business to achieve success, whatever that may be, in a time that for most will be seen as a major crisis. Fred Dodd, has authored Succession 2020 - New Beginnings, and founded the Total Wealth Management Planning Process™ and Incipient Financing™, (both specifically designed to address the needs of SME succession) and is President of Success(ion) MMXX Inc. More information available: Go to

True leaders emerge in trying times because they see opportunity where others cannot. They


WISHING YOU SUCCESS IN 2019… AND BEYOND! It’s time for reflection, resolutions and planning! 2019 marks the end of the era of “Boomer Consumerism” and ushers in a decade of Mega-Change for the entire global economy! Retiring Boomers have already stopped spending… and volatile stock markets are reflecting a rapidly deteriorating global economic backdrop. In 2019, start working on how your business will survive. Winter is coming! Game of Thrones aficionados should readily see the future for myopic pretenders to leadership, as they scheme for personal power while ignoring a looming threat to their very existence. The future welcomes only the prepared! Reality is often stranger than fiction. The next decade promises business challenges fraught with risks and opportunities, like never seen before. Use 2019 to understand your personal vision of leadership! True leaders emerge in trying times because, in knowing themselves, they see opportunity where others cannot!



CanExport: A government program to help SMEs grow internationally

Futurpreneur: preparing Canada’s future entrepreneurs

The government of Canada understands the challenges that small and medium-sized businesses face when it comes to seeking export opportunities to grow and expand their business. Exporting internationally is not always an option for SMEs. The costs of travelling are often more than SMEs can afford and there’s always the possibility of it not working out in the end. So it comes to no surprise that most small and medium-sized businesses don’t tend to explore opportunities for finding international investors or exporting globally. This could hurt them in the long run as per it can prevent SME owners from growing and expanding their business. Taking this into consideration and seeing how having the possibility of exporting can significantly help SMEs in Canada, the government has put in place a program that can help Canadian SMEs to export.

The new generation is the future of business. Statistics show that by 2020, the millennials generation will make up 35% of the workforce. The numbers will only increase as the years pass by. But what does this mean for the business world? Well, studies conducted in different universities have confirmed that 67% of millennials want to take their chance into entrepreneurship. SME owners are more likely to be from the millennial generation than any other generation. That being said, there are several resources that are available to the younger generation and help them in their journey to entrepreneurship.

The CanExport program is a year-round federal program that provides financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses registered in Canada that are seeking occasions to develop export opportunities and markets. Delivered by the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) of Global Affairs Canada and in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), CanExport delivers financial support for a wide range of export marketing activities. CanExport offers financial support to projects in several areas, with the exception of those where there is already other specific federal export development funding programs that exist. Eligibility The CanExport program is open to most Canadian SMEs registered in Canada, with a few exceptions. To be considered for funding through the CanExport program, SME owners must meet the following criteria: Be a profitable company Be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP) Have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number Have a maximum of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees Have no less than $100,000 and no more than $100 million in annual revenue declared in Canada during its last complete fiscal year. The CanExport program reserves the right to validate this through the company’s Financial Statements. If the above requirements are met, then the activity for which they are requesting funding should also meet certain requirements. The activities need to aim to promote international business development and must go beyond the applicant’s core activities. Meaning the reason behind must demonstrate new initiatives and deliver an occasion to profit substantial results. Below are some examples of what these activities could include: Business travel Participation at trade-fairs Market research Adaptation of marketing tools for a new market Legal fees associated with a distribution/representation agreement If all requirements are met and CanExport approves to fund opportunities to export to SME owners, then they will reimburse up to a maximum of 50 percent of the costs. To find out more about CanExport and how they can help with the expansion of your business by financing export opportunities and see if you’re eligible, see below for their contact information. CanExport Website: www. canexport E-mail: Tel : 1-866-203-2454 40


Futurpreneur Canada is one of the best resources to help them towards that goal. They are a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to help young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39. For over two decades, they have been providing resources and tools to young entrepreneurs in order to help them start and grow their business. They are the only national non-profit organisation in the country that provides financing, mentoring and support to aspiring business owners. Futurpreneur Canada understands that the new generation is the future and that their goal to become entrepreneurs can significantly contribute to Canada’s economy. Therefore, their internationally recognized mentoring programs have been helping young entrepreneurs for the last two decades. They have a team of business experts from a team of over 2,800 members who are volunteering their time and expertise to help ambitious business owners succeed. How Futurpreneur Canada is helping young entrepreneurs With their internationally recognized programs, Futurpreneur offers mentoring, coaching and financing to young ambitious entrepreneurs so they can start and grow their business successfully. They offer support to SME owners no matter what stage their business is in. Whether they have an idea, are getting ready to launch, have just launched or have been in business for a few years and are struggling to grow, Futurpreneur has the support and network to help young entrepreneurs. • • • • •

Pre-Launch Coaching Online Resources Financing Mentoring Growth Accelerator

Facts Numbers speak louder than words. Which is why that it’s not only important to explain how Futurpreneur Canada has helped young entrepreneurs, but to also give facts about the impact that they have had on Canadian SMEs. Since Futurpreneur Canada launched over two decades ago, they have supported over 12,000 young business owners and launched over 10,000 Canadian businesses. Their network has over 200 active community and referral partners and over 3,000 skilled volunteer mentors. With the businesses that Futurpreneur has helped launch, they have created nearly $300 million in estimated tax revenue. These numbers are enough to show the impact that Futurpreneur Canada has had on Canadian businesses throughout the last twenty years. With their proven facts and the government’s support, they are sure to continue making a positive impact for years to come for Canadian SMEs. To find out more about Futurpreneur Canada and their programs, see their contact information below: Futurpreneur Canada Website: Tel: 1-800-464-2923

ADP Canada National Employment Report: Employment in Canada Increased by 39,100 Jobs in November 2018


Employment in Canada increased by 39,100 jobs from October to November according to the November ADP® Canada National Employment Report. Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP Canada National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute®. The report, which is derived from actual ADP payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm payroll employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

Total Canada Nonfarm Payroll Employment1: 39,100 Industry Snapshot: - Goods Producing: Manufacturing 600 Construction 6,400 Natural Resources and Mining 2,300 - Service Providing: • Trade/Transportation and Utilities 13,300 • Information -4,100 • Finance/Real Estate -200 • Professional/Business Services 7,100 Professional/Technical 4,100 Management of Companies 1,200 Administrative and Support 1,800 • Education & Health Care 3,900 Educational Services -200 Health Care 4,100 • Leisure and Hospitality 4,400 • Other Services² 5,500 * Sum of components may not equal total, due to rounding. "The labour market bounced back in November," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. "Nearly all industries showed improved job growth with trade, transportation and utilities leading the way. On the other hand, information continued the slowdown we saw last month." The October total of jobs added was revised up from -23,000 to 1,800. The December 2018 ADP Canada National Employment Report will be released at 8:30a.m.ET on January 17, 2019.

About the ADP Canada National Employment Report The ADP Canada National Employment Report is a monthly measure of the change in total Canada nonfarm payroll employment derived from actual, anonymous payroll data of client companies served by ADP Canada. The report, which measures more than two million workers in Canada, is produced by the ADP Research Institute®, a specialized group within the company that provides insights around employment trends and workforce strategy. Each month, the ADP Research Institute issues the ADP Canada National Employment Report as part of the company's commitment to adding deeper insights into the labour market in Canada and providing businesses, governments and others with a source of credible and valuable information. The ADP Canada National Employment Report is broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge. ADP, the ADP logo, ADP A more human resource. and the ADP Research Institute are registered trademarks of ADP, LLC. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2018 ADP, LLC. All rights reserved. SOURCE ADP, LLC




Grants vs. Tax Credits – What Are the Differences? By Greta Bianchi


hen looking through dozens of different funding options available to businesses in Canada, our clients often ask us – what is the difference between a grant and a tax credit? How do I know which fund is right for my project? Companies that have been claiming SR&ED tax credits for years may be quite familiar with the ins and outs of tax credit filing. However, they may not realize how vastly different the world of grants can be. While we encourage our clients to apply for both types of funding, each funding has its pros and cons. Therefore, it is important for businesses to know the differences to ensure potential opportunities are not lost. When comparing the most common tax incentives and government grants, one finds the following key differences.

Some grant programs may have fixed deadlines, which may not correspond with a company’s fiscal year or project timeline. A company must be mindful of grant program deadlines and processing times, and allow itself plenty of lead time to complete and submit the application. It may also need to be prepared to delay the start of their project until application assessment is completed, or risk forfeiting their chance at funding. Once approved, funding is paid out in regular installments throughout the duration of the project to offset costs as they incur. This makes grant funding preferable for cash flow purposes, but requires much more advanced planning.

Timing of Applications and Payout

A tax credit is known as ‘entitlement’ program. This means that any company that meets CRA SR&ED guidelines, completes the eligible work, and follows the application procedures correctly, must be approved for funding. As a result, the government cannot place a cap on the total amount of funding they give out in the year. They must approve all qualified applications that they receive. If the CRA denies all or part of a tax credit claim, and the client believes this ruling is incorrect or unjust, the client may dispute the decision by filing an objection, or by escalating the matter to tax court.

A tax credit claim is typically filed with or following a company’s corporate tax return, at the end of the fiscal year in which the eligible activity took place. This means most tax credits are applied once a year, after the project or eligible work has been completed with its respective eligible expenditures. Depending on how quickly a company files its tax claims, it may take between four months and two years for it receives its tax credits, with the size of the company (large vs. SME) and possibility of a detailed CRA audit as other key factors. In some cases, depending on the location, upon completion of a multiyear project, by the time the tax credits are received it can take up to five years from the project start date. Conversely, grant applications must be filed and approved before the eligible activities begin and before expenses are incurred. They cannot be applied retroactively or cover any costs incurred before the grant is approved. To capture multiple small projects, it may be possible to apply for the same grant more than once per year.



Approval Rates and Entitlement

Grant programs, on the other hand, are more rigid and competitive. Each program has a fixed budget for funding that they may give out in each application period, and so the number of applications they can approve of is limited by what they can afford. Funds may be awarded on a first-come first-served, or merit basis, whereby they are ranked against all other applications with high scoring projects being approved for funding. Programs often run out of funding before the year end are closed without warning. Therefore, even if a company fits all the eligibility criteria and applies correctly, it is not guaranteed funding approval. There is no option to dispute the granting body’s ruling, though the applicant

may receive feedback that it can take as advisement if it chooses to apply again in the future. So while grant programs may be more lucrative for your project, they cannot be counted on as a certainty for financial planning until you receive approval from the granting body.

Type and Amount of Compensation A tax credit is a reduction of tax owing, and may be ‘refundable’ or ‘non-refundable.’ If you have already paid all of your taxes, or the credit reduces your tax owing to zero, a refundable credit would issue you a cash refund for the remaining credit balance. A non-refundable credit can only be applied to tax owing, and any remaining amount is lost. Tax credits typically reimburse between 5% and 40% of eligible expenditures, on any number of eligible projects that meet program criteria. A grant is a cash payment to a business which is counted as revenue. Grants can cover anywhere from 15% to 100% of a project’s eligible costs, usually hovering around 50%. However, grant programs will only fund one project for a company at a time, and the amount of funding is capped at a maximum dollar amount per project. Depending on the size and number of projects your organization undertakes in a year, a grant could be more lucrative for a particular project, but not so lucrative for the company overall. You may need to combine both sources of funding to maximize your cost coverage. Grants are netted against eligible expenditures prior to calculating tax credits, in cases where both sources are combined on a particular set of project activities. It is sometimes possible to organize your projects so that a grant covers different expenditures and activities than those included in a tax credit claim, For example, for the same project a company receives a grant for marketing activities and a tax credit for R&D activities.


Selection and Consistency Compared to grants, tax credit programs are generally larger in size and long laster. They can be reliably available year-after-year. The CRA may release changes or updates to program guidelines every few years, but the complete elimination or creation of programs is not a common practice. All tax credits are administered by the CRA and claimed through a company’s corporate tax return. Grant programs, in comparison, are not offered on a consistent basis with fixed dates and deadlines. They are more heavily shaped by the political and policy climate. Every year we see new programs created, old programs eliminated, and existing programs undergoing alterations for some of their criteria. Grants typically run for a maximum of 3 to 5 years of funding commitment, after which they may be renewed or eliminated based on their performance in their respective business sector. There is no single entity that administers all

grants. With unique application processes and selection criteria of their own, various ministries, municipal and provincial governments, nonprofit entities, and community organizations offer a suite of funding programs to their specific local area or target groups. As a result, grants are more numerous than tax credits, cover a wider variety of activities and expenditures— marketing, hiring, training—and vary by location and industry. Whereas tax credits can become a consistent part of a company’s annual financial planning, grant opportunities must be re-examined on an annual basis, or even quarterly basis, to remain current with the changes. Given the above dynamics, when it comes to planning their funding strategy, businesses should carefully consider both avenues. By understanding the key differences between grants and tax credits, and by identifying eligible projects consistently, funding from both sources can become a significant part of your revenue stream.

Greta Bianchi

Greta Bianchi is a government grants manager at RDP Associates . To learn more how your business can navigate the world of government grants, contact (416) 368-9341

What New Grants Are Available to Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses in 2019? By Brian Cookson

Many business professionals are surprised to learn that Canada gives out more grants and incentives than most other countries to businesses, particularly small- and mediumsized businesses. When we compare grant funding for businesses in Europe and the U.S., Canada not only provides more funding per program, but the types of programs are wideranging, covering many business sectors.

HERE ARE FEW INCENTIVES WORTH CONSIDERING IN 2019: FedDev Scale-up and productivity While this program is given a new name, it has $920 million in funding available. The funding in repayable contribution (no interest loan, generally with favorable repayment terms and security). The contributions are in the range of $500K to $10M.

SUPERCLUSTERS There are now five Superclusters in Canada (Digital Technology in BC; Protein tech in

Saskatchewan; Advanced Manufacturing in Ontario; AI supply chain in Montreal; and Ocean technology in Nova Scotia). Each supercluster has funding from both the government and private/public businesses. Funding in each supercluster varies, but the federal government has allocated nearly $950 million across all superclusters. Any company in Canada can join any of these superclusters. While SME’s can apply for funding, it appears that projects seeking funding must be collaborative. Training for Manufacturing Companies The AIME Global program supports southern Ontario manufacturers to undertake training or skills-upgrading activities that support innovation at manufacturing facilities. Supportable projects may include developing new engineering skills, training in the use of new software, hardware or other tools necessary to support innovation and adoption of new technologies. Businesses that have never received AIME funding may be eligible

for up to a maximum of $100,000 with 50% shared costs.

CANEXPORT This program assists businesses by covering 50% of their marketing costs of up to $50K when they try to access a new foreign market. A new foreign market is defined as one where less than 10% of a business’ total sales come from that foreign market. This program has lowered its minimum requirements. For example, no full-time employees are required and the annual revenue a company needs to have is $100K. This means more start-ups can apply. For a complimentary assessment of your eligibility for these government funding opportunities and an in-depth look at them, contact RDP at Brian Cookson is President and Managing Director of RDP Associates.






By Lisa Shepherd

If you’re one of the 63% of B2B executives who see lead generation as a pressing challenge, this article is for you. Let’s face it, B2B lead generation is tough. And with each passing year, it’s getting harder. The old tactics, like sending emails and making cold calls,don’t work anymore – and in some cases they aren’t even legal (thanks CASL). But take that as a sign of an opportunity and don’t feel demoralized. If you can crack the lead generation code, you’re way ahead of your competitors. Here are 8 ways to do it

1. HAVE DEEP CONVERSATIONS MORE OFTEN Here’s a simple question: when was the last time that you had a deep and meaningful talk with your customer? Can’t remember? You’re not alone. There’s a great solution to this. Instead of relying on one-directional communication tools such as blog posts, videos,and websites, find an opportunity to trigger a real conversation with your prospects. Grab every single opportunity. If a user asks or enquires about a certain product or service, do not simplyoffer them a link to your knowledge base, instead offer them a 10-minute quick walkthrough througha call. This will provide you with another awesome opportunity to sell. If you are already on a call with them, offer to meet. The idea here is to get closer to your leads every time you interact with them. Remember the ultimate B2B sales mantra: out of sight means out of mind!



2. PRODUCE GATED CONTENT What is gated content? Glad that you asked. Gated content is premium content like ebooks, whitepapers, and software tools that are made available to the users for free in exchange for contact information like email and name. With gated content, you can convert users into sales leads in exchange for providing valuable gated content. Needless to say, the gated content you provide needs to be of EXCELLENT quality. It needs to be really, truly helpful and compelling in order for it to do you any good. 3. PROVIDE A PERFECT ANSWER FOR A TOUGH QUESTION You might think this is crazy advice. After all, every question under the sun is already answered somewhere online, right? Not at all. There’s almost always an opportunity to provide an in-depth, highly tailored answer to specific B2B questions. Use this gap as an opportunity and invest some time in creating an in-depth and step-by-step article that answers the questions of your prospects. Believe it or not, this acts as a surefire way of generating high-quality leads. After all, the company that knows the minor and major nuances of their business will more likely be an expert in their field, right? 4. EXPLORE THE WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR OFFICE All thanks to the digital world, we have almost forgotten that we can even engage with our prospects in the real-world. So step out of your office and find opportunities to network. This could be done by attending offline events, keeping up with the latest technology news, and expressing your views in exclusive events and seminars.

Don’t just leave it there. Take it a step further and create your brand’s authority by creating a well-crafted series of pre and post-event blogs and videos. Share this content on social media and other channels, and let your target people know that you’re an emerging leader in your industry. 5. HOST A GIVEAWAY Giveaways are everywhere, and that’s for a reason – if done right, they can actually help you in generating enough leads. However, you need to play it safe here. If not done right, a giveaway can even attract a ton of junk leads. So make sure that you offer something that is really useful and in line with your target demographics. 6. B2B DIRECTORIES If you want to reap the maximum benefits without investing too much effort, B2B directories can prove an ideal solution here. All you need to do is complete your company’s profile with all the relevant information and keywords. Next, ask your existing clients to leave a positive review on these directories. This would provide you with social proof, which would act as a great way to attract and generate leads. 7. INTERVIEW A PROMINENT FIGURE FROM THE INDUSTRY This serves as a great way to get and share expertise, and gain some credibility by aligning your company with a credible industry expert. It will also help you raise awareness, as this exposes your brand to a number of people who

already follow the industry expert but knew little about your brand. 8. MAKE YOUR PROSPECTS FEEL SPECIAL This is a no-brainer. Who doesn’t like to feel

special? We all do, and your prospects really love when you make them feel valuable. So, how can you do that? Publish great, valuepacked, and actionable pieces; and hide certain sections of the blog from your visitors. Let them have quick access, or VIP access to these pieces of content, by asking for their email address in return. Similarly, if you are an upcoming startup and you have already built buzz around your product, it is wise to provide beta access to some of your prospects and ask for their feedback. This would make them feel special and valuable at the same time, which will get them hooked on your brand for longer.

Get Creative to Supercharge your B2B Lead Generation There are endless ways to generate B2B leads. It usually just takes some creativity, and of course some elbow grease. The crux remains the same –engage visitors with something compelling and useful to them, and deliver it in unexpected ways. Once you’ve sparked the right conversation, all you need to do is pitch your services at the right time, and you’re good to go.


The most important advice I can offer to Canadian entrepreneurs is simple, but not necessarily easy. It’s to adapt your product or service to what customers want, and will pay for. Many entrepreneurs have an idea or a vision for their business. They feel that staying ‘true’ to their vision is essential for success. So when they launch and things don’t go as planned, they work doubly hard to make their idea work. But that’s wrong. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who adapt their business vision to what customer’s value – that means ‘what customers will pay for’. Staying nimble and open to evolving a business idea based on feedback from the market is the only real path to success.

Lisa Shepherd

Lisa Shepherd is the founder of The Mezzanine Group, a sales and marketing company that specializes in business-to-business (B2B). Lisa has been working with small and mid-sized companies on issues of revenue generation for over 15 years.Lisa was the youngest woman CEO to be named to the Profit 100 and has been a nominee for the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award.. She’s written three books on B2B sales and marketing – The Radical Sales Shift, Market Smart and Walking on the Moon.

Learn how over 250 B2B companies have increased leads by 30-100% Contact us today to get on the path to accelerate sales and profit growth. Call us: 416-583-5831 CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 I



All In is an enlightening and reassuring book that shows the real side of running a business

One of the many challenges of entrepreneurs is finding the balance between their work like and their personal life. When you’re running your own business, time management can be an issue. Therefore, finding time for your personal life is not always easy. There are bound to be days, weeks or even months when your personal life takes a backseat while you focus on growing your business. So how do you find that balance? What can you do to prioritize your family life all the while not jeopardizing the success of your business? Well it looks like Dragon’s Den Arlene Dickinson has the answer in her book All In. Canadian business women and investor Arlene Dickinson is the CEO of Venture Communications. She also appears on the Canadian TV Show Dragon’s Den as one of the self-made multi-millionaire investors. Her book All In published in 2013 talks about how it’s important to work on your personal life as it can contribute towards the success of your business. Knowing how to run a business is not all you need to be a successful business owner. You also need to know how to run your personal life when the limit between your work and personal time is basically nonexistent. Although there are several books that have been published about the 411 of how to run a business, there’s never really been one that talks about the clear dilemma that exists between balancing personal and professional life.At least not until All In was published. The book gives guidelines to business owners about how to succeed in the entrepreneurial lifestyle—and how to overcome its challenges. The book All In helps entrepreneurs identify and confront their daily demons. Whether it’s facing fears of guilt, rejection or balancing


personal and professional lives, Arlene shares firsthand experiences and stories from other entrepreneurs who have been there in the journey of trying to live up to their dreams. All In creates a new level of discussion in the entrepreneurial world. It brings to light the hidden truths and shows readers all the ways they’ll be challenged in their new adventure. According to Dickinson, “entrepreneurship is a lifestyle in which personal and professional dreams are interwoven. {…} when we try to keep work and home life separated, we fail miserably.” Rather than teaching business owners how to achieve balance, she offers support when entrepreneurs feel guilty when there are times that their work life takes priority over their personal and social lives. She also talks about the importance of passion and commitment if you want your business to become successful and remain that way. The ever so popular question of “Can I run my business part time?” is also answered in this book. The book includes Arlene’s own lessons and those of other successful entrepreneurs. All In is for every small business owner who often feels like they’re alone and no one can relate to their struggles and every day challenges. The book is also a great read and resource for those aspiring entrepreneurs who are still wondering if they have what it takes to take on this journey.It will give them an honest truth of what to expect and how to handle the challenges that comes with running a business. Several key factors that were addressed in the book were that it’s okay to be all in, meaning that there’s nothing wrong with devoting all your time and energy into your businesses. Every entrepreneur wants their business to succeed. So there are times where you will have to be all in for your business, and although some people might not understand, that’s fine. Arlene also talks about the three R’s to master: roadblocks, rejection and resilience. If an entrepreneur is able to master these, then they are on the path to success in both their personal and professional life. All In is an enlightening and reassuring book that shows the real side of running a business. While many business books focus on the legal and financial aspects of starting a business, this one takes an honest and sometimes hard look at the different ways that entrepreneurship can affect every entrepreneur personally.


5 Best Business Apps As a small business owner, you often need to play several roles. Problem Solver. Marketing Genius. Financial Guru. Sales Rep. The list goes on. Therefore, time efficiency is a number one priority. You need to be productive and find ways where you can save time so you can focus on growing your business. Even if it’s just to make your life as an entrepreneur easier, there are several tools that exist to make you reach that goal. Having the right business application can go a long way when it comes to making you more productive and time efficient in the long run. To help business owners find the right application among the long list of those that exist, we’ve narrowed down the best 5 business apps that we strongly believe can help you manage your time and business.

QuickBooks The number one accounting app for business owners. It helps SME owners keep track of their invoices, financial statements, sales and expenses. With the possibility of paying your employers and vendors, and track unpaid invoices, it’s no wonder that it’s the number one accounting app for entrepreneurs.

Skype Although several organisations have tried to beat Skype, it still remains the number one choice for business owners when it comes to connecting with people. Whether you want to use it to video call, voice call or host a conference call of up to 25 people, Skype gives you the possibility to communicate with anyone in the world.

Trello Trello is every business owners’ best friend. It basically plays the role of a personal assistant. With Trello, you can keep track of your daily tasks, add members, delegate tasks, add checklists and comments, due dates and labels to make each task as descriptive as possible.

Dropbox The most popular platform on which you can store and share files on the cloud. It’s a great tool for business owners who are looking for a reliable way to share information with other members.

MailChimp MailChimp helps business owners manage their mailing list and send out communications and newsletters. With their wide-range of e-mail templates, they make it easy for entrepreneurs to customize and view performance reports.

What are digital marketing automation tools? By Dan Radu Ever notice how the second you sign up for an online service – Netflix, Spotify, Kindle – your email inbox quickly swells with messages helping you get started or learning more about everything else they have to offer? It's not one person at the company tailoring and sending out each personalized email. This isan example of a marketing automation platform. While your business has different needs than a major enterprise, you can still benefit from what marketing automation platforms have to offer. A marketing automation platform is a digital tool that performs marketing tasks in the place of a person. It doesn't mean you're not involved in your business's marketing – far from it. Marketing automation helps you engage with your online audience in many ways; such as email, website, social media, webinars or even the triggering of mail orders. Think of it like this: You're writing a letter that gets sent to your prospects. A marketing automation tool duplicates the letter you've written, changes the name for each recipient, adds a few notes about their products, shows related content and signs off from their sales rep. Then, it mails the letters to the recipients automatically every time someone new signs up for your business. This is much faster than licking envelopes yourself. Marketing automation tools also give you metrics to judge the effectiveness of your campaign. They provide much-needed information like basic email metrics (open and click-through rates), site traffic, and conversations; which can be tied into your sales revenue. That’s how you’ll know which messages resonate with your audience and which campaigns need more tweaking to effectively engage with your prospect.

HOW TO BEGIN Don’t put the horse before the carriage. Discover a real need for automation of marketing communications, before getting all excited about the cool tech.First find what the tools can do to support your existing marketing efforts. Starting with marketing automation isn't as simple as subscribing to the software and letting it do all the work. The processrequiresa few initial tweaks to play along with your website and your other digital tools.Someone with previous expertise can be of great help. Paying a bit extra upfront for amarketing automation expert might save you a lot of frustration down the road. Here are a few things to consider:



A marketing automation tool without content for emails, websites, or other marketing communications is like a car without gas. You need to have the fuel to run your machine. Otherwise, you are just paying for technology without using it. Look for savvy copywriters and content creators to work with before using any tool.

There is a variety of software available for a host of needs. Once you’ve done your homework,as described above, you can utilize this short list of marketing automation tools:

HOW MANY EMAIL ADDRESSES DO I HAVE ON MY LIST? Most digital tools charge per number of emails you have, so it’s best to have a critical mass of relevant opted-in people to justify using a marketing automation tool.


Think about: •

Will it connect with your CRM sales data?

How will your website form leads get into your list?

Can it replace some of the other tools you have?

• Act-On • Drip • GreenRope • HubSpot • Leadsius • Marketo • SharpSpring

GET STARTED AND RUN WITH MARKETING AUTOMATION Starting with a marketing automation platform is an investment that yields great rewards for your marketing, sales, and your bottom line. But figuring out the right digital marketing technology and how to properly use it can be very frustrating. Trust the marketing automation team of experts at Macromator, aMarketing Operations (MOps) agency to give you an extra hand. Get in touch with us

Dan Radu

This will allow you to pay for only the features of software that you need, rather than spending money on a similar set of tools. Maybe one tool is enough to cover everything you need, so you can get rid of the rest to save money.

WHO IS GOING TO DO THE WORK? Are you a technophobe or technofanatic? It's important to consider your own level of technology proficiency before investing in new tech. Many tools offer great customer service, help blogs, and open communities if you do get stuck.Think about: •

How much of the work should you do yourself?

How much can your team realistically do? Where do you need help?

What new processes should you put in place?

Dan Radu is the founder of Macromator Inc. and not at all ashamed to admit that he’s a MarTech geek. Most recently, Dan was invited to sit on the MarTech Council by the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA). If you’re interested in becoming a more data-driven marketer(or just want to talk MarTech), send him an email at Are you in the Toronto area? Macromator is committed to growing the MarTech community in Toronto. Join today for workshops and seminars on how to use MarTech to enhance your business.

Find experts to help you get set-up and even help you on an ongoing basis. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 I



CME LAUNCHES INDUSTRIE 2030 ONTARIO A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN TO SPARK THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR IN ONTARIO TORONTO (December 03, 2018) – Dennis Darby, President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exports issued today the following statement about the release of Industrie 2030 Ontario: “Ontario manufacturers are at the forefront of global competition, innovation, and technological change. To compete with the world’s best, they require a business climate that is equally world class. But Ontario is losing ground to international competitors that have been moving aggressively to attract investment, create high-paying jobs, and grow their value-added manufacturing base and, we are at risk of missing out on the opportunities created by modern advanced manufacturing. We released today, Industrie 2030 Ontario, a roadmap to help government achieve the conditions manufacturers need to succeed. Following significant consultations with our members, we have identified solutions to enhance Ontario business competitiveness.” Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade stated: “Manufacturing is the backbone of Ontario’s economy. Generations of Ontario families have held good paying manufacturing jobs that provide a solid foundation for their communities – and a strong manufacturing sector has lifted the entire economy. We have heard loud and clear that we need to reduce the cost of doing business in Ontario – and that starts with reducing the regulatory burden facing our job creators. Our government is getting out of the way of job creators and making it easier to manufacture right here in Ontario.” Dennis Dussin, President of Alps Welding, an SME in Woodbridge Ontario stated:

“At Alps, our biggest challenge in our effort to grow, is the shortage of skilled people to work in our engineering and fabrication areas. CME’s strategy, if implemented, will help to bridge that gap, and with the right skills available, will allow us to make the investments in machinery, process, and facilities we need to scale up and continue to compete internationally.” Industrie 2030 aims to create the business conditions on Ontario to support the doubling of manufacturing output to $600 billion by 2030. Its recommendations are focused on addressing the critical needs of Ontario’s manufacturing sector: •

Creating a competitive business environment in Ontario that, through tax and regulatory reform and lower electricity prices, reduces business costs and encourages growth and production;

Addressing current skill shortages, improve technical skills training of youth and increase support for industry-led training and skillsdevelopment initiatives; and,

Introducing policies and support programs to assist companies with scale-up, technology adoption, and product commercialization.

ABOUT CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS & EXPORTERS Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing and a global leader in exporting. CME is a memberdriven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.

CME’S VISION FOR CANADA Manufacturing and Exporting are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, and Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing, and a global leader in exporting. 48


Numbers Don’t Lie… Why Canada Needs To Step Up In Supporting Women-Owned Businesses


By Silvia Pencak I am fascinated by statistics on women-owned businesses. Did you know that • There were 950,000 self-employed women in Canada in 2012, accounting for 35.6% of all self-employed persons. • 47% of Canadian SMEs were entirely or partly owned by women. • Approximately 51% of Aboriginal businesses were owned by women. • Among established businesses (nonstart-ups), the percentage of female entrepreneurs rose from 27% in the early 1990s to 33% in 2012. • Majority women-owned SMEs represented over $117 billion per annum of economic activity in Canada. About 50 percent of all businesses today are started by women. However, small and medium-sized businesses owned by women earn less than half the revenue of comparable male-owned businesses, according to data from BDC client companies(2). Female-led businesses, while tending to be smaller than male-led businesses, create more jobs and have higher survival rates when compared by their growth metrics. But female-led businesses, even today, remain constrained by a number of key factors. Across the country, women voice their frustration with a lack of access to capital, ageism, sexism and harassment from investors and clients.(3) And added to that frustration, less than 5% corporate and government contracts are awarded to Canadian women-owned businesses. The opportunity and responsibility of governments and larger corporations lies in supporting women-owned businesses and removing barriers for them to enter larger supply chains as we move towards a more inclusive business environment. As Hon. Minister Champagne repeatedly said, “We can’t win when we leave half of our team sitting on the bench.” It is imperative that procurement opportunities become accessible to women-owned suppliers. How can supplier diversity help women-owned businesses? Supplier diversity is a commitment from

government and large corporate organizations to track and increase their spend with Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) and other diverse suppliers. These organizations allocate resources to ensure that diverse (and many times smaller) suppliers get access to opportunities within their procurement to support the growth of diverse SMEs and ultimately the economy across the provinces. Supplier diversity councils like WBE Canada are founded by such corporations for the purpose of certifying businesses to prove that they truly are majority owned, managed and controlled by diverse individuals. The certification process is thorough and diverse suppliers must recertify annually to ensure that they still fulfill all conditions and are in good standing (e.g. taxes being paid). Certification is available to all businesses that meet the certification criteria. At WBE Canada, we certify businesses that are 51% or more owned, managed and controlled by women. We call them Certified WBEs. All WBEs are then listed in our database accessible by large corporate and government buyers. In addition to running a database we also provide training, support and events where WBEs can meet corporate and government buyers, learn about procurement opportunities, procedures and policies. In addition, they meet other womenowned businesses, some of them multi-million dollar companies themselves, ready to support and buy from smaller WBEs. Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) certified with WBE Canada range from startups to multimillion dollar businesses. They are in a variety of industries, from manufacturing, construction, tech, transportation, to legal, consulting, or communications. Certification moves women-owned businesses beyond networking and training to direct access to conversations with corporate buyers. For women who used to look at the ballroom through a window it is the invitation to dance. For those who practiced their dance moves, this invitation is exactly what they need to succeed. To learn more about how WBE Canada certification can benefit your business please visit our website at If you are not a majority women-owned

business, but still want to support Canadian women-owned businesses, learn more about our Corporate Membership at membership to help you get started.

Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) certified with WBE Canada range from startups to multimillion dollar businesses. They are in a variety of industries, from manufacturing, construction, tech, transportation, to legal, consulting, or communications. Source: 1. Trade Commissioner Service, 2013 2. pages/women-entrepreneurs-think-big.aspx 3. Everywhere, Every Day Innovating. By Clare Beckton and Janice McDonald

Silvia Pencak President, WBE Canada

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. It certifies firms that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women and introduces them to opportunities with large corporations. The organization also partners with governments, women’s business centres and other women-centric communities across Canada.




StarTech USB KVM Switch


SME owners often require more than one connectivity when it comes to computing power. There are a great number of jobs that require more computing power, so the need for having extra connectivity has never been higher. Business owners are looking for devices that can give them more connectivity so it can solve their multi-PC connectivity issue. The StarTech USB KVM Switch is perfect a perfect solution for connectivity. The latest model allows users to connect two PCs giving them the possibility to access multi-hardware and screen access from one single source. The hub can support two Mini DP PC connections and resolutions up to 4K AT 60Hz. This is perfect for web and graphic designers. A part from that, the StarTech also offers three USB 2.0 ports on the front, including a dedicated mouse and keyboard slot that offers plug-and-play support for Windows, Linux and Mac accessories. With its light weight and small size, the hub is easy enough to carry making it perfectly portable for on the go business owners.

Linedock is made for MacBook Pro users. It’s perfect for business owners who are often on the go and don’t want to spend time worrying about having enough battery to be able to function remotely. Nothing’s worse when you’re running late and realize you need to stop somewhere to charge your MacBook because it’s running low on juice. Linedock is the perfect solution to this problem. It’s slim, stylish and slips very easily under your laptop giving it the charge it needs to keep you running your business. It packs a massive 20,000mAh rechargeable battery and has a total of nine ports including three USB-C ports, three USB 3.0 ports equipped with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3, an SD card and a DisplayPort hub. Linedock can also act as a spare SSD for your device since it gives you the possibility of adding 256GB or 1TB storage as an extra bonus to make your laptop a true remote office location. Although it’s been designed for the 13 inch MacBook Pro laptops, Linedock can be compatible with any laptop that is powered by USB-C. Therefore, PixelBook owners are in luck since Linedock is also compatible for them. Although a bit expensive, the Linedock is perfect for Mac users that are always on the go and don’t want to worry about running out of battery to keep them going.

EMeet OfficeCore M2 Smart Speakerphone Conference calls are quite common for business owners and very useful. It avoids them having to travel or physically attend meeting. SME owners are often busy and can’t afford to be constantly traveling to meet with potential clients, investors or suppliers. Not only that, but sometime the people they have to talk to aren’t necessarily in the same town, or country! That’s why conference calls are the perfect solution. Today’s technology has made it easier to do conference calls then the standard 3-way phone call on speaker. There are several gadgets and tools that are available to provide quality conference calls. The EMeet OfficeCore M2 Smart Speakerphone is one of the most innovative sleek portable devices in the market right now. It’s portable so it makes it easy for you to take it with you no matter where you go. With the high quality sound and smart assistant links, it’s easily the number one choice for all business owners. Due to a number of embedded microphones, the OfficeCore M2 offers 360-degree voice recognition and supports a range of up to 26 feet away, so you don’t have to worry about being heard even if you’re not sitting next to the device. It also supports calls of up to 12 people without any interference, therefore you can have a high number of people attending the call so you’re not limited to only a 50


small amount. Another great feature is the fact that it can link mobile smart assistants to make the communication easier. So Siri, Cortana and Google Now can all be supported via Bluetooth connection. The major selling point of this device is the fact that it’s portable. It makes it easy for you to pick up and travel anywhere and it has long lasting battery so you don’t have to worry about having conference calls that can take forever. Although it’s not the cheapest speakerphone on the market, it’s definitely perfect if you’re a business owner who is often on the go and needs to do several conference calls.

Get It Done at

Fiverr Being a small business owner can be very challenging. Especially when it comes to hiring people who have professional experience at an affordable price. You want to make sure you’re getting the right person who meets all the requirements for providing you with their services, but at the same time you don’t want to be spending a huge amount of money either. That’s why more and more people are turning to Fiverr. They’re a great platform where you can find a great variety of different services, for very affordable pricing.

What is Fiverr? Fiverr is an online marketplace that offers freelancing services. You can find people from all over the world who are offering their services for a reasonable price. They are based in Tel Aviv and the company was founded in 2010. In 2012, they already have over three million services listed on their website. Today, they have more than doubled. Whether you’re someone who is selling their services or you’re someone who is looking for services, Fiverr is a great way to meet both needs. As a seller it’s great because you can make your services available globally and make 80% of the revenue. As a buyer, it’s a very convenient and affordable way to find a wide-range of services at very affordable pricing.

Why is Fiverr great for Small Business Owners? As a small business owner, there comes a time where you need to hire professional services. Whether it’s for a legal consult, financial planning, web and graphic design, writing services or anything you need to start and grow your business, Fiverr has it. With millions of services available, they make it their mission to help people get what they need at affordable pricing. Everyone knows that when you’re starting your business, every dollar counts. So, you want to make sure that you’re investing it in the right area and not spending it all on services that cost way too much. Fiverr is a great alternative for business owners looking to get professional quality services but who don’t want to pay too much. With people who have all the right skill set but choose to work for themselves, Fiverr offers quality services to everyone who needs them. What’s great is that they offer several different prices and time frames depending on what you need. They also allow you to contact the person directly who is selling their services to get a customized service for specific pricing. It’s no wonder that more and more business owners are turning to Fiverr when it comes to hiring professional services.

Accenture Executive Madeleine Chenette Named Among Most Powerful Women in Canada by Women's Executive Network Accenture executive Madeleine Chenette has been named to the Women's Executive Network 2018 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 list for the second time. Chenette is the office managing director and products industry lead for Accenture in Quebec. For more than 25 years, she has been leading women in the field of business consulting in Canada, helping clients innovate and succeed in the challenging and ever-changing marketplace. "We are tremendously proud of Madeleine, a strong role model at Accenture who exemplifies what it means to be a leader. She positively challenges our other leaders to break down barriers and support other women," said Bill Morris, senior managing director and president of Accenture in Canada. "Madeleine's leadership has helped our business in Quebec grow rapidly, as we help our clients thrive and innovate." Together with Morris, Chenette is a member of the Canadian Management Committee and is a strong contributor to the overall strategic direction for Accenture in Quebec and across Canada. Under her leadership, the Montreal office of Accenture has experienced significant growth. "To be named one of Canada's Most Powerful Women is truly a great honour and tremendous recognition for the work we're doing at Accenture," Chenette said. "Becoming the driving force of innovation in the Quebec market is an active goal every day. To achieve this, we pride ourselves on creating a workplace where everyone is empowered to lead and can be successful both professionally and personally." Chenette is also active within the Montreal community, including serving as chair of the $2.5-million fundraising campaign "Towards a Third House" for Herstreet (Rue des Femmes de Montréal), supporting homeless women in Montreal, and working on the board and leading a pro bono strategic plan development for the Orchestre Symphonique des jeunes de Montréal (Montreal Youth Orchestra). Accenture aims to achieve a gender-balanced workforce, with 50 percent women and 50 percent men, by 2025. About Accenture Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world's largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 459,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at





Small business owners often don’t have the funds to invest in a location to sell their products. Investing in a location, having enough inventory to show and hiring staff to sell your products can bring up the bill really high. When you’re a small business owner, every dollar counts, that’s why you want to make sure you’re investing all your money in the right area. Spending it on a location to sell your products when you’re not sure if people will love it or if it will get the visibility it needs is a huge gamble. There’s always the possibility that your products won’t sell and then you’re stuck with a huge inventory and a lease for a place that you no longer need or can afford. That’s why more and more business owners are turning towards e-commerce. Technology is constantly changing the way the world works and now it’s even changing the way consumers shop. With websites like Amazon and E-Bay, less and less people are making purchases in stores because they have the possibility of getting what they need from the tip of their fingers and having it delivered directly to their house. E-commerce can completely change the outcome of your business and take it to the next level by making your products available worldwide. The benefits of going e-commerce are huge and when you look at the numbers and the outcome, it’s obviously the way to go.

MONEY SAVING More and more business owners are turning towards e-commerce today. Having a store where you sell your products is becoming a thing of the past. With today’s technology and the rise of e-commerce, business owners have the option to sell everything online. The e-commerce business has literally exploded in the last decade. Not only does it save them money on having a store, but it also save them money on hiring staff, extra inventory and off course furniture for the store. It’s no wonder why more and more SME owners are turning towards e-commerce. It saves them in the long run and allows them to bring more visibility to their products. Having a physical location where you sell your products will only make it visible to those who come. No matter how great the store is or how popular your products are, they will only be limited 52


to the geographical area where they are located. You’re already creating limitations for your business without even realizing it yet. However, if your products are available online, the limitations are much less. You’re making your products accessible worldwide. The internet becomes your playground. Let’s not forget that if you’re planning on selling your products in a store, location is key. You want to make sure that you’re in an area where traffic is high and your target audience often visits. Paying rent or purchasing a store in those areas can be extremely high and eat up most of your budget. That’s why e-commerce is so popular and why SME owners are turning towards it. Even if you have the best e-commerce website, the cost of setting it up will be a fraction compared to how much it would cost for having a physical store. Therefore, having an online store is the most rational and economical way of thinking.

INCREASED REVENUE The benefits of going e-commerce are never ending. Aside from the fact that it’s much more cost efficient for SME owners with the low operational costs, there’s also a huge increase in revenue. As mentioned previously, by selling your products online, you’re opening doors to clients from around the world. By doing so, your client base will grow enormously. Your traffic base will not only depend on where your store is physically located. Since your business will be online, the potential is much higher and your business will get so much more visibility. Throughout e-commerce, you’ll get new customers you would not have received otherwise and this will drive up revenue. Sales will increase and business will grow. Also, since it’s online, your business never shuts down. Meaning that it’s running 24/7. So your sales will keep

happening even at night when regular stores are closed. This is one of the key points about the benefits of e-commerce. The online business never stops and keeps running no matter the time of day. As long as the website is up and running, people are able to access your services and products and help generate revenue. This round-the-clock availability dramatically increases sales and revenue. For SME owners, revenue is extremely important and plays a key factor in their success. So any steps or measurements to help increase revenue is crucial. That’s why e-commerce is the number one benefit for them, because it allows them to increase sales and gives them much higher profit at very low cost.

DIVERSITY IN PLATFORMS So many platforms exist when it comes to e-commerce. Because it’s so popular and it has several advantages, more and more e-commerce platforms are being created to help support the high demand. The most popular e-commerce platforms are off course Amazon and E-Bay. However, Shopify and Etsy have recently started making a name for themselves in the e-commerce world. With their easy to use applications and customizable store features to make it to your liking, more and more small business owners are turning towards them when it comes to selling their products. Etsy is great because they’re a marketplace, like Amazon. It’s great for buyers and sellers. You can sell your products very easily online and they offer you a support system if you have issues. They give you tips and resources for deliveries and make it very affordable and easy for you to use their platform. Shopify however is different. They’re a webstore. So you can basically create your website and use Shopify when it comes to selling your products. Each platform offers different price forms so it’s really up to you to verify which is best for your business. Shopify works with monthly subscriptions to use their services. Etsy on the other hand charges a small amount for listing items, transaction fees and payment processing fees. So many great platforms exists when it comes to e-commerce, but it’s up to you to do some research and find the one that is the best fit for your business. Whether you want to sell on Amazon, E-Bay, Etsy or Shopify, take some time to review each of them and go with the one that is best for your business needs. E-commerce is taking over the future and opening doors for small business owners. With the great benefits that it offers, it’s definitely helping small business owners expand and grow their business successfully.


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.




INFINITI QX50: A LUXURY SUV WITH WORLD-FIRST TECHNOLOGIES ON AN ALL-NEW PLATFORM VC-Turbo: The world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine All-new platform provides unrivalled refinement, rigidity and interior space ProPILOT Assist: Intuitive technologies support the driver Distinctive proportions, with INFINITI's signature Powerful Elegance design The new 2019 QX50 is the most compelling INFINITI to date. A luxury mid-size SUV with world-first technologies, stand-out design and unrivalled interior space, on an entirely new platform. "The 2019 QX50 is the most important vehicle we have ever launched, and it embodies everything the brand stands for: Beautiful design, advanced technology and empowering performance. As a luxury, mid-size SUV, it's the right vehicle at the right time in one of the world's fastest growing segments." Christian Meunier, INFINITI Global Division Vice President

VC-Turbo – the world's first productionready variable compression ratio engine



The VC-Turbo engine is the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine, transforming on demand. A breakthrough in combustion engine design, the 2.0-litre VC-Turbo engine adjusts its compression ratio to optimize power and efficiency. It combines the power of a 2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of a four-cylinder diesel engine. A compelling alternative to diesel, it challenges the notion that only hybrid and diesel powertrains can deliver high torque and efficiency.

"Variable compression ratio technology represents a breakthrough in powertrain development. The QX50, powered by our VCTurbo, is the first production vehicle ever to give drivers an engine that transforms on demand, setting a new benchmark for powertrain capability and refinement." Randy Parker, Vice President, INFINITI Americas A multi-link system continuously raises or lowers the pistons' reach to transform the compression ratio. High compression


ratios aid efficiency, while low ratios enable greater power and torque. The VC-Turbo offers any compression ratio between 8:1 (for performance) and 14:1 (for efficiency), maximizing driver control. The engine delivers 268 hp (200 kW) and 280 lbs-ft @ 1,600-4,800 RPM, an expected bestin-class combination of four-cylinder power and torque. The 2019 QX50 is expected to deliver fuel economy of 26 mpg (US combined, all-wheel drive). All-wheel drive models offer a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency over the previous V6 gasoline QX50. The engine is paired with a continuouslyvariable transmission (CVT), for seamless power delivery. Its infinite number of gears perfectly matches the engine's ability to transform.

All-new platform with predictable ride and handling


The 2019 QX50 is built on an all-new platform, featuring a front-engine, front-wheel drivebased layout. Engineered with flexibility of application in mind, the new platform sets new standards for refinement, rigidity and interior space in the compact luxury SUV segment. "The SUV crossover market is the number one premium segment globally. The new QX50 is INFINITI's core model and offers premium buyers everything they could want from a vehicle of this type, thanks in part to the development of an all-new platform that is an ideal combination of roominess and packaging efficiency." François Bancon, Vice President, Product and Programs The platform's layout allows for higher levels of packaging efficiency than before, resulting in the new QX50's ideal interior proportions for passengers and cargo. The 2019 QX50 represents the first automotive use of SHF (Super High Formability) 980 MPa high-tensile steel, further strengthening the all-new platform. The high-tensile material can be molded into unprecedented shapes, saving weight and representing a torsional rigidity improvement of 23% over the current QX50.

New ProPILOT Assist technologies support single-lane driving INFINITI's customers have stated their desire to remain a key element in the driving equation, so the brand's vision for driver assistance technologies is a step removed from the notion of fully-autonomous 'driverless' motoring embraced by some carmakers.

"INFINITI's ProPILOT Assist technologies offer support when needed and add to the enjoyment and confidence of the driver. Our intention is to empower the driver and enhance feelings of pleasure behind the wheel, not to remove the driver from the equation. The brand new QX50 will set a new benchmark in the biggest premium segment."

driving or parking. Aerodynamic efficiency is key to the new QX50's design – the drag coefficient is reduced by 6% compared to the previous QX50. Its hood, bumpers, A-pillar, tailgate and enclosed underbody are all specially designed to encourage airflow over, around and under the vehicle, with minimal turbulence.

François Bancon, Vice President, Product and Programs

The unrivalled interior space, artistic application of high quality materials, and advanced craftsmanship make the cabin as welcoming and comfortable as it is flexible. Driver-centric, yet passenger-minded, the 2019 QX50 offers a package of technologies to enhance the driving experience. Its asymmetric layout and calm, connected ambience is designed to meet different needs of the driver and passengers.

In the 2019 QX50, ProPILOT Assist technologies help the driver control acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane highway driving, placing them in total control. ProPILOT Assist is designed to add to driving enjoyment and confidence, and is available at the push of a button.

Powerful exterior design, hand-crafted interior Remaining true to the design of the QX50 Concept and QX Sport Inspiration, the QX50's aerodynamic exterior reinterprets INFINITI's distinctive Powerful Elegance design language and signature design cues for the SUV segment. It combines a confident stance with intelligent packaging, while deep character lines highlight the influence of human artistry in the design process. At 1,679mm in height, the new QX50 stands out on the road. Its elevated driver position maximizes visibility, for a clear view whether

The cabin boasts segment-leading space, with a sliding rear bench enhancing cabin and cargo flexibility and creating best-in-class rear legroom. The trunk's volume expands from 31.6 cu ft (895 litres SAE) to 37 cu ft (1,048 litres SAE) as the rear bench slides fore and aft, growing to 60 cu ft (1,699 litres SAE) with the rear seats folded. With all seats in place, it accommodates three golf bags, or a stroller stored lengthways, with space for additional cargo. Under-floor storage areas allow owners to stow other items out of sight. Please visit: specifications







rying to make it onto the first page of Google can be frustrating. You might feel like you’re doing everything right, but still find yourself stuck on page two or three. Think that’s not a bad result? Think again. If you’re past page one of results, you’re essentially irrelevant to those customers searching for solutions. But, what if we told you that your Google search results are more within your control than you think? We meet thousands of entrepreneurs every year, and most of them fall into the same patterns that are preventing them from getting a higher ranking on Google. There are a few common errors that small businesses typically make when it comes to “search.” But first, if you’re wondering if this article even applies to you, let us frame out the importance of your Google ranking in your business success. Key Stats: •

89% of people use search engines to find new products and services

75% of them never go past the first page of Google results because they believe if a company is not on the first page of Google it’s not relevant or ‘good enough’.

43% of all searches have ‘local intent’, meaning that a significant amount of people are not just looking for a ‘what’ but also a ‘where’ – a specific location where they’re looking to purchase that product or service.

As you can see, ‘search’ is incredibly important for small businesses to invest in; and in order to understand how to leverage that investment into securing new clients, it’s important to understand what shows on the first page of Google.



2 Types of Results: There are two core types of search results shown on the first page of Google:

scrambling to stay afloat of digital marketing efforts, we’ve assembled a list of the most common mistakes – and more importantly – how to fix them.

1- PPC results (‘Pay per click’ paid advertising) 2- Organic results (including local, display, video, etc.)


To explain the value of each of these, I like to use a common example – the example of acquiring a car.


PAID SEARCH RESULTS HAS SIMILARITIES TO LEASING A CAR: as long as you’re making payments, you have a vehicle to drive around, but once you stop making payments, you have nothing. Similarly, while you’re investing in a paid ad campaign, you’ll get clicks… but once your campaign ends, it doesn’t keep working for you.

ORGANIC SEO IS LIKE OWNING A CAR: you know there’s an investment required both upfront and over long-term payments. However, after you’ve paid the car off, you continue to benefit from it as an asset and resource. SEO is similar, in that, while there are more upfront investment costs, there are also long-term benefits from those efforts. Check out Green Lotus SEO Services! Understanding the value of digital marketing is easier than understanding the elements required to be successful in the field. In fact, 47% of small businesses report that they have no previous experience in digital marketing, and 43% report they don’t have any spare time – which makes it impossible to learn a new discipline or skill set to help them grow their business. That’s where we come in. Our expertise in digital marketing services, tools and best practices are designed to solve problems for small businesses. For those small businesses

Just because your company ranks on page one of a Google search for your company name, doesn’t mean you’re doing well. In most cases, prospects, that are already familiar with your company, are either already considering you – or have already decided against you. Instead, it’s more important to rank for solution-based keywords in order to reach new customers that aren’t yet familiar with your services. You’ll be able to target and reach these people through SEO practices, but first, you have to acknowledge the problem that the people who need to find you, can’t actually find you yet…

MISTAKE #2: GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION THE SECOND BIGGEST MISTAKE ENTREPRENEURS MAKE IS GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION WHEN IT COMES TO KEYWORDS. WEBSITES ARE FULL OF INDUSTRY JARGON, BUT THAT’S NOT HOW USERS SEARCH! Users search for simple things… simple solutions to the problems they need solved. Users searching on Google write search queries as clearly as possible, so they can get the answers they need as soon as possible.


Given that those are the people you’re trying to find and help, you need to be speaking their language. So, instead of over complicating your vocabulary with fancy industry terms that no customer would ever say, create a simple and straightforward strategy to share your offering, keeping the customer’s needs in mind. Three Important Steps for Keyword research: There are three important steps when it comes to keyword research and they align to actions in the customer journey. STEP 1 – AWARENESS: most users will perform a widely cast, broad search STEP 2 – CONSIDERATION: they’ll start narrowing their search, maybe based on location and specifics STEP 3 – DECISION: they’re looking for something specific and as a result including more detailed information and longer search phrases, also known as long-tail keywords Optimizing for long-tail keywords is the most important thing you can do because those are customers searching for exactly what you offer, and you’ll be much more likely to make a sale. It’s also advantageous because long-tail keywords have significantly less competition.

MISTAKE #3: NOT HAVING A CLEAR STRATEGY Whether you attend a workshop, or read a powerful post like this one, you can learn important information about how to improve your search results, but unless you put a strategy into action, it won’t mean anything. That’s where our Do It Yourself Checklist comes into play. In our Do It Yourself Checklist, there are 8 important categories to cover that include 200+ detailed SEO tasks that should be completed to optimize your results. A strategy like this, performed over a longer term, is crucial for improving your results. When you follow that strategy, or utilize a specific tool and tool provider, like Green Lotus, over a duration of 12 months, you’ll begin to see a huge impact in your ranking, performance and of course, sales!

MISTAKE #4: SENDING CUSTOMERS TO YOUR HOMEPAGE INSTEAD OF A LANDING PAGE Whether you’re running an adwords campaign or advertising in another way – another major mistake often made by small business owners is sending leads to your homepage, rather than a targeted landing page.

Homepages may serve a purpose by offering an overview of products and services that you offer, but when a lead is searching for a particular solution – consider how busy and dense homepages are, offering a lot of information that isn’t relevant to that user. Instead, small business owners that have taken the time to optimize for long-tail keywords and to create targeted content that provides value and solves a particular problem – should create a landing page that speaks to that specific problem, not a general homepage. You only have about 5 seconds of prospective customers’ attention before they’ll bounce of your page if they can’t find what they’re looking for, so ensure that you are sending them directly to where they can find the information they need to convert.

MISTAKE #5: YOUR SITE ISN’T MOBILE-FRIENDLY It’s incredibly important to have a mobilefriendly site. According to a recent study, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on $60,000 in revenue each year. Mobile behaviour has been increasing steadily for the past five years, and it isn’t going anywhere. In fact, 2017 was the first year where mobile searches surpassed the number of desktop internet searches. If this isn’t a clear enough indication of where you should be investing your resources, then consider this: Google has announced that they’re no longer investing in having crawlers index desktop searches, instead reallocating their investment into mobile exploration. If you’re not already there… it’s time to get on mobile! Another interesting piece of behavioural data to consider is that 60 percent of users searching for information on mobile, immediately follow their search by taking an action. For example, a user might be looking for a restaurant near their current location in preparation to eat a meal. Imagine, if you have a prospective customer in your immediate vicinity, hungry for a meal right now and looking for a restaurant — but because you aren’t searchable on mobile, in that moment when they’re primed to buy, they bypass you as an option. You need to be searchable on mobile and optimized to display important information like a button to call to place an order – or a map of your location to capitalize on these in-the-moment opportunities.


By far the biggest mistake that SMBs make is not looking at – or truly understanding – their data. 62% of SMBs are investing money in digital marketing, but don’t know whether their marketing is working for them or not. You need to implement tools that track data and measure the trend of your numbers. There are handfuls of free and premium SEO Tools out there; use them! Move beyond the traditional Google Analytics, which while popular, only show you data about people that have visited your website. Other tools can provide insight about your competitor rankings and behaviour. Take a leap and invest in your digital marketing strategy by trying some new tools and maybe working with an agency expert in digital marketing services, who can help you rev up your best practices. Breaking away from the competition comes down to a numbers and optimization game. You may not believe it, but data proves it. Just consider Amazon who tested their button colour a few years ago – trying both red and yellow. Although items ultimately shipped the same, would you be believe that the colour change increased the conversion rate by 35%? This is a perfect sample about the power of testing things regularly and looking at the numbers to see where you can get an edge to connect with more people, and get them trying your products. No matter how good your products or services are – if no one finds them – they’ll never know.

Bassem Ghali

Bassem Ghali Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner & CEO at Green Lotus Inc. Bassem is a search engine marketing strategist and speaker with more than 12 years of experience managing online marketing strategies for some of Canadian & International corporations including Canadian Tire, VistaPrint, Egypt Air, Xplornet, Direct Energy and Toronto Star.




CANADA’S TOP WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS Women entrepreneurs are leaving their mark on the world. By creating successful companies, they are contributing towards the economy and leaving their mark in the most impressive way. Female entrepreneurship is vital for our future. They ensure that every woman has as many opportunities then men and are slowly closing the gender gap by bringing more women CEOs. We’ve narrowed down a list of top ten Canadian women who have buit their own enterprise from the ground up and who are empowering other women to follow in their footsteps. STEPHANIE CICCARELLI Co-founder and chief brand officer of, Stephanie Ciccarelli first developed her business idea with her husband. Founded in Ontario, the company is now the world’s largest online marketplace for voice actors and their employers

SHAHRZAD RAFATI Founder and CEO of BroadbandTV, Shahrzad Rafati has managed to bring her digital entertainment company as the third largest video property in the world. This Vancouver-based company is third in the world right after Google and Facebook.

CASSANDRA NORDELL Believer that good design can motivate people to change their way of living, Cassandra Nordell founded William Standen Co., an eco-friendly custom cabinet provider. Located in Southwestern Ontario, the company is leading the way in green design.

ALEXANDRA TOULCH Founder of REBL House, Alexandra Toulch has been in the entertainment industry since she was just sixteen. She originally founded her company while she was getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication.

KRISTA LARIVIERE Co-founder and CEO of gShift, Krista LaRiviere has a clear understanding when it comes to online presence and how it can make a huge impact in the business world.

MANDY RENNEHAN When Mandy Rennehan was twenty years old in 1995, she founded Freshco. The company is a full-service 24hour on call retail maintenance provider which covers all of Canada and eastern U.S.A. Being the first female in a male dominated industry, Freshco is now the most successful retail maintenance and construction company in Canada.



WOMEN OF INFLUENCE: TOP 25 WOMEN OF INFLUENCE LUNCHEON 2018 The Top 25 Women of Influence Luncheon took place on December 10th 2018 in Toronto. The event that was presented by Scotia Bank, is set to honour and celebrate Canadian women who have had a positive influence on the country. The Luncheon is not only designed to empower women, but it also recognize Canada’s Most Accomplished Role Models. The 2018 Top 25 Women of Influence includes women from everywhere: different areas, career stages and even contributions to women’s advancement. With each women representing a different sector and each having their own specific accomplishments, putting them one against another in a ranking position would be a difficult if not impossible task. Therefore, the Top 25 is set out to be more of a celebration of accomplishments instead of a ranking.

How INNOVATIVE are Canadian enterprises? The 2017 Survey of Innovation and Business Strategy found that innovation was implemented by more than three-quarters of Canadian enterprises. Innovation is the introduction of new or improved products or operational methods. More enterprises were innovative in 2017 than in 2012. 79.3% 66.8%





More enterprises across Canada reported innovating in 2017 compared to 2012. 2017

Organizational innovation is the most prevalent type among enterprises. REST OF CANADA 2017* 79.5% 2012* 60.0%

ONTARIO 2017 79.8% 2012 71.2%


QUEBEC 2017 80.6% 2012 60.9%

Marketing ATLANTIC 2017 69.1% 2012 45.8%






59.5% 54.4%


*This figure is an approximation.

Size matters: large and medium-sized enterprises reported higher rates of innovation.




Small enterprises

Medium-sized enterprises

Large enterprises

Catalogue number: 11-627-M ISBN number: 978-0-660-28252-7

Percentage of innovative enterprises

Statistics Canada

Statistique Canada

Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Innovation and Business Strategy.