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CANADIANSME ISSUEE 5 APRIL 2019

Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses

B2SB MARKETING WITH

BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE MONTH

ELAINE KUNDA

MIKI VELEMIROVICH PRESIDENT, CARGO

FOUNDER OF DISRUPTION VENTURES

PAGE 36

PAGE 26

HOW SALESFORCE IS HELPING CANADIAN SMES GROW THEIR BUSINESS

HOW CIBC OFFERS SMART SOLUTIONS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS ANDREW TURNBULL SVP, CIBC BUSINESS BANKING

MEREDITH SCHMIDT

PAGE 62

EVP & GM AT SALESFORCE ESSENTIALS PAGE 32

THE NEW ERA OF DIGITAL BANKING ANURAG KAR

FRAUD PREVENTION WITH

GORD JAMIESON

DIRECTOR FOR PUSH PAYMENTS INTERAC CORP.

HEAD OF VISA CANADA RISK SERVICES

PAGE 54

PAGE 34

THE

FUTURE IS NOW EXCLUSIVE CHAT WITH

$6

IAIN MCLEAN

SVP, MARKET DEVELOPMENT FOR MASTERCARD CANADA www.canadiansme.ca


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I CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019


WELCOME

We have just launched our April issue and we’re beyond excited to be a continuance resource to Canadian small and medium sized enterprises. Our mandate is to be Canada’s number one resource magazine when it comes to providing exclusive information to entrepreneurs. Ever since our first issue, CanadianSME has been committed to deliver quality content. We make it our mission to include only the most exclusive interviews and information that will be valuable to all our readers.

CANADIANSME Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses

www.canadiansme.ca info@canadiansme.ca canadiansme canadian_sme canadiansme

Getting the right financial advice plays a crucial role for the success of any business. This month, CanadianSME is all about financing. We believe that all entrepreneurs should get the best quality knowledge when it comes to their business finances. Statistics show that 30% of new business fail within the first two years and 50% within the first five years. One of the main causes other then the lack on planning is often due to financing issues. Whether its entrepreneurs who have trouble managing their finances or just a lack of capital, financing problems can lead to business failure. Therefore, we believe that entrepreneurs should have the full facts when it comes to all the financial aspects of their business. From getting access to capital to paying their vendors to getting paid from their customers, financing plays a crucial part in different areas of a business. It’s what makes a business run. That being said, we’ve dedicated this month’s issue to all things finance.

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

In this edition of CanadianSME, there will be exclusive interviews from professionals of all different finance sectors: Jason Charlebois, Senior VP of Small Business Banking at Scotiabank, Curtis Stange from ATB Financial, Kapil Lakhotia, President and CEO of LEDC and many more. Iain McLean from Mastercard Canada and Gord Jamieson, Head of Canada Visa Risk Services have also contributed to interviews in this months’ edition. Aside from exclusive interviews with these financial experts, CanadianSME is also including in the April edition valuable content through articles such as Choosing the Right Bank for your Canadian SME, Delegate or Drown and 5 Major Take Aways from PWC Banking Report.

Contributors Iain McLean Silvia Pencak Phil Taylor Phoebe Yong Curtis Stange Jeff Brown Elaine Kunda Nicolette Lambrechts

With winter officially behind us and spring that has just begun, it’s time for new beginnings. What better way to start the new season then by growing your small business successfully through valuable resources?We hope that this issue will provide you with all the knowledge and strategies you need that will help your business blossom. We look forward to being part of this journey with you as you work hard towards accomplishing all of your business goals. With your motivation and our resources, we believe that together, we can contribute towards the success of your business. Happy reading!

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

Meredith Schmidt Gord Jamieson Miki Velemirovich Laura Williams Jason Storsley Jason Charlebois Randy Smallbone Mostafa Sayyadi David Morey

David W Smith Kapil Lakhotia Anurag Kar Julie Bédard Ernest Barbaric Andrew Turnbull Hunter Cookson Armando Iannuzzi

MEMBER OF

Thanks for your support! Published by CMarketing Inc. 2355 Derry Road E, Unit 27 | Mississauga, ON | L5S 1V6. Copyright © 2019 CMarketing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photography or illustrations without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

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The contents in CanadianSME Magazine are for informational purposes only. Neither Cmarketing, the publishers, Editors nor any of its partners, employees or affiliates accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of its contents.


CONTENTS 16

36

SME BANKING

Choosing the Right Bank for your Canadian SME

B2SB MARKETING WITH MIKI VELEMIROVICH

42 Exclusive Interview with Jason Charlebois on the future of Small Business Banking

56 Julie Bédard: Making History

26 Business Woman of the Month Elaine Kunda

62 How CIBC offers smart solutions for business owners

54 Anurag Kar: The New Era of Digital Banking

34 Fraud Prevention with Gord Jamieson:

32

HOW SALESFORCE IS HELPING CANADIAN SMES GROW THEIR BUSINESS


In this issue Regulars

14 15

BUSINESS

Supplier Diversity: The Strategic Tool for Women Owned Businesses By Silvia Pencak

TAX

GDP crash: Canadian businesses won’t invest until Canada fixes regulatory and taxation mess By Phil Taylor

17

SMALL BUSINESS

Use your strengths to build a stronger voice at the table

12

BANKING REPORT

5 MAJOR TAKE AWAYS FROM PWC BANKING REPORT

By Phoebe Yong

21 39

ECONOMY

Sluggish energy sector contributes to Canadian economic slowdown in 2019: RBC Economics

HR LAW

How to overcome male HR LAWexecutive disengagement in the #MeToo era By Laura Williams

40

SMALL BUSINESS

How the Marie Kondo approach can bring calm and spark joy for your business By Jason Storsley

46

58

LUXURY

The new Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster

LEADERSHIP

Most Effective Practices You'll Need to Achieve Greatness in Global Leadership By Mostafa Sayyadi

48 50

RESOURCES

10 Best Small Business Resources in Quebec

EXPERT OPINION

Delegate… or Drown

By David W Smith CMC, ACC

65

BUSINESS LAPTOP

Beauty without borders. New Dell XPS 13 2-in-1


Contributors:

JASON CHARLEBOIS

Senior VP Small Business Banking at Scotiabank

Jason started his career in branch banking in Ottawa and his last branch assignment was at Scotia Plaza branch in Toronto as a member of the management team. He loves to travel and lives in downtown Toronto.

NICOLETTE LAMBRECHTS Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Vans,Canada. Nicolette Lambrechts is Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Vans,Canada. Since January 2014, she has been Managing Director of the Vans Division at Mercedes-Benz South Africa.

JEFF BROWN

MEREDITH SCHMIDT

Head of HSBC Retail Business Banking

As Executive Vice President and CEO of Essentials and SMB, Meredith Schmidt is responsible for creating products that help small businesses take advantage of the Salesforce Platform to grow their businesses.

With almost 20 years of financial services experience, Jeff Brown is currently the Head of Retail Business Banking at HSBC Canada. In this role, Jeff oversees the development and execution of HSBC’s Small Business proposition. Prior to this role, Jeff was Vice President of Retail Banking at Meridian Credit Union, where he led a very successful branch expansion strategy in the GTA.

EVP & GM at Salesforce Essentials & SMB at Salesforce

ANDREW TURNBULL

Senior Vice President, CIBC Business Banking As CIBC’s Head of Business Banking, Andrew leads a team that’s transforming what Canadian entrepreneurs and professionals can expect from their bank.

CURTIS STANGE

ATB Financial (CNW Group/ATB Financial) Curtis Stange brings the best of both worlds to ATB Financial. He’s a seasoned banker with extensive experience at one of Canada’s big five banks. And since joining ATB in 2009, he’s taken on challenges—big and small—and along with ATB'sleadership team helped shaped the company as we see it today.

IAIN MCLEAN

SVP, Market Development for Mastercard Canada Iain McLean is the Senior VP Market Development at Mastercard Canada. Having been with Mastercard for the last 8 years, he’s contributed towards developing and researching on new ways were Mastercard can benefit consumers and business owners across Canada.

GORD JAMIESON

Head of Visa Canada Risk Services Gord Jamieson is a Senior Business Leader at Visa and serves as the head of Canada Risk. His goal is to differentiate Visa from competition, reduce risks of regulatory impact and support core growth by engaging Canadian clients to minimize payment system risks manufacturing and distribution.

JASON STORSLEY

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


Contributors:

DAVID W. SMITH

SILVIA PENCAK

Co-founder Logia Consulting Inc

President, WBE Canada

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

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.

DENNIS DARBY

Executive Coach and Senior Digital Marketing Strategist Ernest Barbaric is a certified executive coach and senior digital marketing strategist helping organizations make an impact.

LAURA WILLIAMS

Founder, Williams HR Law

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

PHOEBE YONG

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

ANURAG KAR

Director for Push Payments – Interac Corp. Anurag Kar is the Director for Push Payments with Interac Corp. He is responsible for money movement products such as Interac e-Transfer, Batch Payables & Receivables and International Remittances.

MIKI VELEMIROVICH

President, Cargo

Miki Velemirovich is the President of Cargo, a full-service marketing and advertising agency that specializes in helping big brands market to small businesses. Cargo is an expert in the Business to Small Business space coining the term B2SB Marketing®.

ELAINE KUNDA

Founder of Disruption Ventures A serial entrepreneur Elaine has successfully built teams and realigned business strategies for over 15 years. She recently launched Disruption Ventures, a VC fund that invests in female founded and managed companies.

KAPIL LAKHOTIA

President and CEO of LEDC

An Economist by training, Kapil was appointed President and CEO of the London Economic Development Corporation after a several internal progressions.

RANDY SMALLBONE

CEO and President of Astron Connect Randy is the CEO of Smallbone Consulting, specializing in strategic planning, business advisory and financial restructuring.

JULIE BÉDARD

President & CEO of Quebec Chamber of Commerce & Industry Julie Bédard is the President and CEO of Quebec Chamber of Commerce and the first woman to manage the CCIQ in over 200 years of history.

ARMANDO IANNUZZI

Tax Partner at KRP Armando Iannuzzi is a tax partner at KRP LLP, a Markham, Ont.-based accounting firm for entrepreneurs. Learn more at www.krp.ca


NEWS HealthPRO's Cynthia Valaitis named one of the 100 Influential Women in Canadian Supply Chain

Cynthia Valaitis, President and CEO, HealthPRO Procurement Services Inc. (CNW Group/HealthPRO Procurement Services Inc.)

IABC/Toronto names Founder and CEO of AccessNow Maayan Ziv as its 2018 Communicator of the Year

Maayan Ziv (CNW Group/IABC/Toronto)

Cynthia Valaitis, President and CEO of HealthPRO, Canada'sprocurement services organization, was named one of 100 Influential Women in Canadian Supply Chain.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)/Toronto has chosen Founder and CEO of AccessNow Maayan Ziv, as Communicator of the Year (COTY) for 2018. Ms. Ziv was selected by unanimous decision by a panel of five senior communicators.

Launched for the first time this year by the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA), the top 100 list celebrates achievers in Canada's supply chain sector and key contributors to the success of their organizations who serve as role models for others within the profession.

Maayan is a passionate and powerful advocate for creating a more accessible and inclusive world. In 2015, Maayan founded AccessNow, a digital platform that collects and shares information about the accessibility status of places worldwide. An incredible storyteller, she shares her experiences to raise awareness among people of all abilities, educate people on the importance of inclusion, and mobilize people around the world to make a difference.

"I am both humbled and honoured by this recognition," says Ms. Valaitis. "At HealthPRO, we are privileged to work with an incredible group of supply chain experts and clinicians from across Canada's healthcare system, whose expertise contributes to delivering healthcare contracts for the highest quality products at the best value." Cynthia has led the organization since 2013 and has been a key contributor to its success since 1996. The 100 women will be recognized at the SCMA Gala on May 30th in Montreal. About HealthPRO Procurement Services Inc. HealthPRO is Canada's healthcare procurement services organization, representing the purchasing interests of more than 800 hospitals across the country. Through our national collective efforts, we source high quality products and services at the best value, while advancing issues that matter, including patient safety, innovation and assurance of supply. For more information, please visit www.healthprocanada.com. SOURCE HealthPRO Procurement Services Inc.

Ms. Ziv's communications leadership stands out in the world of advocacy. She understands the role of social and digital media in connecting with people to champion the cause. "What I've realized as an entrepreneur is that we need to innovate if we are going to make the world more accessible. By rallying communities to work together we're able to help create meaningful change and foster authentic experiences of inclusion," Ms. Ziv said. "Being recognized as a great communicator is a huge honour, and I'm humbled to use my voice to contribute to such an important movement." Every year, IABC/Toronto presents the COTY award to a leader in the GTA who demonstrates exceptional leadership and communications skills. Ms. Ziv will formally receive the award at the annual COTY breakfast. This year the event is sponsored by ContactMonkey. About IABC/Toronto IABC/Toronto is the largest chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators with more than 1,100 members from the Greater Toronto Area. The chapter supports its community of business communication professionals with innovative thinking, shared best practices, in-depth learning and career guidance. For more information visit: https://toronto.iabc.com SOURCE IABC/Toronto

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I CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019


Helping Small & Medium Businesses Grow Big What is SME Business Growth? CanadianSME has one vision: helping Canadian small and medium enterprises become more successful and competitive. By making advertising and marketing affordable,CanadianSME has introduced the SME Business Growth Package for Canadian small and medium enterprises. SME Business Growth provides a complete 360-degree marketing opportunity for all SMEs. CanadianSME is dedicated to helping your business grow.Therefore, we are devoted to providing you with all the resources and services to help you towards that goal.

STANDARD

BUSINESS PRO

8 half page ads

6 full page ads

Exclusive Interview in the CanadianSME

Exclusive Interview in the CanadianSME

Exclusive Company profile 1 page in CanadianSME

Exclusive Company profile 2 pages in CanadianSME 5 Sponsored Content on www.canadiansme.ca

2 Sponsored Content on www.canadiansme.ca

36 Social Media Mentions on Twitter

18 Social Media Mentions on Twitter

36 Posts on CanadianSME Twitter handle

18 Posts on CanadianSME Twitter handle 18 Posts on CanadianSME Instagram

36 Posts on CanadianSME Instagram 36 Posts on Facebook page

18 Posts on Facebook page

12 ft Exhibit Space in CanadianSME EXPO2020 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre

10 ft Exhibit Space in CanadianSME EXPO2020 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Special Invite to CanadianSME Business Awards Special Invite to Top 100 CanadianSME Night Event

To know more : info@canadiansme.ca


Iain McLean

SVP, Market Development for MasterCard Canada

The FUTURE is NOW Iain McLean is the Senior VP Market Development at Mastercard Canada. Having been with Mastercard for the last 8 years, he’s contributed towards developing and researching on new ways were Mastercard can benefit consumers and business owners across Canada. Prior to joining Mastercard in 2010, Iain worked for several different organizations where he gained experience in e-commerce shops and sales. He’s a strong believer that the future of economy is heading towards a cashless economy and that may be sooner than we think. What would you say is the number one benefit for Small Business Owners to accept payments via Mastercard? The number one benefit of accepting electronic payments is delivering a seamless and secure checkout for consumers. For small business owners, this is a very efficient means of accepting payment and the costs are lower than other forms. Factors such as efficiency and speed are also important, as electronic payments let staff focus on customer service instead of handling cash. In your opinion, what would you say are the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face when it comes to accepting payments from their customers? I’d like to see all businesses and entrepreneurs realize the accessibility of electronic payments. From the outside looking in, it can feel like a complex space. So it’s fantastic that over the last few years, card payments have become more and more accessible for small businesses to deliver the kind of payment experiences that large businesses are able to do. If you look at e-commerce, accepting electronic payments is of course crucial for small businesses. With the accessibility of electronic payments, small businesses are increasingly delivering customer experiences that consumers have come to accept of larger businesses in-store and online. 10

I CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019

More and more merchants are accepting payments by cards. Some are even refusing cash and only accept either credit or debit cards as a payment method. What are your thoughts on that? Are we moving towards an age of a “cashless” payment environment where businesses will not accept cash as a method of payment? If so, does Mastercard have any predictions on how many years away we are from a completely “cashless” society in Canada/US? More and more merchants are accepting electronic payments and it’s important to offer choice to consumers. They will gravitate towards the payment methods that they prefer. If you consider some of the technology that has become prevalent within markets like Canada, we can see the move towards an increasingly cashless society. For example, the growth of “tap and pay”, where we see customers preferring to “tap” their card and move through the queue quickly. The business owner also experiences the benefits of being able to serve more customers. Overall, in Canada, we’ve been seeing the cashless trend over the last couple of years. And as cash becomes a less efficient means of payment, it will be a trend that will continue. With food and ride-sharing apps, consumers are moving towards using e-commerce and mobile channels. In fact, the fastest growing portion of our business is small e-commerce businesses. As we continue to see technology driving new consumer experiences, we’ll see a greater portion of payments move towards the electronic method. We believe that electronic payments carry benefits for consumers, businesses and government.


Helping Small & Medium Businesses Grow Big What is SME Business Growth? CanadianSME has one vision: helping Canadian small and medium enterprises become more successful and competitive. By making advertising and marketing affordable,CanadianSME has introduced the SME Business Growth Package for Canadian small and medium enterprises. SME Business Growth provides a complete 360-degree marketing opportunity for all SMEs. CanadianSME is dedicated to helping your business grow.Therefore, we are devoted to providing you with all the resources and services to help you towards that goal.

STANDARD

BUSINESS PRO

8 half page ads

6 full page ads

Exclusive Interview in the CanadianSME

Exclusive Interview in the CanadianSME

Exclusive Company profile 1 page in CanadianSME

Exclusive Company profile 2 pages in CanadianSME 5 Sponsored Content on www.canadiansme.ca

2 Sponsored Content on www.canadiansme.ca

36 Social Media Mentions on Twitter

18 Social Media Mentions on Twitter

36 Posts on CanadianSME Twitter handle

18 Posts on CanadianSME Twitter handle 18 Posts on CanadianSME Instagram

36 Posts on CanadianSME Instagram 36 Posts on Facebook page

18 Posts on Facebook page

12 ft Exhibit Space in CanadianSME EXPO2020 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre

10 ft Exhibit Space in CanadianSME EXPO2020 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Special Invite to CanadianSME Business Awards Special Invite to Top 100 CanadianSME Night Event

To know more : info@canadiansme.ca


5

BANKING REPORT

MAJOR TAKE AWAYS FROM PWC BANKING REPORT

T

he 2019 Canadian Banks publication has officially been released and with it comes the future of the banking industry. This year is all about digitalization and modernizing the world of banking. With new innovative technologies being introduced regularly, customers expect their banking needs to stay current with new trends. Competition is high and numerous technology industries are taking their chance into the financial industry. Therefore, it’s now more important than ever for banks to step up their game if they want to stay in the competition. The open banking concept has already been in play for quite some time in other countries, so Canada is behind. However, seeing as how this new concept has completely revolutionized the banking industry in other countries, we should be expecting open banking to be introduced to Canada very soon. In its 2018 budget, the Canadian government announced that open banking could very well be coming to Canada as early as 2019. In this article, we will be exploring the five major aspects of the 2019 Canadian Banks publication which fully explains the concept of open banking and what this would represent for Canadians.

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I CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019

A brief introduction to 1 open banking In summary, the concept of open banking is based on linking internal bank customer data and processes with other parties through digital channels. From a better use of banking services such as account combinations and an easier way of customer identification to delivering products and services to resolve customer issues, open banking is creating a world of possibilities when it comes to the enhancement of financial services and providing a better customer experience. While most of the ideas of open banking are not new, it’s only been recently that policymakers have started working on regulations to find a solution on these long-term issues. Open banking is basically what is intended to be a solution to the challenges that customers face when it comes to their banking needs. It’s designed to give clients a better customer experience so they can get all their banking needs done without facing challenges and struggles. Open banking no longer limits customers to certain tasks, it’s intended to give them more control so they can get on with their daily tasks.

2

Open banking for customers

Open banking represents a world of possibilities to customers. It not only gives them a bigger control when it comes to doing their banking, but it’s also creating more opportunities for them. Open banking focusses on three key aspects when it comes to customer experience:

Open Data:

Through the use of Application Programming Interfaces (API), customers can provide third parties a full view of their accounts. They have the power to choose what they want to share and with whom. This gives them to opportunity to seek financial advice elsewhere or can benefit them in other situations where they would need to share certain banking information with other parties. API has been developed securely to avoid risk or security breaches. Therefore, customers can share their banking information to their parties with complete ease of mind that it’s safe and secure.

Open Process:

Still through the API process, clients are able to authorize a third-party payments management platform to initiate payments on their behalf. No longer having to go through the process of wiring funds or bill payments that are not set in real time, the open process


BANKING REPORT

aspect gives full authorization for clients to allow third-parties to take payments directly from their account to pay any bills that are due. Customers won’t have to worry about missing payments or due dates.

Open Products:

With the constant competition between banks, it’s very common for customers to switch banks from time to time to suit their financial needs. The open product aspect allows customers to switch banks without going through the hassle of being present at both banks to sign papers and such. With open products, customers can move from one bank to another without ever having to step foot inside either banks. Their accounts from their previous bank will be closed and reopened in their new bank. Funds will also be transferred electronically. This will save time and provide a better customer experience.

Open banking inspires 3 a more competitive and innovative financial ecosystem Open banking’s mission is to create a competitive and innovative financial ecosystem. Technology plays a major part in all industries therefore it’s no surprise that it’s at the center of open banking. Several big technology companies have been working round the clock to come up with solutions that could benefit customers and banks. This is why open banking was created. To encourage a competitive and innovative banking industry. With constant new discoveries in the tech world, customers have come to expect the same when it comes to their banking needs. Several technology companies have already stepped in the financial industry; therefore, open banking will give them the possibility to take things to the next level. If banks were to initiate open banking in their systems, this would definitely make them the front runner. This will benefit them in several areas that can help them grow even bigger: Opportunities of partnerships and acquisitions of SMEs through their innovations A clearer picture of their customers lives through shared data Development of new products and services for a better customer experience

4

The impact of open banking on all involved parties

Banks:

Since banks are already trusted by customers, if they put in place an open banking system, they have stronger chances of becoming the front runners. This is also great for small and mid-sized banks since it will give them the opportunity to grow by gaining new customers. This gives them the possibility to not only attract new customers, but also reach new markets. Banks do need to ensure to have their data properly set-up so that they can make their information accessible upon request. While some banks might find the fact of sharing data uncomfortable, it’s essential for them to consider all the benefits this will create for them. Another great aspect of open data for banks is that through shared data, they will be able to stop and irregularities that could be potential fraud or money laundering.

Customers:

Open banking represents a world of possibilities to customers. It gives them the flexibility and control of their banking products to make their lives easier. Not only is it making their banking services more innovative, but it’s also giving them an overall better customer experience. For starters, open banking can speed up credit processing for retail customers. For business owners, it can improve their credit process by allowing third parties to see the history of their banking such as cashflows which could ultimately help them get the right financing. Open banking opens a door of possibilities and opportunities for those who will take advantage it. However, it’s important that customer who decide to share their banking data with third parties that they give their full consent and are confident that their bank has a full security process that will protect their banking information.

FinTechs:

Open banking can create significant opportunities for FinTechs. Through shared data, they can create innovative products such as platforms where customers can compare their different banking products to get a better customer experience. One of the best opportunities open banking brings to FinTechs is the possibility of a partnership with banks. By partnering up with banks to create platforms and programs that are beneficial for all involved parties, FinTechs will be opening

themselves to a new market space. This will give them the possibility to have access to new networks and potential clients.

Regulators:

Regulators play one of the most crucial roles in the open banking process. They are the ones who will decide which organizations can participate in open banking. This includes the decision of which banks can use the API system that gives access to shared data. They will also need to consider which rules to put in place when it comes to customers giving consent to sharing their data. Ensuring that open banking is done securely to avoid any risks that can jeopardize any of the parties involved, regulators need to thoroughly investigate and consider all aspects prior to making their decision on who will be able to use open banking.

5 Security & Privacy Although there are many benefits of using open banking, it does come with its share of risks. Customers are putting their trust into their banks who could very well have an open banking relationship with a third party. There’s always a possibility of having that third party experience a privacy breach which could ultimately give access of all their banking information to criminal organizations. This is one of the biggest concerns and risks of open banking. However, banks are more likely to have all the proper security measures in place to give them the opportunity of using open banking. They will however need to reinforce their security measures and ensure that the third parties in which they will be using open banking with will have the same security measures in place. Through enhanced certification processes, fraud management controls and cyber protections, banks will be able to confirm that all aspects of data security and privacy are covered. This will allow them to make a clear confident decision on who they will be using open banking with. There are many benefits to open banking and it will bring the financing industry more innovative with current technology trends. However, with open banking comes a wave of new concerns about risks and security breaches. While open banking can open the door to several new opportunities for banks, it’s important that they ensure to increase their security measures to avoid any potential risks for themselves and their clients.

CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019 I

13


BUSINESS

Supplier Diversity: The Strategic Tool for

Women Owned Businesses By Silvia Pencak

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

Supplier diversity is one of the untapped resources for Canadian women-owned businesses. It is a very important tool that opens the door for women founders to large corporate and government supply chains. Let’s have a closer look at what it is and how it can benefit your business. In the USA, the supplier diversity journey began over 50 years ago as a strategic initiative of the federal government to advance the minorities’ population in the wake of racial unrest. In 1995, after women had lobbied for the same recognition as an underserved group, supplier diversity for women’s businesses began in the USA. Because of this history, supplier diversity is quite advanced in the USA. For example, over 95% of Fortune 500 companies have supplier diversity programs that target historically underutilized businesses, expand buyers’ choice, and boost innovation, competitiveness and market knowledge.

founded by corporations looking to diversify their supply chain as a certification body for Canadian women-owned businesses. The number of organizations committed to supplier diversity has been growing ever since. According to Statistics Canada, “A 20 percent increase in total revenues among majority female-owned enterprises will contribute an additional $2 billion per annum to the Canadian economy.” The estimate is based on extrapolation of Statistics Canada data presented by Industry Canada (June, 2010) where, in 2007, majority female-owned enterprises account for 16% of Canada’s 1.3 million Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises or 208,000 enterprises. The average total revenue of majority femaleowned firms was approximately $563,000. The average profit margin (ratio of pre-tax profit to sales) was 8.5% which reflects an aggregate net contribution of $117 billion per annum. WBE Canada certified women-owned businesses have an average revenue of $14.1 million and aggregate revenue of $4.3 billion per annum. (WBE Canada, January 2019)

With the trend towards contract bundling in the US, over 80% of multinational corporations are now requiring supplier diversity efforts from their tier one and tier two suppliers. They advertise this “spend” with diverse populations, and are taking their business practice global, setting new benchmarks for measuring and celebrating diversity in supply chain contracts they award.

We still have a long journey ahead of us. While spend with women-owned businesses averages 20-30% in the US, Canadian corporations tracking their diversity spend average 1-5% spend with all diverse suppliers. The role of WBE Canada and other certifying councils is to ensure the increase of such opportunities in the Canadian market. We are excited to see more and more organizations committing to embrace supplier diversity initiatives and procuring from diverse suppliers, specifically from women-owned businesses.

Supplier Diversity spread to Canada fifteen years ago with the launch of the Canadian Aboriginal and Minorities Supplier Council (CAMSC). WBE Canada’s roots go back to 2009. Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada) is a Canadian non-profit organization certifying Canadian businesses that are majority owned, managed and controlled by women. The organization was

While supplier diversity is still relatively unknown in Canada, 87% of women-owned businesses selling to corporations and government in the US have their WBE certification. Through its events and programs WBE Canada aims to educate women-owned businesses about procurement and corporate supplier diversity programs, connect them with buyers across industries, promote successes on


both sides (corporate and WBE) and reward achievements in this space.

MediaFace Story “Joining WBE Canada was a strategic move for us,” says Lisa Bragg, CEO and Founder, MediaFace. “Being a part of the network has opened so many doors. It has allowed me to connect with like-minded female leaders, give and get muchappreciated advice and engage with brands of all sizes.” While the hustle and bustle of your day job can be distracting, you can’t forget to get in front of your audience, market yourself and leverage existing and potential professional contacts. “Take it from me, you have to get involved, show up to networking events and make a concerted effort,” stresses Lisa. “In my case, it has paid off in several ways.” Over the years, Lisa has met so many inspiring and influential women through WBE Canada. Women who can relate to similar challenges and growing pains in their careers. “The support of such a strong network and my incredible team have landed us sought-after work with international brands, it has also led to budding friendships and alliances. It can be lonely being an entrepreneur. Lifelong friends just don’t understand what it’s really like to run a successful business, but other women business owners, well, they get it,” adds Lisa. And those women include Marty Britton, President and CEO, Britton Management Profiles and Kathy Cheng, Founder and President, Redwood Classics Apparel.

MediaFace joined WBE Canada in 2017, a decade after Lisa founded the awardwinning content creation company. MediaFace creates transformative content that changes the way audiences think about your brand, products and you. Lisa will accept a prestigious award for women business owners this year at the 2019 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards. MediaFace is listed as one of Canada's fastest growing media and marketing companies by the Growth 500 in 2017 and 2018. This is just one of many stories in WBE Canada community. Women across the country are scaling up their businesses, making important connections, but most importantly, achieving their dreams. WBE certification is aimed to support B2B businesses looking to work with large corporate and/or government organizations. Certification is not for every women owned business (those selling directly to market should look at other networks for support) but it can be your ticket to play at the bigger table and should be regarded as the first step towards growth for your business. Smaller B2B businesses can benefit from a network of women-owned businesses and training opportunities to help them scale up faster. It comes with the willingness to work at networking, rubbing shoulders with corporate buyers and understanding how they do business. WBE Canada is able to provide that learning and ongoing support from the very beginning of your supplier diversity journey. To learn more about WBE certification, visit www. WBECanada.ca/certification.

GDP crash:

Canadian businesses won’t invest until Canada fixes regulatory and taxation mess

By Phil Taylor

(OTTAWA) The Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, made the following statement regarding Canada’s poor GDP results: “We may have seen the impact of Canadian businesses reaching their limit with Canada’s broken regulatory and taxation systems: they’ve closed their wallets. Dig a little deeper into today’s data, and the slowing of GDP in the fourth quarter was largely driven by a 2.7% drop in investment spending. This is consistent with what we've heard from our members across the country: there's too much economic, regulatory, and political uncertainty to make investments in Canada right now. Canadians businesses are keeping their money in their wallet until Canada gives them a reason to invest. Sadly, the story is different for the small businesses south of the border. The U.S. GDP numbers released on Wednesday exceeded expectations by growing 2.6% in Q4 compared to Canada’s disappointing 0.1% growth. In 2018 as a whole, the U.S. economy grew 3.1%, while the Canadian economy sputtered at a lower than projected 1.8% growth. We see a stark contrast in business investment between the two economies. In the United States, non-residential business investment accelerated to a 6.2% gain, while overall business investment in Canada fell in spite of the federal government’s efforts to kick-start investment in November’s Fall Economic Statement. We need policies that return Canada to a place where it makes sense to start and grow a business, and make investments. This is existential when our immediate competition next door has a much more attractive business environment. Fixing our broken regulatory and tax systems are no longer nice haves, but must haves. What more proof do we need to finally take action?” The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @ CdnChamberofCom.

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SME BANKING

Choosing the Right Bank for your Canadian SME

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hen you first start your business, you have a list of priorities on what you should start working on: marketing, targeting the right audience, your service rates, inventory, location and so forth. Finding the right bank that will look after your business transactions is probably not on your list of priorities. However, it should be. Putting your trust into a bank that will look after all your business transactions and loans is extremely important and it’s not a decision that you should be taking lightly. You spend so much time comparing banks and doing research on them to find out which bank is the best fit for your personal finances. So, why shouldn’t you take the same amount of time when it comes to your business? Having the right bank for your business can have a significant impact on its success. With that in mind, there are many aspects to consider when it comes to choosing the bank that will be beneficial for your business and contribute towards its growth.

Know your needs Before you even start looking for a bank, you need to understand exactly what you will need from them. This means, you need to understand your needs. Start by answering simple questions:

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How many deposits will you be making on a monthly basis?

Will you be doing any withdrawals? How many?

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How many bill payments will you have per month?

Are you going to have any EFTs?

What will be your monthly cash flow?

Will you need a business loan? A line of credit?

These are all important questions you should be asking yourself. It will help you determine what your needs are and what you’re looking for. Maybe your business will have several transactions daily so you don’t want a bank that will charge a high amount of service fees at the end of the month. It’s important to really take the time to ask yourself these important questions which will ultimately determine your banking needs. Once you have the answers, you will have a better picture of what your banking needs are and from there, you can really start your search for a bank that will look after your business transactions.

Start comparing After you’ve covered all the basics of what your monthly transactions will look like, you can start by comparing different banks and their features. Which bank will give you the most for your money? Which bank offers you all the features you need and more? Take the time to really research the different banks in your area. Go meet with specialists, take notes, ask questions, read their reviews. If you know an entrepreneur, ask them which bank they deal with. Find out what the pros and cons are for each bank. This step is crucial because it will

help you get an objective overview of each financial institution. Take the time to really compare each bank and their feature and see which one is a better fit for you and your business.

Size matters This will be one of the most important decisions you make. Should you opt for a small bank, or should you go for one of the bigger ones? Sure, small banks tend to be attracting and might have exactly what you’re looking for now. But it’s important to think about the bigger picture. When you start your business, your goal is to scale. You want your business to grow and become successful. So, you want to have a bank that will be able to meet those needs. You don’t want to end up having to switch banks because the bank you initially chose when you started is no longer able to accommodate you. Therefore, think about the bigger picture. What is your main goal? Where do you see your business going 5 years from now and will the bank you choose be able to stay with you as you grow your business. Choosing the right bank can contribute greatly towards your business. It can almost be like a business partnership. Having the right bank by your side will be crucial because they can guide you, offer you advice and help you achieve your goals. Therefore, it’s important to not take this decision lightly. Don’t just choose a bank to choose one. Choose a bank that is the right fit and who not only sees your vision, but understands it and can help you get one step closer towards your business goals.


SUCCESS

Use your strengths to

Phoebe Yong With over 25 years of industry experience in B2B marketing, Phoebe has built an awardwinning boutique marketing agency based in Vancouver that services high-tech, cleantech, financial and manufacturing clients. With a degree in Communications and an MBA in Marketing, Phoebe has led partner marketing campaigns with some of the biggest brands in the world – Dell, HP, Microsoft, Vodafone and Unicom China. Working on everything from shoestring budgets to over $2M ad campaigns, she’s also run press tours with the largest and most influential global media outlets. For more information, visit magnoliamc.com.

build a stronger voice at the table By Phoebe Yong, Principal and Founder of Magnolia Communications Nearly 85% of Canadian women indicated they were interested in starting their own business. That’s a lot of women. On a global scale, Canadian women ranked 1st in terms of their involvement with newer businesses, ahead of the U.S., Britain, and other innovation-based economies. With such a high number of risk-seeking women who are ready to launch their own businesses, I urge them to think of being fearless, having the confidence to trust your instincts, and capitalizing on the special traits inherent to powerful women. The table stakes for running a business (new or established) are common. Companies need to hire the right people, be customer-driven, and develop the right culture necessary for growth. Another large part of building a successful business is having the right leader, and there are special traits I can recognize in women that should be fostered as they take on leadership roles.

Listening is an absolute to master the art of selling A great leader is a great listener. Neuroscience research between the University of California, Irvine and the University of New Mexico shows men and women process language differently. Men tend to focus on information required to solve a problem or complete a task while women connect to nonauditory functions such as emotion when listening. In an age of digital transformation, emotional intelligence is an underrated soft skill. Our ability for empathetic listening can be highly effective in a business environment. I’ve been in many meetings where the focus on selling dominates the conversation and much of the talking is not done by

the customer, but by the vendor. This is where our ability to listen and listen well comes in. Seek to understand, and you will know your customer needs on a deeper level. Take that skill set into the boardrooms, and place empathy at the heart of your conversations with customers. They will not only welcome but appreciate that approach. As Malcolm Forbes once said, “The art of conversation lies in listening”, and it requires emotional intelligence to truly connect with customers and solve their problems.

Be honest, even if it means you have to brag How many times have we been reminded to downplay our achievements instead of bragging about them? There is nothing stronger than a woman who can step up to the podium and let the world know her wins - and her failures. We work hard every day, behind the scenes, to build our business and there is blood, sweat and tears involved. When you win and when you have the opportunity, shout it from the rooftops. For those who have been programmed to be humble or be bashful about their accomplishments, I urge you to challenge your inner voice and let people know how hard you have worked to get to where you are. This will inspire others to learn from your lessons and hopefully inspire them to overcome their own personal challenges. Having the confidence to speak of your accomplishments is only one side of the coin. Be comfortable to speak to both wins and losses, as it marks a leader’s character to admit shortcoming and take learnings from it.

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INTERVIEW

Banking with

Curtis Stange ATB Financial (CNW Group/ATB Financial)

Curtis Stange brings the best of both worlds to ATB Financial. He’s a seasoned banker with extensive experience at one of Canada’s big five banks. And since joining ATB in 2009, he’s taken on challenges—big and small— and along with ATB's leadership team helped shaped the company as we see it today. His first role at ATB was to create the highly successful Business & Agriculture area of expertise, serving the financial needs of Alberta’s entrepreneurs, small and mediumsized businesses, and agricultural producers. He then shepherded the complex and massive conversion of ATB’s core banking system to SAP, a global first. He followed that by leading ATB’s strategic planning and the operational side of the business, including launching innovative approaches such as the world’s first fullfeatured virtual banking assistant in Facebook Messenger, ATB LendR, TrackIt and Apple Pay, as well as championing the ATB team that sent the first real-timeinternational blockchain payment from Canada to Germany. How do you believe your 30 years of banking experience has prepared you for your current role of President and CEO of ATB? I am incredibly excited to be leading ATB Financial and I’m inspired to work with over 5,000 team members who are as committed as I am to serving customers and transforming banking. My career has taken me across Canada, 18

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through all aspects of the industry, during both good and bad economic times. It’s provided me with the experience to successfully navigate a dynamic organization through the triumphs and challenges we often face. When I first joined ATB in 2009, I was given the chance to build our Business and Agriculture area of expertise from the ground up. This drove us to focus our efforts on supporting the needs of Alberta’s entrepreneurs, SMEs and agricultural producers in a more substantial way—from the very beginning of their journey. Today, we see the impact with our Boostr platform which harnesses the power of crowdfunding for entrepreneurs to start or grow their business. We recently concluded the Build Her Business competition which offered crowdfunding, mentorship and support to help female entrepreneurs overcome some of the unique barriers they face.

Then, as ATB’s first Chief Customer Officer, I had a wonderful opportunity to listen more closely to our customers and eliminate what they can’t stand about banking, you know, all of those troubling bits that can have a real day-to-day impact on your business. One pain point I heard often was no call-backs. We established a 24 hour rule — customers who contact us get a thoughtful response within 24 hours whether they provide that input on social media or at a branch. Throughout it all, I have never stopped learning. You played a significant part in the implementation of ATB’s new banking system as well as a leadership role in several innovative approaches such as the first ever fully virtual banking assistant. What were some of the techniques you used to come up with these groundbreaking techniques?


INTERVIEW

I have always looked at how we can harness technology to improve banking for our customers. From the first-ever virtual banking assistant that you mention, to sending the first real-time international blockchain payment from Canada to Germany, my ATB team has moved the needle when it comes to innovation in a big way.

started subscribing early adopters who will have access to the experience later this year.

I am also a big believer in the adaptability quotient. It’s quickly becoming the most important quotient in business today. It’s that growth mindset which challenges your current thinking, changes previous paradigms and considers what’s possible in an increasingly volatile, uncertain and complex world.

What sets ATB apart from other financial institutions?

Of course, none of this would be possible without excellent teamwork. Our successes at ATB can be attributed to a sharp focus on collaboration and a shared belief in the positive power of disruption. What are some of the projects and initiatives you’re hoping to put in place in your new role of President and CEO of ATB? I want to continue our pursuit to reimagine banking, making it work for people and continue to transform the industry. We’re focused on sustainability, being aware of the forces around us that impact what we do and being able to plan for it in a different way. That means doing our due diligence, listening to customers, determining where they will need us in the future and positioning ourselves there. That’s the thinking behind Brightside, our upcoming digital-only bank which has

The future holds both challenges and opportunity. This is not the time to take a backseat or watch from the sidelines. To thrive, we all need to embrace innovation and the change that comes with it.

We serve one important market: Alberta. Everything we do is focused on how we can make banking work for Albertans, how we can help them reach their dreams — whether that’s buying a house, saving for their child’s post-secondary education, starting a business or making day-to-day banking that much easier. We like to say we are customer obsessed and that doesn’t happen by chance. We take the time to get to know our customers and doing all we can to meet their needs. Our people also set us apart. Investments in branches, new technology, fancy apps, and designing great experiences for our customers are only made possible because of our team members. You have extensive experience working at one of Canada’s top five banks. Why do you believe business owners should choose ATB for their financing needs as opposed to larger financial institutions? We take the time to listen to our customers because we know that’s critical in understanding a customer’s business—and

"The best advice is planning. Planning that takes into account all development phases in the short, medium and long term timeframe. Among the most important elements that the entrepreneur must take into account is both ensuring adequate financing and a very good knowledge of the market in which he wishes to offer his product or service. The contractor should not hesitate to ask for advice and mentorship. He has his own vision of the business, but being supported by good experts will allow him to avoid doing things that could cause great damage or slow down the growth he wants to achieve."

in helping them achieve their goals. We look at both the business and the person behind it. We feel a responsibility to consider their personal financial needs — you can’t separate a business from the life of an entrepreneur. With that understanding, we add real value to SMEs in our ability to share custom insight and guidance that will help to grow their companies and their success. We’ve seen this when it comes to business planning (in the traditional sense of the term). We’ve heard from our customers that many small business owners don’t have a plan, so often, we work with them to understand their goals and tailor a plan to meet their specific needs. We also listen when our customer’s plans change—we all know entrepreneurs need to be agile and adjust to constant changes in the business environment—and when they do, we’re here, with a full understanding of how to help, all because we take the time to listen. ATB has an incredible infrastructure to support entrepreneurs and small businesses. We offer not only relationship managers but a circle of experts both internally and externally. Our experts are there to listen when challenges arise—whether it be cash flow or marketing— and help business owners and entrepreneurs overcome any aspect of the business that creates a barrier to success. We genuinely care about our customers and look for innovative solutions, many of them unique for Alberta entrepreneurs. In your expert opinion, what are some of the challenges that entrepreneurs face when it comes to their financing needs? For some entrepreneurs, a lack of resources is a huge challenge and makes it hard for small businesses to develop a well-thoughtout business plan. A lack of working capital poses another challenge at the time of start up or expansion. We understand all of these challenges and we can help find the solutions. ATB has a fiduciary responsibility to our customers to listen and ask questions to better understand their plans to ensure their business is financially viable and sustainable. We are also familiar with several programs offered outside of ATB involving partner organizations that can provide solutions including Alberta Innovates, Business Development Centre and Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, to name a few.

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INTERVIEW

People believe banking is all about profits and money but it’s actually a people business. When I took the role, one of the first gaps I identified was around how we listened to people, specifically our customers. I knew it was crucial to have a deeper understanding of our customers. I wanted to know what keeps them up at night, what motivates them and how ATB can help make banking work better. So, I developed the Listening Post as my first order of business, to do this. I expanded our customer care hours so we now have people available around the clock to help customers whenever they have questions.

You were ATB’s first-ever Chief Customer Officer. What was the most challenging part of that position? People believe banking is all about profits and money but it’s actually a people business. When I took the role, one of the first gaps I identified was around how we listened to people, specifically our customers. I knew it was crucial to have a deeper understanding of our customers. I wanted to know what keeps them up at night, what motivates them and how ATB can help make banking work better. So, I developed the Listening Post as my first order of business, to do this. I expanded our customer care hours so we now have people available around the clock to help customers whenever they have questions. I also went on a tour from the top to the bottom of Alberta to hear what was on the minds of our team members, customers and community partners and to understand how ATB is transforming banking and making it accessible. It was eye-opening and continues to help inform my decisions. Do you believe that being ATB’s first Chief Customer Officer had a positive impact on their customer service? Absolutely, although being customer obsessed means our work is never done! We have learned so much through our Listening Post. We honed in on ensuring a consistent standard of service and realized that what may work best for a bank does not always work best for our customer. This was a turning point for us and enabled us to begin driving a culture of customer obsession including implementing

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the 24-hour rule I mentioned earlier. We know money is deeply personal and emotional for people. They aren’t just numbers or credit scores but people with dreams and ambition. We’ve brought the customer perspective to everything we’ve done since. And I bring it every day as President and CEO. You have a strong connection with the community through the several organizations that you take part in. What inspires you to play such a huge role in charitable organizations that benefit the community? At ATB, we are part of 247 communities across our province. And I believe the best leaders need to make meaningful contributions to the communities they live, work and play in. At ATB, we have a strong philanthropic and volunteer culture. Every year, ATB sets aside money to match 15 per cent of each dollar donated to Alberta charities through the ATB Cares program. Through charitable donations, fundraising, grants and sponsorships, ATB contributes millions of dollars every year. What I’m probably most proud of is how ATB team members volunteer thousands of hours to community initiatives outside of their day-to-day—it speaks to who we are, the values we share and our commitment to our community. One of my personal passions is wellness — physical, mental, spiritual and financial. I’m a board member of the Canadian Mental

Health Association where we are advocating to reduce the stigma and translate that into a healthier community. Far too many people are struggling with mental health and don’t feel comfortable talking about it. I’m also on the board of the Edmonton International Airport and MasterCard Canada, as well as co-chair of the Children’s Wish Foundation. I know we can make a difference by truly listening and using ATB’s expertise to help change people’s lives for the better. On a final note, you have a pretty active lifestyle with your wife. How do you manage to find time through your busy schedule to stay in shape and do all these activities with your wife? Physical activity—whether it’s cycling, golf, hiking or skiing—has always been an important part of my and Shannon’s life and a crucial part of my family’s overall wellness. I believe physical wellness is deeply connected to mental, spiritual and financial wellbeing. When one of those elements of our lives is not fed or properly nurtured, it throws our overall mindset out of balance. This not only motivates me to maintain an active lifestyle but also inspired me to establish Wellness Wednesdays at ATB where every month I dive deeper into topics around mental, physical, spiritual and financial wellness and how we can get there. We know our people are the beginning and the most important component of our promise to Albertans. We can only deliver remarkable customer experiences if our team members are all in. That means taking care of our overall wellness.


ECONOMY

Sluggish energy sector contributes to

Canadian economic slowdown in 2019: RBC Economics Canada's economy is headed for a slower 2019: RBC Economics downgrades 2019 growth forecast to 1.5 per cent Coastal provinces are expected to lead GDP growth: B.C. to grow 2.5 per cent, Newfoundland and Labrador to grow 2.3 per cent Momentum in the global economy is slipping: Investors remain skittish and central bankers continue to be cautious

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anada's economic growth will slow in 2019 as global economic momentum fades and oil-sector woes at home weigh on activity, according to the latest RBC Economic Outlook Report. RBC Economics has downgraded its 2019 Canadian forecast to 1.5 per cent from 1.7 per cent. In addition to weakness in the energy sector, RBC is projecting softer consumer spending as households adjust to higher interest rates. The severity of the energy-led downturn is expected to be short-lived, however. RBC also does not expect a dramatic pullback in investment such as the one that occurred in the previous period of falling oil prices. " The impact of the energy-sector weakness on the Canadian economy is more limited when compared to the previous oil downturn in 2015 and 2016," said Craig Wright, Senior-Vice President and Chief Economist, RBC. "Our forecast assumes that oil prices will hold around current levels throughout 2019 and grind higher in 2020." The Canadian economy will continue to get a boost from a strong labour market, and projected growth of 2.4 per cent in the U.S. should support Canadian exports. Employment growth to remain strong Canada's labour market is healthy with the unemployment rate holding at more than a 40-year low. Wage growth to date has been lackluster, but with more companies facing labour shortages and more workers switching jobs, RBC expects faster wage gains in the near future. Canada's coasts lead the way in 2019 The start of construction on a $40 billion LNG project is providing a significant boost to B.C's economy. RBC forecasts the province will grow 2.5 per cent in 2019, leading all Canadian provinces and showing few signs of a slowdown in spite of home sales dropping nearly 25 per cent in 2018. Things are also looking up in Newfoundland and Labrador, which is expected to bounce back after a weak showing in

2018. RBC forecasts real GDP growth of 2.3 per cent in 2019 – the second-highest pace in the country. Momentum in global economy slowing While global financial markets have settled since December, investors remain skittish and central bankers are sounding more cautious. China's economy is expected to slow in 2019 and its trade dispute with the U.S. remains unsettled. Both the U.K. and European economies are struggling with the lack of progress on Brexit. RBC projects global growth of 3.5 per cent this year and little change in 2020. Strong labour market conditions continue to lift U.S economy With continued job growth and rising wages, the U.S economy is set to be a growth leader in 2019, although growth will not quite reach 2018's strong pace. Consumer spending is expected to remain healthy. RBC forecasts the U.S. economy grow at 2.4 per cent pace in 2019 and less than 2 per cent in 2020. A complete copy of the RBC Economic and Financial Market Outlook is now available. A separate RBC Economics Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to economic and employment growth, unemployment rates, retail sales, housing starts and consumer price indices.

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 33 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.

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INTERVIEW

Small Business Talk With

Jeff Brown Head of HSBC Retail Business Banking

With almost 20 years of financial services e xperience, Jeff Brown is currently the Head of Retail Business Banking at HSBC Canada. In this role, Jeff oversees the development and execution of HSBC’s Small Business proposition. Prior to this role, Jeff was Vice President of Retail Banking at Meridian Credit Union, where he led a very successful branch expansion strategy in the GTA. Jeff graduated with his MBA from Laurier, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst, Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Financial Planner designations.

During your career, you’ve worked at several different financial institutions. If you were to compare the benefits for SME owners that HSBC provides compared to other banks, how would you go about it? The most obvious difference that stands out from my experience at other financial institutions is that HSBC is a global bank. We have the capabilities -expertise and knowledge -as well as the products and services that can help Canadian businesses with global ambitions move ahead.

same common challenges that SMEs face today: access to working capital, providing products or services, and dealing with banks. I had a customer service background prior to banking and really saw how the traditional banking experience could be improved with better advice and service.

In my opinion, that is probably our biggest differentiators when you consider other products and services, including trade, multicurrency capabilities or establishing banking relationships in other countries through the HSBC global brand. All the Canadian banks have some level of foreign exposure, but none of them are in the number of countries that HSBC is in(particularly in Asia and Europe).

I then moved into a leadership role and began managing teams. I was able to work with small businesses and the advisors on implementing ideas on improving the customer experience. After that, I took a more senior role with a credit union.

How do you believe your experience has prepared you for your current role as Head of Retail Business Banking with HSBC? I started as a small business advisor. At my first job, the bank where I worked was opening up small business accounts, and I worked with a lot of small business owners who faced the 22

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At the credit union, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to learn about community banking. I worked on creating products, services, offers, and processes. Even in the five years between my previous position and now, the landscape has changed when serving small businesses. We talk a lot more about the digital aspect, but we probably have overstepped how far we also think that we are moving away from traditional customer journeys.

There's that balance that we're trying to find today, and my past experiences have certainly helped in my current role: both from dealing directly with customers, leading teams and now developing products and services. Those experiences have all lead up to this point, where I have spent some time working in a global organization and using this acquired knowledge to deliver a domestic strategy. What are some of the programs and resources that HSBC provides to help SME owners grow their business? About two years ago we increased our investment in small business banking. HSBC Bank Canada has been a solid player for global organizations. We looked at how we were serving the domestic market and we realized that we hadn't been properly invested in it. So we began looking at the way the market serves small businesses in order to increase our investments. We looked at some of the research that we did around traditional relationship models versus digital journeys, and we decided to


INTERVIEW

"On the other hand, recessions have traditionally been one of the most significant sources of self-employment whereby rightsizing, downsizing, people have decided to start a business. And there are some great successes that you may have heard about started by people who were transitioned into that role where they became self-employed. "

strategically invest in what I'll call “digital assistant journeys”. The concept was about maintaining a relationship level approach to serving small businesses, while providing them with digital capabilities to become a customer of the bank, and to borrow money from the bank. Digital lending, for example, is now alive platform where a customer can apply and get a credit decision on a line of credit in as little as five minutes. It’s called HSBC eCredit. A big differentiator is that applicants don't have to be HSBC customers. We have also partnered with a Fintech - Biz2Credit -on eCredit, and we are using some impressive new technology around transactional data scraping to create a risk scorecard.

time for business owners to embark on their journey of becoming entrepreneurs? It's a complicated question because it puts the issue into two separate components. On the economic side, there's no question. You need to look at your business model and how that might relate to the current economic conditions. On the other hand, recessions have traditionally been one of the most significant sources of self-employment whereby rightsizing, downsizing, people have decided to start a business. And there are some great successes that you may have heard about started by people who were transitioned into that role where they became self-employed.

Our approach around small business lending is to look at more cashflow-based current data to try to assess our customers’ risk. That is one example of how we are trying to move forward, but additionally, we still give every customer a relationship manager and we still have our branch model.

So, I think it's a matter of looking at what your business model is and saying, “Is my model dependent on a strong economy?”

At HSBC, we firmly believe that the branches are an essential place for customers, and also for our small business customers. This process is a multi-year journey. We've got a new mobile app coming later this year that can be used alongside eCredit and our branch models. And we will be bringing some other neat things, including “Beyond Banking”, which is the integration of other services.

In my experience, the number one challenge they face is wearing multiple hats.

Many entrepreneurs often hesitate before going into business because of the economy and not having enough resources or capital to launch. In your expert opinion, is there a right or wrong

What is the number one financial challenge that SME owners face and how can HSBC help them?

Most small business owners are passionate about an idea, a product, a service, but they're not excited about doing payroll, or managing HR, or managing supplier relationships. It is essential for an entrepreneur to receive advice in order to guide them on proper decision making in multiple areas. A bank traditionally really steps up to support you in the areas of understanding your cashflow, financing needs, and how to manage that whole payment world.

That's where HSBC is looking at providing many new products and solutions. Business owners will want access to the products and services they need, and they will want them to be simple. That's a real challenge because the Fintechs of the world are creating unique ideas and opportunities to help a specific facet of small business needs. But when it comes to bringing it all together, you’re at risk of dealing with ten different service providers and trying to manage your business. We're trying to bring those types of services together and also keeping it very simple. The key behind what HSBC can also do as a bank is through our own network and that is to introduce small business customers to what we often call “centres of influence”. I believe that every small business needs to create some level of a board of directors: which can be formal, or informal but it’s important to have expertise that can be called upon for help. Starting a business can be very challenging and overwhelming for entrepreneurs. What services does HSBC provide to help business owners in their start-up phase? The challenge to dealing with start ups is their limited financial history. Banks often spend a lot of time looking at the financial numbers of a start up, but often the most successful factor of a start up is actually the capability of the owner. We have devoted our efforts to helping professionals who come from other countries get established here. We see a lot of those customers come bank with HSBC because they are familiar with our bank from other countries.

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SME BANKING

Choosing the Right Bank for your Canadian SME

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hen you first start your business, you have a list of priorities on what you should start working on: marketing, targeting the right audience, your service rates, inventory, location and so forth. Finding the right bank that will look after your business transactions is probably not on your list of priorities. However, it should be. Putting your trust into a bank that will look after all your business transactions and loans is extremely important and it’s not a decision that you should be taking lightly. You spend so much time comparing banks and doing research on them to find out which bank is the best fit for your personal finances. So, why shouldn’t you take the same amount of time when it comes to your business? Having the right bank for your business can have a significant impact on its success. With that in mind, there are many aspects to consider when it comes to choosing the bank that will be beneficial for your business and contribute towards its growth.

Know your needs Before you even start looking for a bank, you need to understand exactly what you will need from them. This means, you need to understand your needs. Start by answering simple questions:

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How many deposits will you be making on a monthly basis?

Will you be doing any withdrawals? How many?

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How many bill payments will you have per month?

Are you going to have any EFTs?

What will be your monthly cash flow?

Will you need a business loan? A line of credit?

These are all important questions you should be asking yourself. It will help you determine what your needs are and what you’re looking for. Maybe your business will have several transactions daily so you don’t want a bank that will charge a high amount of service fees at the end of the month. It’s important to really take the time to ask yourself these important questions which will ultimately determine your banking needs. Once you have the answers, you will have a better picture of what your banking needs are and from there, you can really start your search for a bank that will look after your business transactions.

Start comparing After you’ve covered all the basics of what your monthly transactions will look like, you can start by comparing different banks and their features. Which bank will give you the most for your money? Which bank offers you all the features you need and more? Take the time to really research the different banks in your area. Go meet with specialists, take notes, ask questions, read their reviews. If you know an entrepreneur, ask them which bank they deal with. Find out what the pros and cons are for each bank. This step is crucial because it will

help you get an objective overview of each financial institution. Take the time to really compare each bank and their feature and see which one is a better fit for you and your business.

Size matters This will be one of the most important decisions you make. Should you opt for a small bank, or should you go for one of the bigger ones? Sure, small banks tend to be attracting and might have exactly what you’re looking for now. But it’s important to think about the bigger picture. When you start your business, your goal is to scale. You want your business to grow and become successful. So, you want to have a bank that will be able to meet those needs. You don’t want to end up having to switch banks because the bank you initially chose when you started is no longer able to accommodate you. Therefore, think about the bigger picture. What is your main goal? Where do you see your business going 5 years from now and will the bank you choose be able to stay with you as you grow your business. Choosing the right bank can contribute greatly towards your business. It can almost be like a business partnership. Having the right bank by your side will be crucial because they can guide you, offer you advice and help you achieve your goals. Therefore, it’s important to not take this decision lightly. Don’t just choose a bank to choose one. Choose a bank that is the right fit and who not only sees your vision, but understands it and can help you get one step closer towards your business goals.


SUCCESS

Use your strengths to

Phoebe Yong With over 25 years of industry experience in B2B marketing, Phoebe has built an awardwinning boutique marketing agency based in Vancouver that services high-tech, cleantech, financial and manufacturing clients. With a degree in Communications and an MBA in Marketing, Phoebe has led partner marketing campaigns with some of the biggest brands in the world – Dell, HP, Microsoft, Vodafone and Unicom China. Working on everything from shoestring budgets to over $2M ad campaigns, she’s also run press tours with the largest and most influential global media outlets. For more information, visit magnoliamc.com.

build a stronger voice at the table By Phoebe Yong, Principal and Founder of Magnolia Communications Nearly 85% of Canadian women indicated they were interested in starting their own business. That’s a lot of women. On a global scale, Canadian women ranked 1st in terms of their involvement with newer businesses, ahead of the U.S., Britain, and other innovation-based economies. With such a high number of risk-seeking women who are ready to launch their own businesses, I urge them to think of being fearless, having the confidence to trust your instincts, and capitalizing on the special traits inherent to powerful women. The table stakes for running a business (new or established) are common. Companies need to hire the right people, be customer-driven, and develop the right culture necessary for growth. Another large part of building a successful business is having the right leader, and there are special traits I can recognize in women that should be fostered as they take on leadership roles.

Listening is an absolute to master the art of selling A great leader is a great listener. Neuroscience research between the University of California, Irvine and the University of New Mexico shows men and women process language differently. Men tend to focus on information required to solve a problem or complete a task while women connect to nonauditory functions such as emotion when listening. In an age of digital transformation, emotional intelligence is an underrated soft skill. Our ability for empathetic listening can be highly effective in a business environment. I’ve been in many meetings where the focus on selling dominates the conversation and much of the talking is not done by

the customer, but by the vendor. This is where our ability to listen and listen well comes in. Seek to understand, and you will know your customer needs on a deeper level. Take that skill set into the boardrooms, and place empathy at the heart of your conversations with customers. They will not only welcome but appreciate that approach. As Malcolm Forbes once said, “The art of conversation lies in listening”, and it requires emotional intelligence to truly connect with customers and solve their problems.

Be honest, even if it means you have to brag How many times have we been reminded to downplay our achievements instead of bragging about them? There is nothing stronger than a woman who can step up to the podium and let the world know her wins - and her failures. We work hard every day, behind the scenes, to build our business and there is blood, sweat and tears involved. When you win and when you have the opportunity, shout it from the rooftops. For those who have been programmed to be humble or be bashful about their accomplishments, I urge you to challenge your inner voice and let people know how hard you have worked to get to where you are. This will inspire others to learn from your lessons and hopefully inspire them to overcome their own personal challenges. Having the confidence to speak of your accomplishments is only one side of the coin. Be comfortable to speak to both wins and losses, as it marks a leader’s character to admit shortcoming and take learnings from it.

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BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE MONTH

Business Woman of the Month

Elaine Kunda Founder of Disruption Ventures

A serial entrepreneur Elaine has successfully built teams and realigned business strategies for over 15 years. She recently launched Disruption Ventures, a VC fund that invests in female founded and managed companies. This was a natural progression for Elaine as she has spent the past 6 years consulting and advising start-ups and early stage companies, helping them reach their goals and access financing. Prior to consulting, she was CEO of B5Media. The company was sold to Alloy Digital in April 2012. Elaine was also the CEO of Ziplocal which was sold to Canpages in 2009. She spent over six years at Toronto.com, Canada’s top online regional portal and started her online career in Business Development at Grey Advertising in 1998. A recognized expert in the digital media space, Elaine has spoken at premier events such as Exceptional Women in Publishing, McMaster Professional Development Day, DigiDay’s Digital Publishing Summit, Internet Week New York and the 2011 Marketing to Women Conference. Elaine also serves as a dedicated advisor to the G(irls)20, which works to encourage G8 and G20 leaders to prioritize the political empowerment and economic freedom of females worldwide. The organization’s summit brings together female candidates from each G20 country to debate social issues and devise economic innovations. Elaine has also been appointed to the McMaster Alumni Association Board of Directors.

"Technology is a primary focus because tech businesses tend to be the most scalable andhigh-growth. Venture investing requires a venturegrade opportunity where a business can scale to the level it needs to in order to be successful" 26

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BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE MONTH

Elaine’s other passions include athletics, travel and a continuous desire for growth and discovery. What do you believe is the main reason that there is such a low percentage of women who are venture capitalists?

The main focus of Disruption Ventures is on startup in the technology sector. Why the focus on technology?

The industry is fairly new in Canada, and while it’s started to expand and grow in the last 10 years, women haven’t been part of the expansion. Most VC firms are started by individuals who have created a VC fund and have gone out to raise VC dollars. This is a high-risk proposition and difficult thing to build. I don’t think there is a conscious interest or effort to keep women out, but it evolved as it has over the past 10 to 20 years and we have found ourselves in a position where there are few women.

Technology is a primary focus because tech businesses tend to be the most scalable and high-growth. Venture investing requires a venturegrade opportunity where a business can scale to the level it needs to in order to be successful.

What was the inspiration behind the foundation of Disruption Ventures? First, I saw the opportunity. From a financial perspective, where there’s an underserved and under-utilized segment of the market, there’s an opportunity. The reason I saw the opportunity was through being introduced to highly experienced women with great educations who were raising money. When I circled back, though, few had been able to close on deals. This was around2011, well before the industry was exposed to the great disconnect between men and women today. When I look back now, many of those women have been successful even though they weren’t able to raise money at the time. What is the main goal of Disruption Ventures? What are you hoping to accomplish through it? My goal like any fund is to have a great capital return to its LPs and I see this as a great business opportunity, first and foremost. At the same time, it serves a social purpose by proving that women are not only good investments, but good investors. What is the biggest challenge that women entrepreneurs face and how can Disruption Ventures help them? To be clear, entrepreneurship is difficult no matter who you are because it’s a risky endeavour. I’m focused on capital, which has proven to be a huge challenge that is disproportionately more difficult for women than it is for men. Great businesses often fail from lack of capital and no other good reason. You’ve mentioned that less than 2% of women get access to venture capital funding. By making more funding available to women entrepreneurs, how do you believe this will change the industry? Exposure to these numbers and focus on the issue by institutions is definitely having a positive impact,but we’re still so far behind.Gender bias is real and research suggests that unconscious bias does not change. To catch up, and to do so organically, this gap would take too long. At the same time, people in the industry want to be successful and when those people acknowledge that women are good entrepreneurs, they view women differently.

How have your past experiences contributed towards your current role of helping women entrepreneurs get the resources they need to succeed? Everything I’ve done in my life to date has allowed me to leverage experiences to be successful in venture capital. These experiences, combined with a global network and ability to raise money through companies I’ve worked with, put me in a position to enable the companies I invest in to be successful. What is the best advice that you can give to women entrepreneurs who are looking for venture capital funding? It takes a lot of work. Be prepared and be clear on what problem you’re solving and how your solution and your team are unique in solving that problem. Thinking in these terms will translate into your ability to execute. How do you see the next five years for women entrepreneurs? What do you believe will be the major areas that will improve? We’ll definitely look at the statistics in five years and see much greater investment in women entrepreneurs. A shift in culture will naturally follow but already we see younger demographics not having the same biases as older demographics. In some Scandinavian countries today, this isn’t as much of an issue and they’ve evolved a bit faster than we have. There’s no good reason for us not to invest in women and I believe we will catch up. On a final note, can you tell us what life has been like for you since you founded Disruption Ventures? It’s been incredibly exciting. This is exactly where I should be and the only place I want to be, but it hasn’t come without its challenges. Raising money is difficult no matter who you are. There are a lot of people who can recognize an opportunity but don’t put their money where their mouth is. There’s a lot of dialogue out there that isn’t translating into something real, which can be frustrating.We are seeing more individuals and organizations take action and I am thrilled for the journey to continue!

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INTERVIEW

Exclusive Chat with

Nicolette Lambrechts Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Vans,Canada.

Nicolette Lambrechts is the Vice-President of MercedesBenz Vans Canada. Prior to joining Mercedes-Benz Canada, she was the Managing Director of the Vans Division at Mercedes-Benz South Africa, where she led her team to consistently surpass targets and built a strong relationship with the local dealer network. She joined Daimler (Mercedes-Benz’s parent company) in 2001 as a Graduate Trainee and has held numerous roles such as Sales Planner for Chrysler Jeep, Distribution Manager for Commercial Vehicles, and National Sales Manager and Brand Manager for Mercedes-Benz Vans in South Africa. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Economics from the University of Pretoria. 28

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INTERVIEW

Please give some brief details about your professional background, such as how you started? I started working with Mercedes-Benz South Africa 19 years ago. I started as a graduate trainee in the distribution and logistics department and have had great opportunities within the company to get me to where I am today. I was a sales planner for Chrysler at that time. I then became the head of distribution and logistics for commercial vehicles. In South Africa, we looked after all of the Daimler brands: Freightliner, Fuso, Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans. In 2008, MercedesBenz South Africa, decided to have a much more Vans-specific focus. As a result, I was offered the position of Sales Manager for Vans and I have been with the Van division ever since. It's now been more than two years since your appointment to Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Vans in Canada, what are some of the achievements you have made in your new leadership role? So it's been quite an exciting time in Canada over the last two years. I'm proud of my team and what we’ve accomplished. We've continued to

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We pride ourselves in what we stand for. Mercedes-Benz vans our slogan is born to run. For me, it's always been about the people. People buy from people, and it's about relationships and trust, and we want our customers to trust us. We hope that that differentiates us from our competitors, that we have that relationship was he now network without customers that whatever we do they believe us in that we have the best interest of their business at heart because that's what we here to do is just provide them with the right tools to be able to be successful at their business.

show steady growth within the Canadian market. In 2017, we mapped out what we want the future to look like for Vans in Canada, and developed our current strategic approach to getting there. We’ve since placed a greater emphasis on fleet business and focused on the value we add for our customers. We’ve also established a dedicated customer service and parts team within my department. This team has been tasked with supporting our customers, fleet and dealers, and the after-sales business. For its eighth year, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has won the Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value Award in the Full-size Van category. How has Mercedes-Benz maintained such a successful track record of providing the best value to their customers? We are very proud of this achievement. We've always been very proud of the quality of our product and the lifecycle and total cost of ownership of a Mercedes-Benz Van. To get the recognition from Canadian Black Book for the 8th year in a row-- it’s really a proud moment for us.

What are some things that you wish to accomplish in your role as Vice President? Well, the market and overall industry are changing rapidly, and I think we have to change with it. The economic situation in Canada is evolving, and we’ll need to move from a vehicle producer and seller to a full-scale mobility provider—that’s definitely something I’d like to help achieve Ultimately, I want everybody to be as passionate and excited about Vans as I am. I love what I do, I always say I have diesel in my blood. How does Mercedes-Benz differentiate itself from competitors? We pride ourselves on what we stand for. At Mercedes-Benz Vans, our slogan is ‘Born to run’—we want to provide vehicles and service that ensure uptime for our customers. Beyond product, it's about relationships and trust, and we do everything to gain our customers’ trust. We hope this approach differentiates us from our competitors. We want our customers to have the confidence to believe in us. We want them to know we have their best interest at heart and that we’re here to provide them with the right tools that enable them to be successful.

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I N T E RV I E W

"The market and the industry are changing rapidly, and we have to change with it, the economic situation in Canada is changing, and we need to move from a vehicle producer and seller to a mobility provider." What initially inspired you to go into the business of vans with Mercedes-Benz? I started with Mercedes-Benz in the commercial vehicle department. Growing up, I didn’t really envision this type of position. I didn’t think “Oh, I’m going to go into the trucking world.” It’s really something that just organically happened. But in my opinion, it’s the most exciting industry. It opened this entire world for me. It also showed me that we need to market different career opportunities to young people because there is something for everybody, and there are many industries young people don’t think about or don’t even know exist. In your 18 years with Mercedes-Benz, how has the company reached the levels of success it has on an international level? I believe that Mercedes-Benz has always been a company that is in the business of innovation. We invented the automobile, and have continued to innovate for the past 130 years. We always look to the future, and we're always looking at what's next. Not just for the next two to three years, but for the next 10 to 20 years. I really think that we are shaping the future of mobility and that passion for innovation is what I believe makes Mercedes-Benz such a fantastic organization. What advice would you give a Canadian small to medium business owner when it comes to choosing a Mercedes-Benz Van vs a competitor? I think it is essential for any business owner to do their research. Make sure that you explore all of your options to find the right fit for your business. In the end, I do believe that Mercedes-Benz Vans offer unique selling points that cater to SMEs. The Sprinter is so versatile. The Metris is the only mid-size Van in its class within Canada. I encourage all customers to do the research because I’m confident that through this research many will come to the conclusion that the right product for them is a Mercedes-Benz. Ultimately, we are a business consultant for our customers; we provide mobility solutions based on their needs. Mercedes-Benz Vans won the Best Fleet Value in Canada Award in 2018. What is one thing that you and your team do to ensure Mercedes-Benz Vans are achieving these kinds of accomplishments year after year?

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We don't actively do anything to win awards or recognition. We are consistently recognized with industry awards because our product speaks for itself. It makes us very proud to win these awards, however we don’t campaign for them. Mercedes-Benz Vans is one of the top luxury van solutions for Canadian small to medium business owners. What are some of the key introductions of the 2019 fleet that business owners can benefit from? The tagline for the new Sprinter, which launched in September last year, is ‘Built for you’. We fully believe that we have a product that caters to any small to medium enterprise business. Later this year we will launch a gas engine variant. We will also launch a 15 seater passenger van, ideal for companies that have transport or shuttle services. We’re excited about the expansion of our Canadian product portfolio, and ultimately we think Canadian SMEs will benefit from it because we’re offering an even wider variety of options to suit an even wider variety of business needs. How does Mercedes-Benz define small and medium size customers in the target market? We follow the industry standard to define SMEs. In 2018, Mercedes-Benz Vans Canada re-evaluated our fleet strategy at a national level. It was evident that our most significant opportunity was with small/medium enterprises purchasing vehicles through our robust Dealer Network. As such, we revamped our sales offers to small/medium enterprises to make the qualification process much more straightforward for these valued customers and to offer a variety of special sales offers depending on the purchase channel. For example, qualifying small/medium enterprises are eligible to receive reduced lease and finance rates through Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and additional cash incentives. We also offer affiliate programs for some key accounts. These new programs helped increase our share of the market in the Commercial Fleet business in 2018 and we continue to see the share grow in 2019.


INTERVIEW

In your words what would you say sets Mercedes-Benz apart from similar organizations? We aim to be a one-stop shop for the customer, offering the product, finance, and after-sales support. So for me, what sets us apart is our vision of being a mobility consultant and a mobility solutions provider to our customer. That is our key focus. You have almost two decades of experience with Mercedes-Benz in both sales and leadership positions. How do you believe your experience has helped you in your current role as Vice President of Vans? I have been very fortunate in my career to have great leaders and mentors who have helped me and guided me in developing my leadership style. I grew up with the values of integrity, openness and honesty. As a leader, the ability to provide and receive constructive feedback has proven to be very valuable. I also think it’s important to be proactive, to be open to change and to always adapt quickly. Over the span of my career, I’ve been able to spot certain trends and have reacted to them swiftly. You have to be open to new ideas. What are the major differences you saw in the market within South Africa and Canada? The Canadian market has been very stable over the last decade and has enjoyed consistent growth in the automotive segment. Whereas the South African market has seen its share of challenges. In South Africa, economic and political challenges lead to volatile exchange rates and economic growth. That said, when looking at Vans customers specifically, a South African and a Canadian are the same in terms of their thinking, buying behavior and what their requirements are. In either country, a van is a tool for people to run their business and their focus is the total cost of ownership and uptime. Beyond those factors, our customers all have their unique ideas and needs. Our job is to make sure that we provide them with the right tools.

Since being appointed Vice President, you have probably encountered many challenges. What are some of those challenges and how have you overcome them? My biggest challenge has been winter. That has been my biggest challenge in Canada. Joking aside, there is a perception that the automotive industry is a man’s world. I've never seen any industry as a man's industry and I’ve been fortunate to have very supportive colleagues throughout my career. I think we've come a long way over the last few years to be driving diversity in this industry because it’s very, very important. When you sit around a table to discuss new ideas and new ways of doing things, if you don't have diversity - be it gender, be it culture, etc. - you will never come to the most innovative solution. You need different ways of thinking, different backgrounds and different experiences to drive business forward. What is your advice for women entrepreneurs and women in leadership roles? Believe in yourself. Don't let anybody tell you or insinuate that you do not belong around the boardroom table. See an opportunity, take it, and go for it. Be confident enough to ask for help. Surround yourself with leaders and mentors who you can turn to for guidance. Another valuable lesson that I learnt from one of my previous mentors is to never be afraid to employ somebody that you think is smarter than you. These people will challenge you and challenge the performance of the team. Where do you see Mercedes-Benz Vans 10 years from now? Ten years from now I see Mercedes-Benz Vans as the mobility leader in the industry.

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INTERVIEW

How Salesforce is helping Canadian SMEs grow their business

Meredith Schmidt: EVP & GM at Salesforce Essentials & SMB at Salesforce

As Executive Vice President and CEO of Essentials and SMB, Meredith Schmidt is responsible for creating products that help small businesses take advantage of the Salesforce Platform to grow their businesses. Meredith was previously the Executive Vice President in charge of global revenue operations at Salesforce, managing the sales operations, compensation, and product and enablement teams, reporting directly to the CFO. Meredith lives in San Francisco, and enjoys cooking, travelling, and spending time with her King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Baxter.

You’ve been with Salesforce for almost 15 years now. Throughout the years, you’ve seen Salesforce grow into a striving organization that is now top of its industry. How does it feel to be part of a company that was once a small business itself and is now part of the “big boys”? It still feels the same which is pretty incredible. I joined the company when there were 600 employees, and now we’re over 30,000. It’s really humbling growing from a small business to $13 billion in revenue. But the amazing thing is that it still feels like we’re a small company with an incredible culture. We just hit our 20-year anniversary this year. I feel grateful to be with Salesforce and for the difference we’ve made throughout the years I’m proud to be a part of it. Salesforce is a big supporter of Canadian startup. What impact do you believe startup have on the Canadian economy and business industry? One of my favourite statistics - 98% of businesses in Canada are categorized as SMEs. The other amazing statistic is that 1/3 of those businesses are women owned. It’s vital that big organizations support the growth and are collectively driving forward. We’re here to help and there are so many resources that are available to small businesses that they don’t know about. Salesforce doesn’t just offer technology but we offer guidance. Customer success isn’t just about buying our product but about helping to make our customers successful.

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INTERVIEW

Beginning with the Salesforce platform lets you start with us and grow with us. As you grow your business, Salesforce grows with you. There’s no moving your data. Everything moves and grows with you to help make you successful as a small business.

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We have invested $100 million in the “Canada Trailblazer Fund” – to help foster growth and innovation. Our ventures team has been amazing - they have guided and worked with the startup to achieve success. You’re just a few months shy of your one-year anniversary as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Essentials and SMB at Salesforce. What has this first year been like for you? Terrifying and exciting all at the same time! It’s been a year of learning for me. I’ve seen that the same issues that existed for SMEs 14 years ago still exist today. It’s about listening to our customers. My job was to launch a start up within Salesforce. We’re launching a business unit here and we brought all functions of the company together - marketing, sales, product, customer success in order to help SMEs. My favourite part is walking around my neighbourhood and talking with small business owners about their needs. I have made it my mission that if I can solve my dog groomer’s business problems, I can solve a lot of small business owners’ problems. Where do you see the Canadian small business industry going and what role will Salesforce play in it? The SME owners are increasingly female, younger and better educated than in the past. When using Salesforce tech or any tech for that matter, the technology is there to help you do the job. There’s a lot of spreadsheets and posted notes. This is really about easy task management. You don’t want to spend your time on repetitive tasks but let technology do that for you. Everything we build at Salesforce is made to be easy to use and to allow small businesses to benefit from the innovation of the

largest companies, so they can work smarter and better. What is the main purpose of Salesforce Essentials? How will it help small business owners grow their business?

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge that Canadian small businesses face and how can Salesforce help them overcome it?

We really built a product that incorporated the feedback from our customers – ease of use. When we originally built Salesforce, we wanted it to become as easy to use as Amazon. We want to offer a solution that’s out of the box and easy to set up. Your first call from us will not be from a sales representative but from a customer success rep who is there to make sure everything has been set up properly and that you are enjoying the product.

It’s time and resources. As a small business owner, you want to be spending your time with your customers. You’re constantly wearing multiple hats and this takes your efforts away from the other important things that need to get done. Tech can make their lives easier with solutions like Salesforce. Embracing technology is essential as a business owner. We’re making the tech as easy to use in your business as it is in your personal life. Salesforce in particular helps the customer not have to stitch 10 pieces of technology together. We want to provide one platform for them to drive their entire business.

Beginning with the Salesforce platform lets you start with us and grow with us. As you grow your business, Salesforce grows with you. There’s no moving your data. Everything moves and grows with you to help make you successful as a small business.

We’ve also brought together key partners on the Salesforce AppExchange - Dropbox, Slack and others – it’s about thinking of how we can bring the ecosystem of technology into one place and that’s what Salesforce and the AppExchange is all about.

Can you tell us about some of the small business solutions that Salesforce offers to help entrepreneurs grow their business?

On a final note, what is the best advice that you received in your professional career that has helped shape your professional life?

We’re constantly evaluating and learning from data and analytics and using it to test and augment the experience. Experience is as important as features. It’s got to add value to our day.

I’ll start with a bad piece of advice that I was once given: It was to hold back. It became the best and worst advice because there was a message there to listen. What came out of that was really listening and slowing down. I tend to go fast and want speed. My personality is very fast paced, and I want things done yesterday. When I think about my professional and personal life, it helped me slow down and really truly listen. It allowed me to start asking questions and taking the time to really understand.

We have a great tool called Pardot. Pardot was built for small business marketing automation. We see SMEs use Pardot and realizing tremendous value from it. You may not necessarily know where you want to evolve as a small business but we’re here to help you get the job done.

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ECONOMY

Sluggish energy sector contributes to

Canadian economic slowdown in 2019: RBC Economics Canada's economy is headed for a slower 2019: RBC Economics downgrades 2019 growth forecast to 1.5 per cent Coastal provinces are expected to lead GDP growth: B.C. to grow 2.5 per cent, Newfoundland and Labrador to grow 2.3 per cent Momentum in the global economy is slipping: Investors remain skittish and central bankers continue to be cautious

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anada's economic growth will slow in 2019 as global economic momentum fades and oil-sector woes at home weigh on activity, according to the latest RBC Economic Outlook Report. RBC Economics has downgraded its 2019 Canadian forecast to 1.5 per cent from 1.7 per cent. In addition to weakness in the energy sector, RBC is projecting softer consumer spending as households adjust to higher interest rates. The severity of the energy-led downturn is expected to be short-lived, however. RBC also does not expect a dramatic pullback in investment such as the one that occurred in the previous period of falling oil prices. " The impact of the energy-sector weakness on the Canadian economy is more limited when compared to the previous oil downturn in 2015 and 2016," said Craig Wright, Senior-Vice President and Chief Economist, RBC. "Our forecast assumes that oil prices will hold around current levels throughout 2019 and grind higher in 2020." The Canadian economy will continue to get a boost from a strong labour market, and projected growth of 2.4 per cent in the U.S. should support Canadian exports. Employment growth to remain strong Canada's labour market is healthy with the unemployment rate holding at more than a 40-year low. Wage growth to date has been lackluster, but with more companies facing labour shortages and more workers switching jobs, RBC expects faster wage gains in the near future. Canada's coasts lead the way in 2019 The start of construction on a $40 billion LNG project is providing a significant boost to B.C's economy. RBC forecasts the province will grow 2.5 per cent in 2019, leading all Canadian provinces and showing few signs of a slowdown in spite of home sales dropping nearly 25 per cent in 2018. Things are also looking up in Newfoundland and Labrador, which is expected to bounce back after a weak showing in

2018. RBC forecasts real GDP growth of 2.3 per cent in 2019 – the second-highest pace in the country. Momentum in global economy slowing While global financial markets have settled since December, investors remain skittish and central bankers are sounding more cautious. China's economy is expected to slow in 2019 and its trade dispute with the U.S. remains unsettled. Both the U.K. and European economies are struggling with the lack of progress on Brexit. RBC projects global growth of 3.5 per cent this year and little change in 2020. Strong labour market conditions continue to lift U.S economy With continued job growth and rising wages, the U.S economy is set to be a growth leader in 2019, although growth will not quite reach 2018's strong pace. Consumer spending is expected to remain healthy. RBC forecasts the U.S. economy grow at 2.4 per cent pace in 2019 and less than 2 per cent in 2020. A complete copy of the RBC Economic and Financial Market Outlook is now available. A separate RBC Economics Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to economic and employment growth, unemployment rates, retail sales, housing starts and consumer price indices.

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 33 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.

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INTERVIEW

"On the other hand, recessions have traditionally been one of the most significant sources of self-employment whereby rightsizing, downsizing, people have decided to start a business. And there are some great successes that you may have heard about started by people who were transitioned into that role where they became self-employed. "

strategically invest in what I'll call “digital assistant journeys”. The concept was about maintaining a relationship level approach to serving small businesses, while providing them with digital capabilities to become a customer of the bank, and to borrow money from the bank. Digital lending, for example, is now alive platform where a customer can apply and get a credit decision on a line of credit in as little as five minutes. It’s called HSBC eCredit. A big differentiator is that applicants don't have to be HSBC customers. We have also partnered with a Fintech - Biz2Credit -on eCredit, and we are using some impressive new technology around transactional data scraping to create a risk scorecard.

time for business owners to embark on their journey of becoming entrepreneurs? It's a complicated question because it puts the issue into two separate components. On the economic side, there's no question. You need to look at your business model and how that might relate to the current economic conditions. On the other hand, recessions have traditionally been one of the most significant sources of self-employment whereby rightsizing, downsizing, people have decided to start a business. And there are some great successes that you may have heard about started by people who were transitioned into that role where they became self-employed.

Our approach around small business lending is to look at more cashflow-based current data to try to assess our customers’ risk. That is one example of how we are trying to move forward, but additionally, we still give every customer a relationship manager and we still have our branch model.

So, I think it's a matter of looking at what your business model is and saying, “Is my model dependent on a strong economy?”

At HSBC, we firmly believe that the branches are an essential place for customers, and also for our small business customers. This process is a multi-year journey. We've got a new mobile app coming later this year that can be used alongside eCredit and our branch models. And we will be bringing some other neat things, including “Beyond Banking”, which is the integration of other services.

In my experience, the number one challenge they face is wearing multiple hats.

Many entrepreneurs often hesitate before going into business because of the economy and not having enough resources or capital to launch. In your expert opinion, is there a right or wrong

What is the number one financial challenge that SME owners face and how can HSBC help them?

Most small business owners are passionate about an idea, a product, a service, but they're not excited about doing payroll, or managing HR, or managing supplier relationships. It is essential for an entrepreneur to receive advice in order to guide them on proper decision making in multiple areas. A bank traditionally really steps up to support you in the areas of understanding your cashflow, financing needs, and how to manage that whole payment world.

That's where HSBC is looking at providing many new products and solutions. Business owners will want access to the products and services they need, and they will want them to be simple. That's a real challenge because the Fintechs of the world are creating unique ideas and opportunities to help a specific facet of small business needs. But when it comes to bringing it all together, you’re at risk of dealing with ten different service providers and trying to manage your business. We're trying to bring those types of services together and also keeping it very simple. The key behind what HSBC can also do as a bank is through our own network and that is to introduce small business customers to what we often call “centres of influence”. I believe that every small business needs to create some level of a board of directors: which can be formal, or informal but it’s important to have expertise that can be called upon for help. Starting a business can be very challenging and overwhelming for entrepreneurs. What services does HSBC provide to help business owners in their start-up phase? The challenge to dealing with start ups is their limited financial history. Banks often spend a lot of time looking at the financial numbers of a start up, but often the most successful factor of a start up is actually the capability of the owner. We have devoted our efforts to helping professionals who come from other countries get established here. We see a lot of those customers come bank with HSBC because they are familiar with our bank from other countries.

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"A lot of small business owners believe that their business and personal accounts are the same. But from a record keeping perspective, you need to have a good understanding of how you are separating your expenses. It is way easier to carry both business and personal credit cards than it is to decipher your statements. It is never too soon to separate personal and business expenses. It's simply good practice as well."

It sometimes comes down to time and costs, but I think an accountant can play a critical role for a business owner from the very beginning. When you look at the traditional sources of advice that a small business owner gets, it is their accountant, their lawyer, and their banker, and it's often in that order. We as bankers like to think that we could be at the top, but accountants often play an essential role in helping a business owner become that initial CFO. Accounting software can be the basis for how you know your profit margins and it's a 365-day experience. As well, when you look at where technology is taking accounting software, it's starting to see the integration of payroll, invoicing, billing and banking, and we have a concept that we are developing here at HSBC called Beyond Banking, which is all about bringing those services together. It's not an easy thing to solve because of privacy, data, storage, customer information, etc. But from a small business perspective, going back to their ability to understand their business, it's a critical area that we can bring those services together. It doesn't replace an accountant. It will enhance the relationship, and I think you need both. On a more personal note, did you always know that you would go into this line of business? No. I started in the food industry, and I worked my way up in a large grocery chain and ultimately went into their management. I left because I felt that they are very aligned with entrepreneurship, and I was very numbers

driven, and I felt that something was missing in my life. So I joined a bank without any banking experience and became a small business account manager. And as I said, I started going around and helping entrepreneurs in opening accounts. My experience in those early days helped me move into more senior roles, and then ultimately building on my leadership experience in my previous positions helped me develop teams to serve small business customers. I wanted to manage large teams and drive great results, but as I got more into the customer data and the analysis of how we serve customers, I became very intrigued regarding ways of serving businesses. More recently (and particularly in the digital era that we are in) I’ve learned to embrace how we can use technology to serve customers better without abandoning the traditional channels. I certainly didn't see myself moving to a global bank. It was a difficult enough decision to leave one of the domestic banks to go to a credit union, to then come to a global bank, but when I looked at the opportunity to have global capabilities to develop the domestic-based strategy, I felt that based on my experience it was a good fit. And Canada is such a great international trading country. HSBC is a great place to be! It wasn't where I expected to be, but I love it. What's the future of banking? I can’t see banking itself going away because the movement of currency, trading, and

payments, for the foreseeable future at least, are going to exist in some format - whether it is paper currency or digital currency. There will always be the need for a bank to support the small business owner. That won’t change. There will always be a reliance on financial institution. But I think that the one thing that Canadians may underappreciate, and I can speak from an HSBC perspective, is the level of security and controls. The protection that we provide customers is tremendous, and not just from an HSBC Bank Canada perspective, but from an overall banking sector. We have a lot of strong controls in place to protect our customers as well as their customers’ data. However, the one risk that I could see is the industry becoming too fragmented. I would say also that we have seen pushback from customers going all digital. I think five years ago, everybody thought, “let everyone do their own banking themselves whenever and wherever they want and everyone will be happy”. But we are opening new branches at HSBC Bank Canada, and we continue to hear from the small business community that they want to go to a branch in their neighbourhood. They may not go in that often, but when they do, it's to talk with someone. Our bank branches are becoming more like centres of advice and are no longer just the traditional transactional style bank. We will still want that personal relationship, and small business owners specifically are looking for someone to help when they need it. Small business banking: it's a “people” business.

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INTERVIEW

Cargo believes that behind every purchase is a human being: a very emotional and passionate and driven small business owner. We look at this mindset and believe it should say “business-tobeautiful” and not “business-to-boring”. We are really trying to change the way big brands speak to small businesses because the recipient of the marketing messages is not a machine, rather, it’s a passionate small business owner.

emotional and passionate and driven small business owner. We look at this mindset and believe it should say “business-to-beautiful” and not “business-to-boring”. We are really trying to change the way big brands speak to small businesses because the recipient of the marketing messages is not a machine, rather, it’s a passionate small business owner.

owners need, how to market to them, how to talk to them and how to support them.

and experts in small business spaces which is really what sets us apart from others.

There are a lot of marketing agencies for entrepreneurs to choose from. So obviously competition is really high. What sets Cargo apart from other marketing agencies?

You have over 20 years of experience in marketing. What are some of the marketing strategies you have learned that really speaks to small business owners?

Can you give us more information on what Small Talk is about?

The biggest difference and really where we stand apart from other agencies is our focus on Business to Small Business®. That's all we do! So even though we don't do work directly with small business owners, we help big brands have a better relationship with them, by understanding their needs, motivations and behaviours.

I learned a lot about small business owners when I was responsible for the Mercedes-Benz Vans division. At the time, we were selling 75% of our commercial vans to small business owners. One of the first thing I learned about the small business owners’ mentality was that in order to move their mind you’ve got to move their heart first. On the other side of the table is a human being who is very passionate about what they do and frankly, their business is their life. That was the first thing that I would say that really changed my perspective. We're not talking to somebody who just cares about the numbers. As an entrepreneur/SBO, their business is their life and they're not dividing the two. That really started to drive the idea that small business owners want to be talked to in a more human way. Therefore, before you try to give them a solution or an offer, it’s important to understand what they do and learn about their pain points. From that perspective they’ll find that definite connection with the brand that's understanding their business.

Small Talk is a content series that brings a human voice to small business, by helping big brands talk small and helping small businesses think big. Small talk is a series in which we engage with small business owners and ask them exactly what is missing. “Are brands talking to you in the right way today? What are some of the pain points that you have and can you tell us exactly what you require from these big brands when they're marketing to you?” We also engage with big brands, to try to understand what pain points they face marketing to small businesses. What are the benefits of the business to small business marketing for SME owners?

Secondly, I spent 20 years on the client side and this is my first play on the agency side. It has helped me really define the strategy and the mission for the agency to ensure it’s very client-centric because I know what it's like to be on the other side. I know first hand the pain points clients have. For clients, it's not just about winning marketing awards— which is always nice to have— but the focus always is: “does this move the needle? Is this strategy going to make my business successful?”

If we go back to what we talked about earlier, B2B is the basis of marketing to businesses. Because we have been dedicated to small business owners, and coined the space Business to Small Business®, the biggest benefit to them is that we are able to help big brands reach them in the most effective way. Not only through relevant marketing but also through the continued support after the sale - a very important aspect to small businesses. . We are able to help those brands understand exactly what these small business

And it is this strategic orientation that we are proud of. We don't start anything without first doing strategic planning. When we sit down with the client, the first thing we ask is “What are you wanting to achieve? What are your business goals?” Then we put together a strategic plan based on their industry, and of course, the understanding of the small business owners, especially from a client-side perspective — this is what I did for 20 years - I built strategic plans. We’re client-centric, strategy-driven

The other important thing is that they will say “don't disappear after you’ve sold to me.” They’re often looking for a partner for the long run. They are looking for a brand to be there next to them, to help them grow. And by the way, small business owners are not so concerned about the price. They're willing to pay but they have to see the value. And because SBOs are strapped for time, they're very much CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019 I

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relying on technology and the digital space for their business. So to be constantly connected with a SBO you have to be digitally driven and you have to be online. SMEs are very much focused on the best customer experience. That's another thing that we found with small business owners: they are tremendously optimistic and driven, and they want that to project to their consumers. Throughout your career, you’ve worked with several big brands in marketing that have focused on understanding and studying small businesses. What are some of the learnings that you found with business owners ? The biggest piece is that these people are extremely passionate and extremely emotional. Small business owners have put everything on the line for their business, unlike people working for a corporation regardless of how important of a role they have. For small business owners, if they fail, they are not putting food on the table. Most of our research has indicated that small business owners don't necessarily trust big brands. So the trust level is actually quite low typically, and especially in situations where the brand is not being very genuine, or the brand is not using the right language, or the brand is not reaching them in the right way. This automatically creates this wall of distrust where SBOs say “I don't trust what you're trying to sell to me. You are not talking to me, you are selling to me. You're not understanding my business and therefore I do not really want to be associated with this particular brand.” Often brands will say that there are many— and I believe in North America there are 1,100— different small business types. How does a brand reach 1,100 different SBOs? That sort of vertical approach can be daunting and not scalable. This is why we started to think horizontally. After many years of researching small business owners, we realized that there are two distinct types of mindsets of small business owners: Artisans and Crusaders. In a nutshell, the artisan is small business owner who started their business because of their craft. And they are very much focused on the craft. They love what they create but they are not necessarily concerned about hyper-growing their business. In terms of the mindset, they are a little bit more risk averse when it comes to expansion. Whereas

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a Crusader is a true entrepreneur. Their small business started with a business idea. And they are always looking for the next big thing. They want to grow and are constantly asking okay what's next? Where can I take this? Big brands don’t need to find 1,100 ways of reaching 1,100 different small business owners. No matter what the SMEs are buying, whether banking services, insurance products or technology, it’s all about the mindsets. And that is what brands need to keep in mind. What would you say is the number one error big brands make when trying to work with small businesses? The biggest error is forgetting about that human aspect. Behind every purchase is the human being. And particularly in the small business space, they are very emotional and very driven human beings. Remember that in order to move their mind, you have to move their heart. You’ve really mastered the small business space. What is it about the small business industry that attracts you? My first job was my own business. I came to Canada from former Yugoslavia when I was 14, during the Civil War in Yugoslavia. New to the country, I needed to make money. A lot of my friends in high school worked at McDonald's, did newspaper routes, etc. Through chance, I met a lady who was a busy professional and was struggling to find the time to take care her property. So I said “Okay, well what are some of the things you don't have time to do?” One house became more houses and at one point, I had 10 clients. Of course, it was the smallest of all small businesses. But that gave me the sense of value creation and that big time entrepreneurs are incredibly courageous. They are putting everything on the line for what they believe in. I give them tremendous amount of respect. I was further fascinated when I started to look at statistics: 99.8% of all businesses operating in Canada are small to mediumsized businesses, and 89.6% of all people employed in Canada are employed by SMEs. 85.3% of net employment growth came from SMEs. The most staggering statistic is 52.5% of the Canadian GDP is contributed by SMEs. To me, this is an incredible world of incredibly courageous people, that are driving the Canadian economy. But they are

underappreciated and underserved. They are creating the world that our children will grow up in. I’m very passionate about the entire field and at Cargo, this is what we're trying to do. We're trying to help the underappreciated and the underserved. We want to be the ones to really make their lives a lot easier by really showing these big brands how they need to talk to them and how they can work together. If you could give advice to a small business owner who is in the startup phase, what would it be? Unfortunately, there are some small businesses that don't make it. But I do believe, in some cases, that they gave up too early. It isn’t easy to get a business off the ground. And to grow it. Some great examples of successful start-ups and small businesses can teach us about persistance. They had the dream and they went after the dream no matter what happened. So don't give up on that dream and be very persistent! It’s extremely important to surround yourself with support. I believe that when you start a small business, if you are doing it yourself, it's very difficult. There are a lot of people out there who can help. The last piece of advice is, embrace technology. I think there are some amazing technologies now helping small businesses in all aspects. Technology can really help take a lot of weight off a small business. What made you decide to go into this line of business? Have you always been passionate about marketing? I started my career in finance because I had always believed that I am good at math. But what I found myself thinking often early in my career was “why”? Why do people buy what they buy? Because I am an avid car guy, I started to think why do people choose different colors? Why do people choose different cars? How do people react to particular commercials? Basically, I started to become fascinated with consumer behavior. I started reading a lot of books on psychology, how humans think, and why they do what they do. That's when I decided to embrace the world of marketing. I completed an MBA program in marketing and there was no turning back since then. Again, finance is very important. As a president of a company, it's important to understand profitability and cash flow. But my pure passion is and always will be marketing.


HR LAW

How to overcome male executive disengagement in the #MeToo era So, what can entrepreneurs do to ensure that male executive disengagement doesn’t impact gender relations across their carefully-crafted workplace cultures, not to mention limiting the impact to their organization’s bottom-line performance? That question is perhaps best addressed by understanding how we ended up here in the first place. A 2016 study of workplace sexual harassment by researchers at the University of Missouri offers some clues. It analyzed how interpretations of anti-harassment policies may, in fact, be driving workplace anxieties and animosity. When U.S. Vice President Mike Pence once declared that he would avoid dining alone with a woman unless his wife was present, many rolled their eyes at the former Indiana governor’s seeming penchant for Victorian-era social etiquette. But it’s becoming clear that his views on 21st century gender relations aren’t necessarily so far-fetched, especially in the business world. Reports indicate that some male business leaders are disengaging from their younger female colleagues in the workplace, seeking to mitigate risks stemming from potential sexual harassment accusations. While the #MeToo movement was born of a desire to break down gender barriers and end sexual harassment and bullying, in some cases it’s having the opposite effect. #MeToo anxieties may, in fact, be fuelling gender discrimination and segregation. According to a 2018 LeanIn.org survey of nearly 3,000 respondents, for example, nearly 30 per cent of male managers polled in the U.S. were uncomfortable working alone with a woman, while nearly half said they would be reluctant to socialize alone with a female colleague. One in six male managers expressed hesitation mentoring women in the workplace. The irony is that male business leaders who aim to mitigate risk by avoiding these interactions are likely only increasing the risk of human rights complaints or gender discrimination lawsuits. Businesses—and SMEs, in particular—face additional operational challenges when men pull back in the workplace, ranging from a potential decline in employee engagement, lacklustre collaboration and starved innovation, to the stalled transfer of institutional knowledge between generations.

Their analysis found that the wording of sexual harassment policies “bore little resemblance to the employees’ interpretations of the policy. Although the policy clearly focused on behaviors of sexual harassment, the participants almost universally claimed that the policy focused on perceptions of behaviors.” The researchers added that, “Moreover, although the policy itself made clear that harassing behaviors were harassment regardless of either the gender or sexual orientation of the perpetrator or target, the employees focused almost exclusively on male-female heterosexual harassment. This shift is subtle but significant.” In other words, male participants in the study tended to see harassment policies as threatening because they believe these rules expose them to complaints from female colleagues who may or not be acting rationally, and who might perceive even the most innocuous comments or gestures as being harassing in nature. The researchers make a valid point. I’ve personally heard male business leaders express concern that they’re operating under an increasinglyintense microscope, with their every move and utterance being parsed for political correctness and analyzed for acceptability. Those perceptions may be irrational in and of themselves, but the worries are real—and they’re worth discussing in the workplace context. Confronting and overcoming them means mandating that everyone from senior executives to front-line managers and rankand-file employees undergo comprehensive workplace training to educate them on your organization’s workplace policies—which must include a strong anti-harassment component—

so they have a complete understanding of what is and is not acceptable workplace conduct. That includes providing practical examples and tools to help them understand when even simple joking may cross the line. Managers should be trained to be aware of social cues, while employees should understand that it’s both their right and their obligation to speak up when they experience or observe harassing behaviour— and to make it known to the party with whom they’re interacting that their conduct is unwelcome, if they feel comfortable doing so. Practical guidance goes a long way to helping employees understand that preventing harassment is a two-way street. It’s also crucial for anxious male business leaders to be cognizant of the employment law risks associated with treating individuals differently in the workplace based on their gender. If a male CEO is uncomfortable interacting with women in certain situations, for example, he must ensure that there is equal treatment across the board so he isn’t actually favouring male employees. In other words, don’t take an up-and-coming male employee for a solo golf or dinner meeting then deny women of the same seniority a similar opportunity to interact with the boss. Doing so creates an unfair workplace advantage that could expose your organization to sexual harassment and discrimination allegations. There’s a very good chance that it will also negatively impact workplace morale. While #MeToo-related anxieties may be understandable, they aren’t acceptable. It’s incumbent on progressive leaders to turn this challenge into an opportunity to address the issue head-on and ease organization-wide concerns before they grow into much larger— and potentially damaging—workplace problems that may lack a simple resolution. More importantly, take the opportunity to help strengthen your workplace by creating a culture of mutual accountability where employees—both male and female—set the bar for acceptable conduct and enforce those standards without exception.

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SMALL BUSINESS

How the Marie Kondo approach can

bring calm and spark joy for your business By Jason Storsley The Marie Kondo method is taking Canadian households by storm. Kondo’s unique approach challenges participants to take stock of all of their possessions and keep only those that ‘spark joy’. The appeal behind her approach is that simplifying your belongings and streamlining the process of organization will bring more calm to your life.

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

The same approach to housekeeping can hold true for businesses. Owning a business can quickly get very complicated. So finding opportunities to achieve simplicity, efficiency and focus is essential in starting and building a successful business. Successful businesses are those that put their efforts into keeping things simple every step along the way. But what does simplicity actually mean? It means identifying the few administrative priorities that are essential to your business and finding the right tools and processes to help you get it done more efficiently. In doing so, you’ll be able to focus more of your time on the things that matter most to you as a passionate entrepreneur: getting customers and growing your business. Many business owners admit that administrative work is a challenge. A recent RBC small business survey found that as many as 30 per cent of entrepreneurs say that understanding the fundamentals of business administration is a major concern. So what can a business owner do to achieve calm within the clutter of managing their operations? There are some important principles to consider and plenty of services available beyond traditional banking that can relieve the administrative hassles.

Principles to start a business by Big picture, we can turn to Marie Kondo’s wisdom. She references a few basic principles that can easily be applied to running a business: •

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Tackle categories: Owning a business can feel cumbersome. Given the number

of responsibilities on any given day ranging from payroll and bill payments to connecting with customers and managing staff, it can be challenging for an owner to stay on top of everything. Tackling specific categories of tasks, rather than trying to prioritize a long, scrambled list of everything at once can make things more manageable. Also find digital tools and resources to streamline tasks and alleviate the administrative stress. •

Make sure everything has a place: An important step to starting a business is to separate your personal and professional finances. Everything has a place, your finances included. Regardless of how much your business is earning today, it’s important to maintain distinct lines between personal and business income for accounting and tax purposes. This will give you a clear picture of your cash flow and performance. It also eliminates the potential hassle of having to untangle your finances down the road.

Ask yourself if it sparks joy: In business, sparking joy equates to adding value. Take a deep dive into your business operations and finances, looking at everything from processes to the tools and services you use. Ask yourself if they are adding maximum value to you, your business and your customers.

Putting principles to the test Making the jump to entrepreneurship can be one of the most empowering things you do, whether it’s a side gig, freelance venture or a full-time business. When starting a business however, owners can quickly become overwhelmed by the amount of time and resources needed to get it up and running. When that happens, it’s all too easy to skip over the basics like business registration or staying on top of day-to-day financial administration in the hopes of dealing with the minutia at a later date.


But laying those foundations from the outset is critical as it will save you the complication and potential costs of having to retrace your steps and overhaul your processes at a later date. This is where services that go beyond traditional banking can help. Step one is registering or incorporating your business to legitimize it – professionally and legally. You can use simple and affordable online tools like RBC’s Ownr.co to register or incorporate your business in just a few minutes. The next step is setting up a business account. RBC’s Online Business Deposit Account is a quick and easy way to get the job done. Explore invoicing tools such as those offered by Wave and Intuit QuickBooks to automate accounts receivables and payables and manage your cash flow planning. This will become increasingly important as your business grows and these functions become harder to manage manually on your own. Another good practice for keeping things simple and manageable is separating your personal and professional work space. Shared workspaces and meeting rooms such as WeWork are a great way to keep costs down and network with other businesses.

Keep the momentum going & grow your business Once the groundwork is in place, keep in mind that good planning and “house cleaning” needs to carry on beyond the early stages of your business. Turn intentions into regular habits by continuously looking for ways to optimize your resources and time across all aspects of your business. Look internally for ways to improve efficiency, margins and processes to support your business growth plans. Areas to look for improvement include: using new technologies and integrated online tools and software, staff training, reducing waste, and tracking customer flow, products and sales. Many of these can be managed through inexpensive tools and services such as: •

ADP and League to attract talent, manage teams more effectively and build employee loyalty

Promote by Acquisio to attract customers and grow your online presence

Whether starting or growing your business, it’s essential that you leverage the right tools to reduce the complexities of running your day to day operations. Drawing on Marie Kondo’s take on life, maintaining a streamlined and uncluttered operation right from the onset will play a big part in bringing calm, focus and sparking joy along your long-term entrepreneurship journey. For more information on how RBC can help you achieve this, visit www.RBC.com/beyondbanking.

HAVE AN IDEA?

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 www.onebusiness.ca, you can get connected with the right expert for all your business needs.

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INTERVIEW

Exclusive Interview with

Jason Charlebois on the future of Small Business Banking

JASON CHARLEBOIS

Jason started his career in branch banking in Ottawa and his last branch assignment was at Scotia Plaza branch in Toronto as a member of the management team. Since then Jason has held roles across Wealth Management, Marketing, Digital Channels, Contact Centres, Mergers & Acquisitions, Credit Cards and Technology all within Scotiabank. Jason has his MBA from Queen’s University and was a member of the Governor General’s leadership council. He loves to travel and lives in downtown Toronto.

Senior VP Small Business Banking at Scotiabank

You were appointed Senior Vice President of Small Business at Scotiabank just a few months ago. How have the first few months been in this new role? Having worked in a number of different business lines and functions within Scotiabank, I am proud and excited to be leading our Small Business team. It’s amazing to be in a position that enables me to assist and influence the small business landscape in Canada, understanding that they are the cornerstone of the Canadian economy. As an example, this past Friday I was in Barrie, Ontario meeting with business and government leaders to tour a new innovation hub called Sandbox. It’s designed to support innovation and idea sharing amongst startups, scale ups and large enterprises with full support from industry and government in the Barrie region. It was a terrific experience to see all the support going into this to make this hub a success and empowering to know that Scotiabank is playing a role in helping these small businesses succeed. 42

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Throughout your 31-year career at Scotiabank, you’ve had several different positions in different departments. How would you say your previous experience has prepared you for your current role? Having experience in multiple businesses really broadens your perspective and allows you to bring different insights into a new role. For example, in my last role leading our Canadian Banking Technology team, I was able to learn about the scale of and complex technology platforms the Bank needs to run its many businesses, and to witness the significant level of investment needed to stay on top of emerging innovations and solutions to meet the changing needs of our customers, particularly when it comes to digital banking. So I was able to come into this new role understanding the day-to-day challenges the team faces (as well as the opportunities) as they work to best meet the needs of small business customers with our current infrastructure. It really helps to bring a different mindset when looking at how we can

capitalize on opportunities from a technology front. Every job has its own number of challenges. As Senior VP of Small Business, what is the most challenging part of your role? Finding the right balance when it comes to building a team to help us get to where we want to be – the leading bank for Small Businesses in Canada. We have a broad range of roles that make up our Small Business team from front line advisors and specialists who serve our customers directly, to product, analytic and transformation experts who are designing the customer experience and platforms of the future. It’s a balancing act between having the right people who are willing to go above and beyond for our customers every day to finding the talent that we need to build those innovative digital platforms that set us apart from the competition.


INTERVIEW

From an innovation standpoint, we’re continuing to modernize our payment services and experiences to enable business owners to “pay and get paid” in faster, more convenient ways than ever before. We’re working closely with our partners at the Bank to provide core services that are critical to helping our business owners move from costly cheque based payments to digital methods, helping them to save time and money by automating invoice and payment reconciliation activities.

The small business industry plays a crucial role in Canada’s economy. What are some of the projects you’re hoping to put in place to help SME owners grow their business successfully? We’re working on a number of new and innovative projects to support small business owners, particularly when it comes to key segments within this group. For example, we work closely with our colleagues at MD Financial to better serve the medical profession in Canada. We’re partnering across the Bank to best highlight a comprehensive value proposition to this segment, meeting their unique needs as business owners in their own right as well as helping them think about individual wealth accumulation and retirement goals. Through The Scotiabank Women Initiative, we take a three-pronged comprehensive approach to supporting women entrepreneurs in Canada through access to capital, mentorships and education. The education piece is unique to this program, as we enable access to a series of Boot Camps across the country that “unteach” traditionally-held ideas about success as a business owner, explore businessfocused issues, and hear from the other women and Scotiabank employees who have been successful in their fields. We also continue to partner closely with a number of organizations like Startup Canada and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) to stay on top of industry trends and small business needs and extend our reach to more businesses across the country. From an innovation standpoint, we’re continuing to modernize our payment services

and experiences to enable business owners to “pay and get paid” in faster, more convenient ways than ever before. We’re working closely with our partners at the Bank to provide core services that are critical to helping our business owners move from costly cheque based payments to digital methods, helping them to save time and money by automating invoice and payment reconciliation activities. And finally, we just launched a new credit card called the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Business card, designed to help small business owners earn valuable rewards, enjoy travel perks, and take advantage of exclusive business benefits. It also has no foreign transaction fees – a huge benefit for those sourcing or doing business across borders. What would you say is the biggest financial challenge that entrepreneurs face and how can Scotiabank help them? Three things come to mind: (a) Cash flow capital – This includes ensuring your day-to-day payables and receivables are effectively managed. Scotiabank has a full suite of digital products and services designed exclusively for business owners to manage payments directly from their office or on their mobile phone. (b) Access to capital - Ensuring a business has sufficient capital to set up and grow their business. Scotiabank can help tailor solutions for the needs of their business, whether it’s a payment product, business loan or operating line of credit. We also recently announced a partnership with Disruption Ventures (founded by Elaine Kunda), which is Canada's first private female-founded

venture capital fund for women entrepreneur. Funding women entrepreneurs is what drives tangible change, and Scotiabank’s partnership with Disruption Ventures is another way to expand access to capital. (c) Financial literacy - ensuring new business owners are aware of all the financial elements that might impact the success of a business. Our small business advisors and specialists are trained to help small business owners understand how to set up the right package of financial products and services for their business’ unique needs and help them every step of the way. Can you tell us about some of the benefits that Scotiabank offers to small business owners? / Can you highlight some of the customized offerings and services Scotiabank offers to Small and Medium Enterprises? Scotiabank is committed to serving businesses of all sizes. It’s a priority for us as a bank and a critical driver of our country’s economic growth and international footprint. For us, some of the main areas of focus recently have been in healthcare and professional services, agriculture and franchising. Through our team, some of the ways we support SMEs include: Setting up the appropriate Operating Accounts for the day to day operations of a business. For new business owners we have the Scotiabank Right Size Account for Businesses, which can be opened online or in-person. It offers free cheque deposits with your smartphone, access to the ScotiaConnect mobile banking app, no minimum monthly balance requirements and great offers from some of our partners like ADP, Chase Merchant Services and Intuit QuickBooks. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019 I

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What role does Visa Canada Risk Services play when it comes to fraud prevention? At Visa, we take a comprehensive approach to security that relies on multiple layers of technology and analytics. We examine and analyze the four security pillars: protecting data, devaluing data, harnessing data, and empowering the consumer. Visa’s role is to promote this strategy to our clients and partners. Through many years of extensive research and analysis of the payments industry, we have learned that security must be multi-layered, and it must be built into the foundation from the beginning. It cannot be an afterthought or an isolated effort. It must be part of the DNA of our innovations and technology advancements. This approach has helped us keep fraud low despite the increasing cyber threats. We keep evolving daily to stay ahead of criminals. Any entity that processes, transmits or stores account data, must do so according to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). The criminals are after data, so the idea is to devalue data in the environment so it’s useless to the fraudster. The EMV Chip plays a major role in devaluing data because it is dynamic and changes with each transaction. There will be a huge push in the market towards tokenization. This is the concept of replacing the 16-digit account value with a proxy value that is relevant to that account. The token can be replaced anytime that it’s compromised without changing the account number. For example, when you tap your mobile phone, a token is sent to the issuer for authorization. That token is unique to that device and that domain. This is part of devaluing data. Through harnessing transaction data, Visa reviews and analyzes fraud patterns. We consider where breaches have happened and we are able to make timely risk decisions. We use our AI technology called ‘Visa Advanced Authorization’, to analyze over 500 unique risk attributes within a millisecond, searching for fraud the moment a payment is initiated.This process is repeated up to 32,500 times per second, with Visa’s AI analyzing more than six billion pieces of data every day. Empowering the consumer: rather than relying on consumers to check their monthly statements, their mobile devices connect them to their financial institutions in real time. Consumers can use real time purchase payments alerts, turn their cards on and off, or choose to

share their geo-locations. For example,in the past, I have been alerted on my mobile phone to a transaction that I did not authorize. I then proceeded to call my issuer and report the transaction. We encourage consumers to pay attention to suspicious transaction activity on their accounts and become empowered to stop fraud. It’s becoming easier than ever with consumer alerts offered by their issuers. In your expert opinion, what typically represents a red flag that could indicate that a business has been a victim of fraud? It depends on the channel. For the card present channel, we’re seeing less and less fraud because of chip. With the card not present channel, larger-than-normal orders, multiple orders for the same product, multiple cards used for a single purchase, orders for products readily convertible to cash (gift cards) or orders made up of “big-ticket” items can all signal a red flag. You need to ask yourself: is that how a normal consumer would purchase their goods? If something seems a little more suspicious than the average transaction encounter, perhaps look into. But often, it may not be one specific detail on its own but several that add up to lead the merchant to believe that it could potentially be fraud. Perhaps it’s delivery to an international address, or sometimes when the billing is different than the shipping address. When you combine all these things together, that can certainly raise a red flag rather than one of these scenarios on its own. What fraud prevention advice can you give to a business owner who is in the Startup phase? In general, security should be a multi-layered approach. You have to look at channels that you will be operating in. If youoperate in the card present transactional encounter, you will be looking at deploying EMV chip. With card not present, you will looking at all the tools at your disposal:CVV2, Address Verification Service, ‘Verify by Visa’, and others mentioned earlier. If you don’t absolutely need sensitive data like account numbers, don’t keep it. Ensure you are PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)compliant and that you are using a qualified 3rd party vendor. Ensure that your systems are regularly checked. From a data security perspective, merchants should be aware of certain simple. They should be encouraged to install vendor patches in a timely manner. The most common vulnerability today is that the merchant leaves remote access to their network ‘ON’ all the time. It’s equivalent to leaving your

door open and allowing people to walk in. Remote access to a merchant’s network should only be turned ‘ON’ when it’s needed to service the acceptance environment. Look for all the red flags around transactions, and if something does not seem right, then certainly investigate it! What are the top 3 mistakes that business owners make that could ultimately lead to being a victim of fraud? (a) Not being PCI compliant. (b) Storing data when there’s no need for it. If you do need to store it, look into ways of protection – tokenization. (c) Limit your risk and understand the red flags. Be careful about how you accept data when conducting a transaction and know when you are liable. On a final note, what is your outlook for the next five years when it comes to fraud prevention? For Visa to continue to be the partner of choice for our clients, we are investing in new technologies to stay ahead of where Canadians’ purchasing trends are going, and to ensure that each transaction secure.We provide expert insights and access to navigate through these changing landscapes. Over the next five years, the key focus will be to devalue data through EMV chip in the card present environment and tokenization in the card not present channel. It’s difficult to try to protect this data completely. It’s a very tough challenge! Our goal at VISA is to move towards creating a better cardholder experience, securing the payment transaction and eliminating the friction associated with transactions.

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INTERVIEW

One-on-One with Randall Smallbone

Randall Smallbone CEO and President of Astron Connect

Mr. Smallbone is the President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Astron Connect, a TSX-Venture listed company that seeks to connect outstanding Canadian food and beverage products with the growing consumerism in China and emerging markets

How has your past experience prepared you for your current role? I’ve been the CFO of 3 public companies. I also have first-hand knowledge with startup's as well. My experience as CFO at Migao Corporation gave me quite a bit of experience in doing work with China and I was over there every six weeks. They had 7 factories over there and I was constantly travelling back and forth, which really taught me about doing business in China. I was also the CFO of Hanwei Energy services- they have factories in China as well. I’ve also done quite a bit of consulting for SMEs as well. How is Astron Connect helping SME owners grow their business? What we offer to businesses in the Canadian food and beverage industry is access to China and emerging markets. We connect quality buyers, and our goal is to help suppliers. We offer marketing support, logistics support, and getting through all the hurdles of China customs and all those sorts of things. What are some of the initiatives and projects you’re hoping to accomplish as CEO and President of Astron Connect? Astron has been operating for about a year and a half. Our goal is to introduce pure, authentic, innovative brands to the China markets. We’ve worked with Tomahawk Potato Chips, owned by native Canadians. We’ve worked on the saltiness element because of different tastes in China. We’re working on perfecting the formula to accommodate the different palate of the Chinese

population compared to Canada. Another project we’ve worked on is co-branding with Dutchman’s Gold- they produce different tastes of honey. In your opinion, why do you believe that SME owners often consider the United States when it comes to expanding their operations and distribution? Certainly, the US market is easy to access for Canadian SME owners. It’s south of the border, the same language. But they often don’t realize that there’s a lot of competition in the US. Times have changed with current politics and there’s a lot more competition than there used to be in the US. There’s a huge demand in China and emerging markets. I encourage customers to not just look south of the border, but look elsewhere too! Canadian food brands have been in high demand recently. What do you believe is the cause of that and how do you believe this will impact Canadian SMEs? Certainly, China and emerging markets have had issues with food safety. The quality control often isn’t there. And there’s a lot of knockoffs in China. There is an excellent perception of Canadian products in China. When the Chinese market thinks of Canada, they think of a safe, reliable market. They love Vancouver and that’s had an effect of the perception of food. The middle class is growing in China and they want good products and want to eat great food. How does Astron work with Canadian food and beverage companies to help export their products to China and emerging markets? We like to encourage companies and we have the ability to sell products that are co-branded. If you think of Chinese individuals coming to BC, they often want to take those products back home. The team that we’ve assembled at Astron has an amazing experience working with China. They have experience in import/export and have connections through various channels in China, that they have developed on their own through previous work experience. We have an amazing

team in Vancouver, that is very passionate about achieving our goals here at Astron. What is the main goal of Astron Connect? What are you hoping to accomplish? Connecting Canadian food and beverage suppliers with qualified buyers in China and emerging markets, and help other SMEs grow their products. We’re happy to help on strategic planning and step in, even if that’s not our core offering. Our main goal is to help Canadian companies. In the food and beverage industry, there’s a lot of SMEs that have a great formula and product, but just don’t know how to take it to the next step and that’s where we come in. What is the best advice that you can give to Canadian SMEs who are looking for growth and expansion opportunities? Be bold! Don’t just look south of the border. There’s a larger market on the other side of the world. Don’t be afraid to go to the other side of the world. The first time I went to China was in 1994 and it has changed dramatically since then! The infrastructure is there and the growth of the economy has been incredible. Every 5 years it’s changing unbelievably. I urge everybody to go visit China. It is such an interesting country! On a final note, where do you see Astron Connect 10 years from now? What does the future look like for the company? I think the future looks great at Astron Connect. China is a growing, expanding economy. I would like to see Astron continue working with quality, innovative brands. Astron is the plural of the Greek word for star. Part of the mission is to help stars grow bright. I see Astron seeing great growth as a public company moving forward. I love helping small companies realize their true potential. I’m really excited about being the CEO and President, and the future for Astron.

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LEADERSHIP

Most Effective Practices You'll Need to

Achieve Greatness in Global Leadership By Mostafa Sayyadi

Mostafa Sayyadi CAHRI, AFAIM, CPMgr Mostafa Sayyadi, CAHRI, AFAIM, CPMgr, works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies, and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to HR.com and Consulting Magazine and his work has been featured in these top-flight business publications.

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eadership is a strategic prerequisite for business success in the global era. The globalised nature of competitiveness is placing more pressure on organizations to employ those leaders who are capable to develop a global vision for organizations. Leaders need to think globally yet act locally because local strategies need to be realigned with the global economic integration and for individual countries. There is a global need to investigate leadership to accomplish sustainable competitiveness in the global era. A new leadership style may be necessary as the global era demands are increasingly difficult to adapt and sustain profitability and performance. The emergence of global business environments drives companies to become world-class. Leaders within companies can play a crucial role in achieving a high level of effectiveness and world class efficiency and effectiveness. Commitment, flexibility, and innovation are necessary attributes to evaluate the success of organizations in the global era. The global era represents cross cultural settings and requires executives who can adapt to various environments successfully. The major tasks of leaders in the global era include empowering employees, generating a shared vision, and creating fundamental changes at the organizational level. Furthermore, sustained performance in the global era is dependent on continuous learning. Leaders may be able to build a learning workplace through empowering employees. Leaders can improve knowledge sharing and enhance organization performance through empowering human resources and enabling organizational change. One way that leadership may be valuable in the global era is because leaders shed light on the critical role of employee’s attitudes and values in implementing change. Thus, leadership should be embraced at the senior level of organizations to enable performance

through implementing organizational change and developing a shared vision for future expansion into global business environment. Therefore, business success in the global era can be achieved when leadership is applied to change attitudes and assumptions at the individual level and creating collectiveinterests for cultural adaptation. When leaders can generate a shared and inspiring vision for the future expansion into global business environment, they will secure a foothold in the ever-expansive global marketplace. Leaders can also inspire followers to rethink problems and challenge their current personal attitudes and values. Most importantly, leaders can effectively transform organizations by attempting to change the basic values, beliefs, and attitudes of followers so that they are willing to perform beyond their previous or originally level specified by the organization in their job description. Therefore, each leader plays a critical role in shifting organizations toward the creation of new services and products. Leaders can contribute to new products and services to meet dynamic market needs, through higher expectations and stimulation for new and strategic opportunities to meet the needs of customers in the global era. In conclusion, I suggest that the way for managers and executives across the globe, to make the effective changes that are posited in effective leadership. Furthermore, the recommendations of effective leadership are to focus on developing a strategic vision for their future strategic initiatives and organizational innovation. By accepting the challenge of effective leadership, executives may be capable to overcome their deficiencies and lead better in our hypercompetitive global business environment.


Innovation is broken Innovation is broken. Business leadership and management struggle to find ways to crack through their own corporate politics or bureaucratic silos, to move from defense to offense, to nurture real breakthrough, to drive visionary creativity in ways that add new value to everything they do. In Innovating Innovation, David Morey, one of America’s leading strategic consultants, will teach, coach, and guide you across eleven concrete and pragmatic steps that unlock and drive day-to-day innovation in your business and help you gain a long-term competitive advantage in your marketplace. Innovating Innovation synergizes what is best in classic innovation theories with an insurgent strategic model inspired by one of Morey’s first corporate clients, Apple founder Steve Jobs. It shows how to lead innovation that creates the products of visionary genius without the necessity for actual genius. It provides practical tools and guidance on building and leading the teams, working conditions, organizational structures, and cultures of market-made and market-making

innovation. It illustrates a roadmap to the disruptive periphery, the organizational margins at which real innovation actually takes place. Innovating Innovation is a framework to counter failure. It directs you, the reader, to the consumer, the very person who will actually tell you how to innovate the benefits to create a future you can own. This book invites you to “think different,” to become a change leader, to go the “wrong” way to get to the right places. And it shows you how to apply the pragmatic lessons of Agile software development to absolutely everything and to accelerate your leadership career and your company’s success by stepping up from mere evolution to punctuated equilibrium, evolution as breakthrough. You and your business need innovation as never before and unlike anyone else’s. This is lesson number one. And in the space of eleven chapters, Innovating Innovation offers lesson number two: You don’t need to be a genius to deliver the performances, products, and services of innovation at genius levels in the most opportunity-rich and threat-intensive business environment in history. Your management and leadership skills will

BOOK

improve immensely, taking your business to a level of innovation success beyond what it has ever achieved before. Innovating Innovation is a step-by-step handbook for teaching, and at times even tricking, your organization, your culture, and your company into real-world change.

David Morey, Chairman and CEO of DMG Global and Vice Chairman of Core Strategy Group, is one of America’s leading strategic consultants―and one of the most soughtafter speakers, performers, and magicians. For over three decades, he has studied magic and performed around the world, including at President Barack Obama’s Inaugural ball. The award-winning coauthor of The Underdog Advantage, and The Leadership Campaign, Morey has advised a who’s who of Fortune 500 CEOs and companies and many of the world’s top political leaders, including five Nobel Peace Prize winners. “Voila―a practical guide to using the principles of magic as a leadership tactic to inspire employees and disrupt markets.” Pat Mulhearn, CEO, NorBelle, LLC

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

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RESOURCES

10Manitoba Best Small Business Resources in

Manitoba is the heart of Canada. Known for its vast land and farmlands, the province of Manitoba contributes a lot to Canada’s economy. With most of its businesses being small businesses, their main business is focussed on its natural resources which is mainly agriculture. Manitoba’s farmlands are a vital part of its economy and the province is the third place in Canada to have the most farms.

“In 2016, there were 11.5 million acres of cropland in Manitoba, an increase of 7.3%. The return of land which had been fallow in 2011 due to flooding accounted for much of the increase in cropland in Manitoba between the censuses. There were shifts in cropland area away from hay to field crops. Currently 86.8% of the cropland is in field crops and 13.1% is used for hay. The province accounts for 12.3% of Canada’s cropland area. “ Source: Agriculture Statistics – Manitoba 48

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There has been an increase of farms that are becoming incorporated compared to previous years, which is great for Canada’s economy: “In Manitoba, 22.2% of farms reported being incorporated in 2016, up from 17.6% in 2011. Nationally, incorporated farms accounted for 25.1% of all farms in 2016.” Source: Census of Agriculture, Statistics Canada


But laying those foundations from the outset is critical as it will save you the complication and potential costs of having to retrace your steps and overhaul your processes at a later date. This is where services that go beyond traditional banking can help. Step one is registering or incorporating your business to legitimize it – professionally and legally. You can use simple and affordable online tools like RBC’s Ownr.co to register or incorporate your business in just a few minutes. The next step is setting up a business account. RBC’s Online Business Deposit Account is a quick and easy way to get the job done. Explore invoicing tools such as those offered by Wave and Intuit QuickBooks to automate accounts receivables and payables and manage your cash flow planning. This will become increasingly important as your business grows and these functions become harder to manage manually on your own. Another good practice for keeping things simple and manageable is separating your personal and professional work space. Shared workspaces and meeting rooms such as WeWork are a great way to keep costs down and network with other businesses.

Keep the momentum going & grow your business Once the groundwork is in place, keep in mind that good planning and “house cleaning” needs to carry on beyond the early stages of your business. Turn intentions into regular habits by continuously looking for ways to optimize your resources and time across all aspects of your business. Look internally for ways to improve efficiency, margins and processes to support your business growth plans. Areas to look for improvement include: using new technologies and integrated online tools and software, staff training, reducing waste, and tracking customer flow, products and sales. Many of these can be managed through inexpensive tools and services such as: •

ADP and League to attract talent, manage teams more effectively and build employee loyalty

Promote by Acquisio to attract customers and grow your online presence

Whether starting or growing your business, it’s essential that you leverage the right tools to reduce the complexities of running your day to day operations. Drawing on Marie Kondo’s take on life, maintaining a streamlined and uncluttered operation right from the onset will play a big part in bringing calm, focus and sparking joy along your long-term entrepreneurship journey. For more information on how RBC can help you achieve this, visit www.RBC.com/beyondbanking.

HAVE AN IDEA?

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 www.onebusiness.ca, you can get connected with the right expert for all your business needs.

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EXPERT OPINION

Delegate…

or Drown

A

50

By David W Smith CMC, ACC

fter reading Jesse Sostrin’s 2017 Harvard Business Review article called, ‘To Be a Great Leader, You Have to Learn How to Delegate Well’, I was compelled to share some firsthand experiences in delegating. After 30 years in organizational leadership roles including a decade of professional coaching and mentoring leaders, I can vouch that delegation is one of the most second-guessed management activities. Very few people claim to be experts and most want to get better at it. I know I wish I had been better at it when I began my leadership career!

can often get away with holding on to work. Peers and bosses may even admire your willingness to keep “rolling up your sleeves” to make things happen. But as leadership responsibilities become more complex, the difference between an effective leader and a super-sized individual contributor with a leader’s title, is often glaringly evident. As we build mastery in our professional or technical competencies and either express the potential or desire, to advance in leadership roles, we need to transition into trusting others ‘to do’ while we lead using new skills with process and personal skills.

Sostrin wrote that one of the most difficult transitions for leaders to make is the shift from doing to leading. As a new manager you

The complexities come from needing to integrate processes and personal skills into your competency repertoire, beyond

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being good at technical or professional skills. Process skills include; performance management, leading communications and meetings, change management, rewards management, feedback and yes, delegation. Highly honed personal skills for executives or ownership roles such as; strategic thinking, negotiation, and advanced communication skills to speak charismatically about corporate mission, vision and corporate values. All of these will take a backseat to doing familiar technical work unless delegation is working well. A few years ago, a strategic partner introduced me to the ‘First, Break all the Rules’ by Gallup’s, Buckingham and Coffman. They conducted in-depth interviews with


EXPERT OPINION

done well it can ensure the right amount of oversight is applied so the delegator can pay attention to many projects at once leading to significantly leveraged productivity.

Cultivate Commitment

more than 80,000 managers at all levels (in companies of all sizes). Their work revealed what great managers do differently from ordinary managers to inspire world class performance in their teams. What follows is the synthesis of what great managers do to ‘break all the rules’ and leverage conventional wisdom in mature leadership practices, specifically, delegation.

important outcomes. Even correcting typos on a website or proposal can make an important contribution to an organizations image. •

First, they select the right people that ‘can do’ and ‘will do’ the job

Explain how the delegatee was chosen. They often want to know if tasks are given to help them develop or maybe contribute uniquely as part of the team which has varied competencies. When they don’t know why, human nature navigates us towards suspicions such as maybe they were selected to be picked on or the delegator was just having a bad day!

Finally, it is important to consider other factors that may impact the motivation and sense of empowerment of the delegatee. This could include a sensitivity to individual personality profiles, communication style preferences, stages in career development, career objectives, organizational &/or team culture and so much more.

Valuable Insight… People leaders must practice the art and science of delegation and make it a strong personal competency. As they assume expanded leadership roles, they we will be compelled to delegate more often and strive to do it right the first time, therefor spending less time and money on needless fixes. In the busy life of a leader, is essential to… Delegate or Drown.

Provide Clarity

Then, they navigate through the following methodology that touches on setting expectations regarding context, clarity, conditions, commitment for the work delegated.

Set the Expectations •

Explain the reason for the assignment. When people understand the ‘why’ behind it, they can understand the work is meaningful. Meaningful work often rates as the primary reason why people feel engaged and perform accordingly. More importantly, research suggests that engaged employees contribute at least 50% more than those not engaged. Describe how it fits into the bigger picture. This also helps people understand how every step during the process can ultimately lead to

Express of the quantity of results required ($,%, widget #’s)

Describe the results expected in terms of quality demanded

Be very clear on timelines

Ensure what resources are available and outline it in detail ($ budget, information, materials, people, other)

Outline the Conditions •

Process requirements – what systems, people, checkpoints need to be touched on during the completion of the assignment Ex. quality assurance, safety, end-user training, project costing

Available latitude in decision making and freedom of control must be agreed to in advance

Monitoring and report back (check up) details are most effective when set up early. When this aspect is discussed it can eliminate the leader’s tendencies to either over meddle or ignore, both of which can harm trust. When this is

David W Smith CMC, ACC

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

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INTERVIEW

Kapil Lakhotia: Helping Canadian SMEs Grow President and CEO of LEDC An Economist by training, Kapil was appointed President and CEO of the London Economic Development Corporation after a several internal progressions. Under his leadership, the LEDC implemented a bold new strategic plan with a strong focus on workforce development, entrepreneurship as well as forming local national and international partnerships that drive London forward. Under Kapil’s leadership LEDC have attracted significant new investments and job creation through the attraction of well known businesses, including Maple Leaf Foods, Dr. Oetker, Arvin Sango, the Original Cakerie, and Natra. With an Honours degree in Economics from Western University and a Masters of Economics from the University of Waterloo, Kapil have over two decades of educational, professional, and voluntary experience, and also taught economics at King’s University College. He is also deeply involved in the London community as a member on the Fanshawe College Board of Governors, the King’s University College Board of Directors and the Canadian Centre for Product Validation. As head of the London Economic Development Corporation, what are some of the plans and projects you have planned to help Canadian small businesses grow? In London there are two big focus areas in the short to medium term: Entrepreneurship development and workforce development. We mean that every business, regardless of its size, struggles with workforce capacity, especially SMEs that may not have HR capacities. We launch a series of workshops called the Momentum Series. This is targeting business owners that are trying to wear the HR hat as well but may not have the background in hiring or retaining talent. We have experts running these workshops. The other main focus is entrepreneurship where we’re developing several resources to target niche audiences such as newcomers and women. The LEDC is the lead economic development agency in London, Ontario. What are some of the programs that the organisation has that can benefit SMEs in the region? In addition to the Momentum Series, there are two unique academic partnerships we have: with the Ivey Business School and with Fanshawe College.

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INTERVIEW

With Ivey – we’re trying to link up SMEs with Ivey . A lot of these SMEs may not have the leadership skills on strategic topics and planning. So there’s a one day workshop run by Ivey to help entrepreneurs gain some knowledge and skills. With Fanshawe College – they have a corporate training service program which assists SMEs with health and safety, employee training, and supplies them with various other tools as well . We’re trying to broker these relationships to companies in London, where they can have this type training here at home. We are running a food scale up program – we’ve partnered with the London Small Business Centre. We work with SMEs who are in the food space. Often times it’s with entrepreneurs that have had a restaurant business in the family for many years and now they are trying to get their products into grocery stores. So we work on providing them with the tools on how to get into grocery stores, automation, distribution, health Canada requirements regarding labeling etc. We are also very proud of London and Area Works – this is a program where we’ve partnered with CTV London to host job fairs, to do regular features on growing employers so they’re visible to talent. To help towards the growth and success of the business industry, the LEDC works in partnership with the government, the community and other businesses. How does these partnership works? We have a unique model where we’re not with the City of London, however, we report to the city on our performance and future goals . This model has served us well – we’ve been doing it for 20 years. It’s kept us nimble and we’re constantly trying to improve. What would you say are some of the challenges that small business owners are currently facing and how can LEDC help them overcome them? I’d like to mention a personal story - my wife owns a small business and I have learned a lot from her experiences. In my view, SMEs often struggle juggling so many different things at once. They might have technical expertise in their field but they may not be HR experts, or marketing or finance experts. They are constantly trying to manage a bunch of

different roles. So how do they manage all of these different functions while applying their expertise in a specific way. LEDC understands that SMEs want to go to ramp up their businesses as quick as possible. We realize we’re not going to make them accountants overnight but we can supply them the tools to improve the next day. All of our programs and workshops are there to help them achieve exactly that. The second major challenge is that there’s a talent gap. SMEs are often not able to recruit properly when trying to grow. LEDC programs are designed to help SMEs overcome those gaps. We’re trying to put ourselves in the shoes of SMEs and how can we help offset those challenges. One of the purposes of the LEDC is to attract new investors so they can contribute towards the growth of businesses in the region. What are some of the ways that LEDC is working towards creating new investment opportunities? One of the big ways we deploy that is investing in industrial lands. The city of London owns industrial parks, and we use them to market London and we host sight selection tours and familiarization tours with influencers and key decision makers. We have the right infrastructure set up here to attract new investment opportunities. Maple Leaf Foods was the largest food investment in Canada, and we are very proud of their investment and new facility in London. Your current role requires you to be aware of any improvements in the region that can benefit the business industry. In your opinion, what is the number one improvement that can significantly improve the business community in London? It’s something we think of a lot. This is not a one size fits all approach. Every business of different size and sector has different requirements. One thing that ties everyone together is workforce because everyone has constraints regarding workforce. And I believe this is not unique to London, Ontario, but globally. All of the programs and partnerships we have are designed to partner institutions with the workforce. What is the best advice you can give to business owners who are looking to launch their business?

Entrepreneurship is a bit of a bug. People want to get started and take on the world. That’s fabulous but first, take some time to evaluate the landscape. People often don’t take the time to seek out the resources that are available through public institutions. Government spends time to ensure such resources are available, so make sure to take advantage of it. This is my own experience in my family – my wife was ready to start her business and didn’t realize all the amazing resources that were available in the city. The province of Ontario is one of Canada’s top provinces when it comes to starting a business. Why do you believe that is? What sets Ontario apart from other Canadian provinces? One is immigration and newcomers. Ontario is one of the lead provinces to attract newcomers, especially in the southwestern Ontario area in the GTA. Newcomers bring unique experiences and perspectives on growing their businesses. These individuals make bold decisions and are willing to take risks to be entrepreneurs. Our location relative to the US border is the second reason. The geographical location helps various industries because it’s easier to distribute products south of the border. What are some of the business trends that you’re seeing in the region at the moment? We’re currently enjoying an economic boom in the London region, when looking at GDP growth, unemployment numbers, and other traditional metrics. We’ve just passed 1 Billion dollars in construction permit values. It’s a milestone number. London has historically not been close to 1 billion dollars. This comes from every sector which adds up towards that construction value. On a final note, what’s the biggest accomplishment that LEDC has had so far? Last year was our 20th anniversary. We’ve been very proud of all the businesses we’ve been associated with. We’re extremely proud to have had a role in landing unique investments in North America. The single biggest accomplishment is the single business investment which was Maple Leaf Foods 1500 jobs, 640,000 square feet facility. Given the scale of the deal, we are very proud of it.

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INTERVIEW

Anurag Kar: The New Era of Digital Banking Director for Push Payments – Interac Corp.

Anurag Kar is the Director for Push Payments with Interac Corp. He is responsible for money movement products such as Interac e-Transfer, Batch Payables & Receivables and International Remittances. His focus is on the day-to-day management activities for the products and the execution of the platform strategy through new product development. Anurag has more than 10 years of experience in the payments industry, with a speciality in international money movement. Prior to joining the organization, Anurag worked in Retail Banking, within the payments space. He has a passion for bringing solutions to market that simplifies the day to day payment interactions for individuals

As Director for Push Payments atInterac, what are your key responsibilities? My key responsibilities include managing the Interac e-Transfer platform and the multiple product lines on the platform: Interac e-Transfer, our batch processing product Bulk Disbursements, International Remittances, and the ability to request for funds through multiple different interfaces.. We oversee the strategy, the design ideation process, development, implementation and go to market. What strategies do you use when it comes to developing new products that could benefit the transfer of funds process? Strategy is something that is always evolving, and we try to stay dynamic to service the needs of our customers and clients. We’re constantly evaluating the market and deciding on what the next steps are. Weconsider the strategy and approach based on three prongs: 54

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Where does the company want to go – what are the corporate priorities, ourshortand long-term goals? What do we have in terms of product lines and where do we want to go moving forward, and We look at the market as well and evaluate it to understand the needs of our customers. You have over 10 years of experience in the payments industry. What do you believe is the biggest challenge that people face when it comes to payments and moving funds? Payments is not something people really worry about or think about. Businesses often don’t know what options are available to them and which possibilities can help alleviate any business pain points they may have. So, it’s always about helping people understand the value proposition of the offering and how it can help them and help drive their business goals.

What is the number one benefit of Interac e-Transfer for small business owners? How would this help them grow their business? It’s a widely available and widely used product with nearly 260 financial institutions making it available to their retail banking customers but also to their business banking customers. Interac is synonymous in Canada with sending and receiving money from your own bank account. Interac e-Transfer is a very scaled and mature product offering that allows you to send or receive money in near real time to anyone in the country using just a mobile number or email address. We do understand that from a SME perspective; however, the product may have certain limitations and may not meet all the business’ requirements. For an average small business, Interac e-Transfer is often the best solution when dealing with lower value transactions to help get funds instantly.


INTERVIEW

There aren’t specific mistakes that I could point out. I could suggest that when the payment needs of a small business become more complex, they may want to have the conversation with their Financial Institution or lookout for a blog or whitepaper from a payments company like Interac to trigger some thought in order to see if they can incorporate something new into their business.

What is the most common challenge that entrepreneurs face when it comes to their business payments? A lot of the feedback that we get through our market research and work that we do with financial institutions shows us that businesses are focused on their day-to-day business dealings and the challenges of getting their business up and running. A payment is often not their top priority to solve for. Often entrepreneurs don’t have all the information available to them to make an informed decision. For example, they may not know that they can use certain tools in a different way, to transact differently, or send or receive money differently. At the end of the day,it’s about entrepreneurs understanding the choices they have based on their needs. What has been the latest biggest innovation in the payments industry? Innovation in the payments industry is constantly evolving. I would say, the biggest innovation was in the early 80’s when there was a drive to move towards digital payments. Customers were able to use the internet (once that was available), or access their own money with a debit card or use their debit card instead of cash when making purchases. So, when the thought of digitizing payments occurred, that was probably the biggest change. Recently, it’s quite difficult to say what has been the biggest innovation. The pace of innovation is accelerating, and I think we’ll continue to see changes with new alternative ideas being brought to market all the time. What is the best payment option for SME owners that is secure, easy and quick? It would be dependent upon the SME’s needs, use cases and business practices. Speed, security, and convenience are levers in a payment solution that could determine

which is the best solution. As an example, if a business wants to use a payment option to send out payroll that occurs once a week at the same time, where reliability and security is priority,the SME can use many solutions including Interac e-Transfer. But if the payment needs differ or become more complicated, they may need to re-evaluate. Any SME would need to evaluate the specific needs of their business, their employees or customers and then decide on the best option for them.

payment needs of a small business become more complex, they may want to have the conversation with their Financial Institution or lookout for a blog or whitepaper from a payments company like Interac to trigger some thought in order to see if they can incorporate something new into their business.

Technology is always improving our lifestyle and creating new possibilities. How do you manage to stay current with the constant new discoveries in the tech industry to help you in the development of payment solutions?

In the next 2-5 years, we think that Interac and the Interace-Transfer platform is going to expand further in the money movement space to allow for more transactional opportunities for business customers. It started as a P2P product and while we see business customers on the platform, we can continue to allow for technology, functionality, and customer experience changes to enable certain capabilities for business customers.

As we always keep a pulse on the market in the different spaces we operate within, we look at who the different customers are along the value chain and what’s happening with them on the market and the most recent technology advancements. Once we start looking at the value chain and tech advancements, we make a determination of how that relates to our platform and how we can deploy technology changes to address our customers’ needs. What are the top three mistakes that SME owners make when it comes to their payment interactions and how can Interac help them? I don’t think there are any mistakes. I think that SME owners focus on their day-to-day business needs and they’re fully plugged into their business. They rely on their payment interactions to be reliable and secure so it’s more about opportunity and timing to understand the space and explore solutions that are available to them. There aren’t specific mistakes that I could point out. I could suggest that when the

Where do you see the digital money movement heading? What does the future of Interac look like?

When I say business customers, I mean businesses of all sizes - small, medium and large corporate enterprises. Our focus is to continue to find more opportunities to help alleviate the pain of moving funds. And we will continue with innovation and enhancements in that space. On a final note, did you always know that you wanted to go into this line of business? I did not actually. I’ve been in the payments industry my entire career, but I would say that I was not familiar with the space when I was doing my undergraduate degree. I had a tendency to try to understand from a micro economic perspective how to solve problems and the payments industry allowed me the opportunity to offer solutions. It’s something I really took a liking to and I’ve been in this industry ever since.

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INTERVIEW

Julie Bédard is the President and CEO of Quebec Chamber of Commerce and the first woman to manage the CCIQ in over 200 years of history. A lawyer by training and an MBA graduate, Julie Bédard has more than 20 years of experience in the business world, in SMEs and in large companies. Dynamic and results-oriented, she is known for her communication skills, her management skills, her ability to build partnerships and her sense of strategic development. You are the first woman to be in your current role of President and CEO of the Quebec Chamber of Commerce and Industry. How does that make you feel? For many years, I’ve been involved into supporting women in their ambition and their leadership. My commitments to pursue the fairer representation of women and men in positions of power in public life and economy. I’m proud to show that is possible, if you really want it. I hope to inspire others to follow their dreams and to strive for the highest standards along whichever path they choose to follow. As the first woman in this honorable position, have you had bigger challenges to face because of your gender?

JULIE

BÉDARD: MAKING HISTORY

President & CEO of Quebec Chamber of Commerce & Industry

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The challenge was bigger because as the first woman President and CEO of the CCIQ, the business community was watching all of my moves. The majority of people wanted change but on the other not want anything about it. I did a strategic diagnostic: I noticed, I listened the people, I completed my director team, I’ve worked with my Board and I’ve shared my vision with everyone. I’ve always been confident that their can be achievements in respects with the past but built on a new vision. Today, I am proud to tell them that and to show them the results after one year. How has your past experience prepared you for your current role? I graduated from the Universite Laval Law School and I completed a MBA degree. I’ve been ever involved in the business community since I started my career and I’ve became involved in the Young Quebec Chamber of Commerce and in 2000 of which I became its president in 1997. I’m a strong believer in the peat to pear networking power. Over the years, I’ve joined many associations and occupied important seats on a number of Board and committees. But I could never imagine that I would be the first woman President & CEO of the CCIQ in 200 years. What I know, it is that I worked hard during my career to show to every woman that everything is possible. I am still working hard to perform and give the best I can to make the CCIQ closer to the business community. For me and my organization, the most important part of the CCIQ are the members. The members are in the middle of our preoccupations, of our decisions we make and of our orientations we create.


INTERVIEW

The best advice is planning. Planning that takes into account all development phases in the short, medium and long term timeframe. Among the most important elements that the entrepreneur must take into account is both ensuring adequate financing and a very good knowledge of the market in which he wishes to offer his product or service. The contractor should not hesitate to ask for advice and mentorship. He has his own vision of the business, but being supported by good experts will allow him to avoid doing things that could cause great damage or slow down the growth he wants to achieve.

You’ve been in your current position for a little over a year now. What are some of the initiatives you’ve put in place or are hoping to put in place? Shortly after starting my role as the CEO, my new director’s team, the Board and I, have embarked on a comprehensive and very strategic planning exercise. This exercise defines the new mission and vision where the members are in the services of the others. We’ve decided to increase the membership’s offer to accompany members in their career development and to support growing numbers of companies at various developmental stages. The noticeable change is likely to be the updating of CCIQ’s branding. The new branding was an opportunity to send a strong and positive message to the community: working together with every economics and politics actors to move forward on the many issues that face our membership. Personally, I think that my experience in leadership positions has led me to develop this important quality that is that of bringing people together. In addition, teamwork is fundamental, and I truly believe this is my strength. In addition, the sectors in which I have been involved was in big need of vision and innovation. Once again, this characteristic necessarily tinges my vision for the CCIQ. In your expert opinion, what are some of the challenges that SME owners face and how can the Quebec Chamber of Commerce and Industry help them overcome those challenges? The shortage of manpower and the need for a global industry digital transition. The first issue is the main challenge in the Quebec region. Indeed, the shortage of labor monopolizes the energies of small and medium-sized enterprises. It's hard to think about the growth

of a business when finding employees is the biggest challenge. To this end, we have set up a committee that will examine this issue from every angle and then make recommendations to the decision-makers for them to take action. The digital transition is also a major issue as It has an impact on business productivity as well as their competitive position in the market. It must be remembered that 76 percent of our members are businesses with 25 or fewer employees. In this context, supporting them is fundamental. What is the best resource that the Quebec Chamber of Commerce and Industry provides to SME owners who are looking to expand their business? Immediately, two initiatives come to my mind. The first is IME Quebec. While Canada has signed a free trade agreement with Europe, we are facilitating links between companies between Quebec and Europe. Thus, we allow a cohort of fifteen companies to move to France and to build links with companies located there. Several companies were subsequently able to continue their business development. This year we are starting the same approach with the Sunshine State (Florida) in the United States. A cohort of about fifteen companies will travel to South Florida to establish various business and networking contacts. I will conclude by mentioning that Quebec City, as the capital of the province, benefits from the presence of honorary consular members representing nearly 30 countries. We have built relationships with them and these people are also recommended to companies when they want to explore other alternatives Small business owners make a lot of mistakes when they first start their business and often those mistakes make their business suffer considerably. In your opinion, what would you say is the number one mistake that SME owners make?

Making mistakes should not be perceived as failures, but a combination of learning. That said, it is important for business owners to make the decision to be well-supported or to spend time getting informed about best business practices. The CCIQ offers different trainings that have been inspired by entrepreneurs. Whether for human resource issues, whether to learn the best techniques to get support from investors, whether to optimize the work of a board of directors or establish an advisory council. For the CCIQ, the support of small and medium-sized businesses in terms of training, information and support with other entrepreneurs is the winning approach. What is the best advice that you can give to SME owners who are in their start-up phase? The best advice is planning. Planning that takes into account all development phases in the short, medium and long term timeframe. Among the most important elements that the entrepreneur must take into account is both ensuring adequate financing and a very good knowledge of the market in which he wishes to offer his product or service. The contractor should not hesitate to ask for advice and mentorship. He has his own vision of the business, but being supported by good experts will allow him to avoid doing things that could cause great damage or slow down the growth he wants to achieve. More and more women are taking on the entrepreneurship path. What are some of the resources that the Quebec Chamber of Commerce and Industry offers to help encourage women entrepreneurs? You read in my thoughts. The CCIQ has clearly identified the needs of women who are in business or want to become entrepreneurs. This is also the case for women professionals or self-employed workers. The importance of networking and being part of influential networks is what can make the difference. The CCIQ offers a support program called "Women's Leadership". This year, we have up to 70 participants who share their experience and their issues together. The momentum is so important that when the program is completed, they stay in contact and continue their exchanges and meetings in another format that is called "Women's Leadership Circle"

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LUXURY

The new Mercedes-AMG

GT R Roadster

Hats off to the Beast of the Green Hell

M

ercedes-AMG is combining motorsport technology and the freedom of open-air driving with the introduction of the new Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster. Limited to just 750 units globally, the AMG GT R Roadster addresses an exclusive clientele who are looking for a comfortable ride, but are unwilling to forego the unparalleled performance of a Mercedes-AMG. Featuring a 577 hp V8 biturbo engine, adjustable coil-over suspension, active rear axle steering and intelligent lightweight

construction, the AMG GT R Roadster is a dynamic update to the ever expanding AMG GT model family. With this latest addition, the AMG GT offering for Canada grows to 10 members: three twodoor coupes, two roadsters, three 4-door coupes, and two customer sports racing cars. "The new AMG GT R Roadster is far more than the combination of the thrilling vehicle dynamics of the GT R and the special flair of our GT Roadsters. It is the essence of two worlds blending to deliver our brand pledge; Driving Performance, in a very special way. With our GT R Roadster, we have without a doubt developed a brand-defining sports car. It embodies Mercedes-AMG in form, function and vehicle dynamics and enriches our GT family with a highly exclusive variant limited to 750 units," says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management for Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The 4.0 litre V8 biturbo AMG engine in the AMG

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GT R Roadster delivers an output of 577 hp and maximum torque of 516 lb-ft over speeds ranging from 2100 to 5500 rpm. It sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 317 km/h.

Wants to stay ahead even at a standstill: the exterior design A low-slung front section and an inclined AMG-specific radiator grille give the AMG GT R Roadster an aggressive "shark nose" look. This shape lowers the vehicle’s back pressure point, enhancing the flow of cooling air and improving the car’s aerodynamic performance. Standard-fit LED High Performance headlamps with a unique light signature grace the front of the vehicle and immediately mark the AMG GT R Roadster as a member of the AMG GT family. A tri-functional, arched light guide functions as the daytime running light, navigation light, and turn signals. A multi-chamber reflector system that includes three single reflectors not only


LUXURY

ensures optimal illumination of the road, it also gives the AMG GT R Roadster a sporty, dynamic look. A jet-wing designed front apron and a large front splitter emphasize the car’s width. The large outer air inlets of the front apron sport two aerodynamically shaped horizontal fins which deliver an increased supply of cooling air to the engine. Air Curtains on the outside of the front apron calm the airflow, and improve the Cd value of the open top two seater. In addition, these Air Curtains guide airflow towards the wheel arches, ensuring optimal flow. The AMG GT R Roadster features unique wheel arch liners with special air-cooling slits that specifically direct air to the double wheel arch radiators.

Not at all aloof: active aerodynamics profile for more precise handling and better road adhesion An active aerodynamics system is housed within the underbody in front of the engine. Weighing around two kilograms, this carbon-fibre element is speed-sensitive and automatically extends by 40 millimetres depending on the drive program. This process changes the airflow, resulting in what is known as the Venturi effect, which "sucks" the car onto the road and reduces front-axle lift by around 40 kilograms at 250 km/h. As a result, the AMG GT R Roadster can be steered more precisely when cornering at high speeds as it

exhibits even better directional stability. When the electrically operated aerodynamic element is extended, the radiator’s air outlets open, and redirect airflow towards a doublerear diffuser. This improves the handling stability of the rear axle while reducing the temperature level of potential hotspots on the rear of the vehicle.

Airy from the front too: the active air management system AIRPANEL The standard AIRPANEL active air regulation system is another technical highlight. Vertical louvres at the bottom of the front apron are opened and closed electronically by means of an electric motor regulate the amount of cooling. During normal driving, the louvres are closed for reduced drag and the air is directed towards the underbody, improving aerodynamic efficiency. The louvres only open when the air demand is high and certain components reach predefined temperatures, allowing for the maximum amount of cool air to flow directly to the heat exchangers.

Just the touch of a finger away: display buttons in the centre console The innovative, coloured display buttons housed in the V-shaped centre console integrate the display and control of the transmission logic, suspension, ESP, exhaust system, aerodynamics profile and start/

stop function into one unit. Leveraging TFT technology, the display buttons use easily recognizable symbols to display functions, and are easy to operate with just a small tap of the finger. The display buttons are supplemented by two rocker switches for the drive programs and volume control of the audio system.

About Mercedes-Benz Canada Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of the MercedesBenz and Mercedes-AMG passenger vehicles, Mercedes-Benz Vans and smart. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, MercedesBenz Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,200 people in 14 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of seven Mercedes-Benz own retail operations and 52 authorized dealerships, MercedesBenz Canada sold 49,758 vehicles in 2018. This positioned Mercedes-Benz as the top luxury manufacturer in Canada for the fifth consecutive year.

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BUSINESS

Rethinking Performance Indicators for Small Businesses. By Ernest Barbaric If you are engaged in any sort of digital marketing, you have access to analytics data. From Google Analytics to Facebook insights – there are more data points available to you now as a small business, than ever before. In theory, it should be easy to track your marketing ROI and adjust your efforts appropriately. However, the reality is that close to 40% of small and medium businesses are not sure of the ROI of their marketing, and an additional 21% believe their ROI is less than it should be.

tell you much about inbound leads (KPI) coming into your business.

Leading and Lagging Indicators Now, let’s throw a monkey wrench into things!

When putting together a marketing plan, focus on a few KPIs (5 – 7 is usually enough for a small business) that are easy to manage and pull from your analytics. For example: monthly incoming leads, cost per conversion, monthly incoming traffic from social media.

Everything we talked about so far is about RESULTS of marketing efforts – the data that is collected after you have performed some marketing.

Then, if you notice a rise or fall in one of them over time, you can dig into the metrics to find out the root cause.

Now… I would like to consider the inputs. For example, in order to generate a sale from an e-mail marketing campaign (result), you would have to create a marketing e-mail, or an e-mail sequence (input).

Access to analytics means little if you are not Measure What Matters able to extract actionable insights that can If you are engaged in any sort of digital marketing, you have access to analytics data. From grow and toimprove Let’s talk One common Google Analytics Facebook your insightsbusiness. – there are more data points available to you now as a issue I see with small small business, than ever before. about a few ideas that will help you get a businesses is a lack of focus and clarity. In theory, it should easymarketing to track your marketing appropriately. better graspbeon ROI. ROI and adjust your efforts When you are spending time and money on However, the reality is that close to 40% of small and medium businesses are not sure of the e-mail marketing, and search ROI of their marketing, and an additional 21% believe their ROI is less thansocial it shouldmedia, be. advertising – what are you actually trying to accomplish? Rethinking Performance Indicators for Small Businesses.

Having clear objectives for your digital marketing efforts will help tremendously in tracking and generating ROI / ROE (return on engagement). Even asking a simple question like “What are we using e-mail marketing for?” will help create some clarity. Source: Statista Access to analytics means little if you are not able to extract actionable insights that can grow For example, Shaw uses Twitter andDifference improve your business. Let’s Performance talk about a few ideas that will help you get a better grasp on between Indicators for customer service, which reduces wait marketing ROI.

In order to improve customer retention over Twitter (result), you would have to reply to customer questions in a timely and professional manner (input). Successful marketers know that in order to create sustainable marketing growth, they track both inputs and results with the same rigor. In order words, leading and lagging KPIs. Some ideas for leading KPIs may include: number of articles written for your blog, number of comments left on customers’ Instagram posts, or number of customer service conversations on Twitter. Putting these three concepts into action will help you get clarity on what’s working, and how well your marketing is contributing to your business success.

and Metrics

times and improves customer experience. It also likely creates a reduction in call centre KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are what costs (KPI), and improves customer retention KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are what we use in digital strategic planning to get an idea we useeffectiveness. in digital strategic toofget of marketing Think about itplanning as a vital sign youran marketing(KPI). health. I can confirm this from a recent personal idea of marketing effectiveness. Think about it experience. Metrics, on the other hand, are the pure data supplied by software like Google Analytics, Facebook Insightssign or your provider. as a vital ofe-mail yourmarketing marketing health. Being clear on what your objectives are, Metrics, on the other hand, are the pure data makes it much easier to select and track KPIs supplied by software like Google Analytics, (and the return on your investment). Going Facebook Insights or your e-mail marketing with the Shaw example, we might select “new provider. activations via Twitter” as a KPI, or something like a Net Promoter Score (how likely are To put things into perspective, you may customer to tell friends about your business), consider measuring how many Facebook usually sent as a survey after a service chat. followers you have (metric), but that doesn’t Difference between Performance Indicators and Metrics

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Ernest Barbaric is a certified executive coach and senior digital marketing strategist helping organizations make an impact. With 15 years of experience of working with brands like Yamaha, United Way, and Parks Canada, his unique blend of experience helps clients focus on organic, sustainable growth and purposedriven leadership both inside and outside the organization.


BUSINESS

Microsoft Partners with Le Camp Incubator & Accelerator to Help

Grow Innovative Startups in Quebec QUÉBEC CITY- Microsoft Canada and business incubator and accelerator LE CAMP today announced a significant partnership which will see Microsoft invest more than $1 million in the Quebec market to help grow the innovative startup ecosystem. Quebec Mayor Regis Lebaume, Microsoft Canada President, Kevin Peesker and Quebec International CEO, Carl Viel announced the partnership today at LE CAMP. "It is with great pride that I celebrate this partnership between Microsoft and LE CAMP today; it will fuel innovation and the creation of new businesses in Quebec City," said Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume. "The mentorship provided will offer a solid foundation for the entrepreneurial startups at LE CAMP. It is not surprising that Microsoft chose Québec City for this partnership. Our city has an abundance of highly skilled tech talent and a critical mass of businesses in this sector." As part of the partnership, Microsoft will provide LE CAMP with access to its cloudbased development tools and solutions, hardware including Surface devices, HoloLens and Xbox, as well as consulting expertise from key talent who will work with entrepreneurs at LE CAMP to unlock their full potential. "We couldn't be more pleased with this partnership," said Carl Viel, CEO of Quebec International. "LE CAMP and Microsoft have a shared vision of working with innovative startups that bring bold ideas to life and further develop the technology sector in Quebec. Microsoft is providing so much more than tools; they bring the spirit and enthusiasm that is an ideal fit with the 'campers' we support." "We've already set the stage for the growth of young technology companies in the Québec City region, and thanks to this partnership with Microsoft we can take that even further" said Carl Viel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Québec International. " We will target three

sectors in which we already collaborate for success: blockchain, mixed reality (virtual and augmented) and cybersecurity. This will help us grow the region into one of the most innovative in the world." "The creativity and innovation that we see in Quebec is among the most exciting things happening in technology; we are tremendously pleased to join forces with LE CAMP to help foster growth now and in the future," said Kevin Peesker, President of Microsoft Canada. "Our mission at Microsoft is to empower every person on the planet to achieve more and strategic partnerships with likeminded organizations like LE CAMP will help us reach that goal."

Partnership Details The partnership between Microsoft and LE CAMP offers Campers a wide array of tools and services to help grow their startups, including: •

Funding to help LE CAMP further invest in Quebec entrepreneurs

Hardware, including Surface devices, Xbox and HoloLens, providing opportunities to develop tools and apps in the innovative field of mixed and augmented reality

The Microsoft Collaborative Space, outfitted with a Surface Hub, so Campers can create and collaborate with their colleagues from LE CAMP and around the world

Microsoft will host training workshops and mentorship sessions at LE CAMP, helping Campers learn the business and technical skills they need to succeed today and in the future

Select LE CAMP startups will receive a prioritized application path to Microsoft for Startups, providing additional tools for success, including Azure credits, mentorship and opportunities to sell solutions through to some of the biggest companies in the world

About Microsoft

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering innovation, prosperity and security through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca

About Le Camp

A cornerstone of Québec City's business community, LE CAMP is a vibrant home where ideas flourish and successful businesses are born. LE CAMP is an incubator-accelerator dedicated to growing tech businesses and guiding their creative projects. Located in the Saint-Roch neighbourhood in the heart of Québec City, it gives access to acceleration and incubation programs, as well as improvement and networking activities. LE CAMP is managed and led by Québec International, Québec's metropolitan economic development agency. For more information, please visit lecampquebec.com. SOURCE Microsoft Canada Inc.

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INTERVIEW

How CIBC offers

smart solutions for business owners Andrew Turnbull Senior Vice President, CIBC Business Banking

As CIBC’s Head of Business Banking, Andrew leads a team that’s transforming what Canadian entrepreneurs and professionals can expect from their bank. Previously, Andrew led CIBC’s direct investing business, CIBC Investor's Edge, and was Chief Administrative Officer and Head of Strategy for its Wealth Management division when CIBC expanded into the U.S. Andrew is an active speaker and diversity advocate and is a volunteer leader with Ronald McDonald House Charities and Canadian Cancer Society.

Canadian business owners face many decisions and challenges on a daily basis how does CIBC Business Banking support small businesses? Business owners need to wear many hats, and do it well. We also know that running a business is a team sport, and that’s how we approach our banking relationships – as a team member. It’s our goal to understand our clients’ evolving needs, and help them realize the full potential of their business, from start-up all the way through to a prosperous retirement. How do you help entrepreneurs through the business life cycle? We offer online tools and the Start Strong program to help new businesses launch by mapping out how to go from a vision on a sheet of paper to a full fledged business plan and the execution of it.

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We're very focused on tailoring our offerings to specific segments and showing our deep industry knowledge. For example, we just launched a best-in-class offer for practicing physicians that includes business and personal banking – addressing the nexus of cash management, tax and retirement planning. On the advice side, we’ve been investing in our team. We’ve introduced new advisory roles – people with deep industry knowledge who are making a real difference in helping business owners look at financing opportunities and how to better manage cash flow so they can realize their growth aspirations. We've also reduced fees on a number of capabilities such as our CIBC Cash Management Online service. We now offer free monthly access so that more business owners can use this service to make payments to their suppliers. When it comes to sending money internationally, CIBC Business Banking clients can also now do so without any transfer

fees to over 75 countries through CIBC Global Money Transfer. How is technology changing the day-today for business owners? It’s changing how business owners interact and transact with their employees, their customers, and their suppliers. Business owners are adopting and embracing technology, and we are part of that shift from a banking perspective. Digital commerce has allowed businesses to expand outside of traditional borders much more quickly. We published a study in late 2017 that showed 72 per cent of business owners aged 25 to 39 are engaging in some sort of international export opportunity. This is a major shift from other cohorts and is a direct result of the modern set of tools now available to manage international payments, international suppliers, and supply chains that enable them to ship to and from anywhere


INTERVIEW

We are also creating innovative tools for our clients that will simplify their lives and help them run stronger businesses. Right now we are in pilot for a new platform that is a game-changer. It’s called CIBC SmartBanking for Business – a new technology tool that combines banking information along with cloud accounting services and payroll solutions in one dynamic digital dashboard.

in the world. Exporting introduces so much complexity early in the business lifecycle, but the tools that we have, like our advanced cash management solutions, support that type of service-oriented business with a virtual supply chain. We are also creating innovative tools for our clients that will simplify their lives and help them run stronger businesses. Right now we are in pilot for a new platform that is a game-changer. It’s called CIBC SmartBanking for Business – a new technology tool that combines banking information along with cloud accounting services and payroll solutions in one dynamic digital dashboard. How is CIBC SmartBanking for Business a game-changer? It is the first platform in Canada that allows clients to integrate their banking, accounting services and payroll solutions in one dashboard – so you have a consolidated view all in one location. To bring the platform to life, we’ve partnered with Intuit and other leading software

companies that are widely used by small business owners and their strategic partners like accountants and bookkeepers. Business owners will be able to reduce the amount of reconciliation work they do, communicate more fluidly with their bookkeeper, and make quicker informed decisions with the data that's in front of them. We're making these investments so businesses owners will have more time to focus on other areas of their business. More CEO, less CFO. Whether it’s hiring the right talent, training them, managing their financial affairs, serving customers, developing the growth strategy – business owners face an intense amount of pressure and our goal is to free up time so SME owners can focus on what is important to them. Do other banks offer similar integrated tools like this? CIBC is the first bank to offer two-way data integration with accounting and payroll partners through CIBC SmartBanking for

Business. CIBC clients with Quickbooks Online, for instance, will be able to seamlessly navigate between the CIBC banking platform and QuickBooks Online. Businesses will be able to see an integrated view of their banking and accounting information in one place, with information and visuals of payables and receivables that allow them to better manage cash flow. When is SmartBanking for Business launching? It’s in pilot right now and we're launching it to all business banking clients in the summer of 2019. What advice are business owners looking for from their bank on growth? We spend a lot of time with clients on the intersection between cash management and growth. If a business is growing, you need the working capital so we have conversations around cash management and how to finance your next stage of growth smartly so that you're not adding too much leverage into the business. I've worked with some clients CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019 I

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INTERVIEW

to help them reduce the amount of inventory they have so that they can get more with their own supply chain and then don’t need as much inventory, which ties up working capital.

So, do your due diligence to find people who will enable you to move from a vision on paper to see it come to life. That’s our goal at CIBC Business Banking – to help you realize your full potential.

These advisory conversations are valuable to businesses whether they're in growth mode or if they're facing any profitability challenges. We look to take some of that uncertainty away by being crystal clear on your cash flow situation – it’s incredibly important and a struggle for many businesses.

Three - financial management is especially critical in the first five years of a SME business life cycle. You need to marry strong strategic vision with sound financial management, get the right balance in growth through financing and growth by reinvesting earnings. If you grow too quickly through financing, sometimes that can lead to challenges. And if you only bootstrap, sometimes you miss that market opportunity to disrupt in a short window. If you've partnered with the right advisors, you can hopefully get that that optimal balance to succeed in a competitive market.

In your expert opinion, what are the three key factors that contribute to the success of SMEs? Number one - talent. In Canada, we’ve got the deepest, richest, most diverse human capital available in the world and I think a key success factor for all businesses in this country is unlocking the full potential of the diversity of our workforce. We have built the economy around much more knowledge-based services oriented and global businesses, even at a very early stage. And unlocking that knowledge, that diversity, I think its going to be incredibly important. Two - partners. You've got to choose your partners very carefully because you’re probably going to retain them for many years to come.

CIBC Banking Centre in Edmonton, AB.

CIBC Business Banking experts are focused on helping business owners with cash flow management through personalized advice.

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You were included in Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 list in 2018. What does this represent to you? I believe that we in Canada have an opportunity, and an obligation, to unlock the full potential of our diversity. I feel I'm in a unique position in my role to support diversity through business because until we unlock that full potential, we won’t have built the country that we want to build.

CIBC’s Andrew Turnbull on a client visit with Jay Madha and Jiten Madha, owners of TILTCO, a window, door and curtainwall manufacturer headquartered in Newmarket with locations in Canada, United States, Europe and the Caribbean.

Andrew Turnbull, SVP, CIBC Business Banking (2nd from left) on a client visit with Cristina Palacios (CIBC), Karen Becker, Melissa Torrecampo (CIBC), Joanne Tigert, Treasure Pinto, Vedant Joshi, owners of Juddlies Designs Inc., a manufacturer and retailer of children’s apparel and accessories, headquartered in Toronto.


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ONLINE INVESTING

BMO Online Investing Study: Knowledge and

Use of Digital Investing Services Continue to Grow in Canada 51 per cent of Canadians surveyed are at least 'somewhat familiar' with digital wealth advisors Millennials lead the way in online investing and digital financial transactions

BMO InvestorLine has released the results of a survey which found that Canadians are becoming more familiar with digital investing services and highlights how the generations are changing their approach to online investing. The survey, conducted by Parameter Insights, examined consumer views on digital investing and access to online wealth management platforms. It revealed that 51 per cent of Canadians surveyed are 'slightly/somewhat familiar' with knowledge of a 'robo-advisor' service. This growing familiarity is reflected through higher adoption rates for BMO's suite of online investing products. "The majority of Canadians are now aware of digital wealth advisors. As they increasingly turn to and become comfortable with online platforms, we want to meet them where they want to invest," said Silvio Stroescu, President, BMO InvestorLine. "We are seeing higher adoption rates across our platforms, with BMO adviceDirect in particular experiencing four times the growth in adoption year over year." Generational Differences & Adoption Rates According to the survey, Canadian Millennials lead the way with using technology to help manage their savings/investments (86 per cent), with Generation X closely following (78 per cent). Baby Boomers are split, with 50 per cent preferring to use technology to keep track of their investments.

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Other highlights include: •

59 per cent of Millennials want to "automate more aspects" of their financial life

81 per cent of Gen Xers are comfortable making financial transactions online

• 41 per cent of the Greatest Generation (those aged 71 years and older) are using technology to manage savings/ investments "Despite the variation in adoption among age groups, it is clear that overall adoption of digital investing is gaining momentum," said Mr. Stroescu. "Our mission is to inspire Canadians to take action by offering innovative digital investing products that deliver on value - empowering and helping them to reach their financial goals."

Invest Online, Not Alone BMO's team of expert digital investing Portfolio Managers and Chartered Financial Analysts make investment decisions that align to a client's investment objectives and risk tolerance. The model portfolios are monitored and rebalanced when required to help keep clients on track with their investment objectives.

BMO SmartFolio, please visit www.bmo.com/ smartfolio. This survey was conducted by Parameter Insights - a financial services-focused research and consulting firm - via an online survey between October 12 and 22, 2018, with an online sample of 1,000 adult Canadians. Data has been weighted using the latest Canadian census information to be representative in terms of age, gender and region. The margin of error for a probability sample size of 1,000 is ± 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $807 billionas of January 31, 2019, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets. SOURCE BMO Financial Group

To learn more about BMO adviceDirect, please visit www.bmo.com/advicedirect. For more on


INTERVIEW

NGen: The Advanced

Manufacturing Supercluster By Hunter Cookson

Hunter Cookson Hunter Cookson, R&D Tax Credit and Grant Specialist, has specialized in assisting companies fund innovation including government grants, R&D and innovation tax credits in Canada, UK, Europe and the USA.

Many companies in Canada have been waiting for the five Superclusters to open. For those who don’t know about it, the Innovation Superclusters Initiative is a national incentive strategy by the Government of Canada to spark growth and help Canada realize its potential as a global leader in innovation and technology. the initiative will infuse nearly $2 billion into the economy and is expected to contribute to the country’s GDP by $50 billion over the next ten years. Superclusters are distributed in five different regions of the country. Recently, NGen, Ontario’s supercluster, started accepting applications for membership. The focus of this Supercluster is advanced manufacturing. Membership to NGen is free. Once you become a member, you can access information about the Supercluster including how to apply for funding. Currently, NGen has $190 million of funding. On April 16, 2019 NGen will be holding a “project pitch day” in Waterloo. There are extensive eligibility criteria on the NGen website. However here are a few key requirements: •

The project is undertaken by an industry-led consortium of partners that are incorporated in Canada

Minimum participation of 3 private sector organizations

One private sector organization to serve as the lead partner; the contact delegate and to complete the digital forms and upload the required documentation on behalf of the consortium

The project consortium must have manufacturing and technology capabilities

Projects must be strategically aligned with NGEN’s goal of positioning Canada as a world class leader in advanced manufacturing

Projects must drive transformation of the Canadian manufacturing ecosystem, involve later stage technology and manufacturing with the potential to yield a 20x ROI on the ISED investment, drive collaboration across ecosystem members, and create enduring ecosystem assets (IP, human-machine collaborative workforce, tools/test beds, new manufacturing leadership mind set)

Involve and/or support the application of technologies in manufacturing or the scale-up of technologies for manufacturing in Canada. Demonstrate significant short-term commercial opportunities for industry partners.

NGen will reimburse up to 44.4% of a project’s eligible costs that are incurred following the signing of a Project Agreement. The reimbursement of 44.4% is set at project level, not at partner level. Therefore, project partners can negotiate within the consortium the levels of funding. No single partner can receive more than 70% reimbursement. There are 4 other superclusters in Canada including digital technologies & data driven enterprises, protein innovations, artificial intelligence supply chains, and ocean/marine biotechnology. If you fit into the NGen criteria or potentially into the other superclusters, this can be a great opportunity for collaboration and funding opportunities. For a complimentary assessment of your organization’s eligibility for funding, you can contact RDP Associates at RDPGrantsTeam@rdpassociates.com

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INVESTMENT

Cisco Invests $15M in Its

Growing Western Canada Presence Rola Dagher, President of Cisco Canada, joined with the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to announce Cisco’s $15 million CAD investment in Western Canada’s secure digital transformation. The funding will support three main initiatives in Western Canada, focusing on job creation and skills development: •

Cisco is further growing its team in Western Canada with new senior artificial intelligence jobs that will support the company’s Western Canada operations. This builds on the ongoing growth of Cisco’s footprint in Western Canada, which has seen Cisco’s cybersecurity R&D headcount in Vancouver and Calgary double since 2016, and a $7 million CAD investment in a new Calgary cybersecurity office. Cisco is strengthening its Networking Academy partnership with YYC Net Lab – a local, volunteer-run non-for-profit organization, which aims to provide costeffective access to computer networking education to immigrant and Indigenous women. Through a newly-deepened partnership, Cisco will provide YYC NetLab with resources and instructor training to deliver an expanded roster of courses – including cybersecurity operations, and beyond. Also through Cisco’s Networking Academy program partnership, Cisco is supporting NPower Canada – a leading youth-oriented charity – by providing resources so that their instructors can teach 21st century, career-ready skills to students. This will support NPower’s growth in Calgary.

These initiatives reflect Cisco Canada’s growing footprint and presence in Western Canada, which already comprises:

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537 full-time jobs including Cisco’s global Security Business Group (SBG), representing the fastest growing segments of Cisco’s security portfolio, based in Calgary and Vancouver.

$28 million CAD in the education, technical training, and career mentorship

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of over 47,000 students who have completed Cisco’s Networking Academy Program in Western Canada. •

A combined $8 million CAD in funding and in-kind support to University Research Chairs and Innovation Centres at the Universities of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Regina, Calgary, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and MacEwan University.

The new commitments announced today for Western Canada are the first wave of Cisco Canada’s Country Digitization Acceleration (CDA) program, which is a national-level initiative that will support the long-term economic goals of Canada – particularly job creation, skills development and technological innovation. Through CDA, Cisco will fund and test “smart and connected community” innovations in areas such as the oil and gas sector, healthcare digitization, and environmental protection to identify what solutions will create real value for Canadians. Future projects under CDA will be developed and funded that utilize digital technologies as the foundation for advancing the quality of life of Canadians, create jobs and workforce education, and enhance global economic competitiveness. "Getting the most out of the digital world of tomorrow means investing and preparing for it today,” said Rola Dagher, President of Cisco Canada. “The commitments announced today build on our strong track record of creating successful partnerships in Western Canada that have empowered individuals to grow their careers, strengthened the country’s technology ecosystem and laid the foundations for a prosperous future for all Canadians." “Our government has a plan to build a new culture of innovation—one that will support Canadian ideas, drive productivity, and create good jobs for Canadians”, said Minister Bains. “Cisco’s growing commitment to Canada demonstrates how our approach is working. By equipping Canadians with the tools needed to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow, we are working together to position Canada at the forefront of the global economy.”

“Cisco Canada was a founding partner helping to establish NPower in Toronto in 2014,” said Julia Blackburn, CEO of NPower Canada. “We are delighted that they will extend their support to bring our high impact program to Calgary. With Cisco's support, we look forward to launching low-income, unemployed, diverse young adults into careers in Alberta’s dynamic IT sector.” “Cisco has been a key partner in growing the skills, knowledge and experience of Calgarians who are intent on achieving successful careers in the technology sector,” said YYC Net Lab’s Nick Jeffrey. “This continued collaboration sets the stage for us to prepare students from all walks of life for rewarding and engaging careers in technology. This is precisely the kind of talent that’s needed here, and we’re proud to be working with Cisco to help further grow Calgary’s local technology expertise.” “As a global company driven to help citizens connect and benefit from the digital economy, we know delivering on our mandate means fostering the local talent, expertise and networks of the communities where we operate,” said Guy Diedrich, Global Innovation Officer, Cisco. “Cisco takes great pride in positively impacting communities, businesses and governments around the world, and we’re deeply excited to be enhancing our commitment to Canada by taking this bold new step.” About Cisco Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow's digital opportunity today. Discover more at newsroom.cisco.com and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco. Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.


BUDGET

Federal Budget 2019 offers little to address

SME owners’ concerns By Armando Lannuzzi

Entrepreneurs would be forgiven for assuming that the 2019 federal budget—which showered $23 billion in new spending commitments across the country in this election year—would have offered something to improve their balance sheets or increase their competitiveness. It turns out that was wishful thinking.

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nstead, Finance Minister Bill Morneau offered a budget designed to ease seniors’ financial anxieties and intended to appeal to Millennials eager to climb their way onto the property ladder in expensive urban markets such as Toronto and Vancouver. Owners of small and medium-sized businesses were given little to address their ongoing concerns, which range from overregulation to excessive taxation and onerous compliance rules. On the tax front, the best that can be said of this budget is that it didn’t include increases to personal or corporate tax rates—nor did it reduce them, but at this point entrepreneurs are likely taking a glass-half-full approach to budget day under the Trudeau Liberals. Nor did Morneau make a commitment to reform our complex tax system, despite ongoing pleas from the business community to take action. On the subject of the intergenerational transfer of family businesses and assets—another entrepreneurial bone of contention—the government also opted to punt the decision to a later date, but says it’s continuing to look at making these transactions more financially beneficial for entrepreneur families hoping to keep their businesses alive by handing them off to children or other relatives. One surprising announcement was a crackdown on employee stock options for higher-earning executives. Specifically, the government is proposing to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of employee stock options for benefit amounts of more than $200,000 for professionals employed by what the Department of Finance defines as ‘large, long-established, mature firms’ (what, exactly, qualifies as one of these larger organizations remains to be seen). The budget explains the government’s rationale thusly:

‘When examining the evidence, it is clear that the employee stock option deduction is highly regressive. In 2017, 2,330 individuals, each with a total annual income of over $1 million, claimed over $1.3 billion of employee stock option deductions. In total, these 2,330 individuals, representing 6 per cent of stock option deduction claimants, accounted for almost two-thirds of the entire cost of the deduction to taxpayers. The public policy rationale for preferential tax treatment of employee stock options is to support younger and growing Canadian businesses. The Government does not believe that employee stock options should be used as a tax-preferred method of compensation for executives of large, mature companies.’ Other proposed tax changes of significance to entrepreneurs include a broadening of the exclusion to the specified corporate income rules which impacted the small business deductions for certain farmers and fishers, a 100 per cent accelerated capital cost allowance rate for electric vehicles (including those used for commercial purposes) and some minor tax incentives to help Canadian news media compete in the digital age (for entrepreneurs worried about how they’ll continue to receive business news at a time when traditional media outlets are facing an uphill battle to compete against digital behemoths such as Facebook and Google). Of course, that latter point isn’t necessarily of any specific importance to SME owners, and that underscores one of the biggest problems with this budget—there really isn’t much for entrepreneurs to be concerned with or to get excited about. Many in the business community are still wondering: ‘What’s in it for us?’ The answer, unfortunately, is ‘not much.’

What we can say is that the Canada Revenue Agency will receive an additional $150 million over five years to improve tax enforcement initiatives, including a further clampdown on foreign tax fraud. Again, not exactly reason for joy among Canada’s business-owning classes. To be fair to the government, promises have also been made to improve CRA customer service, including expediting dispute resolution timelines. This has been a major sore spot for business owners in recent years. The bottom line is that the government will continue to run deficits of nearly $20 billion over the next two years, before those deficits slowly drop to $9.8 billion by 2023-24. A major concern is that economic headwinds could further slow economic growth in the near term and put additional strains on the country’s finances. Whether the Liberals will still be in power to steer us through those potentially stormy economic waters remains to be seen. But if they are, we hope at some point for a budget that addresses the ongoing anxieties of Canada’s entrepreneurs—not only the voting cohorts whose support the government hopes to win over in the lead-up to this year’s election.

Armando Iannuzzi is a tax partner at KRP LLP, a Markham, Ont.-based accounting firm for entrepreneurs. Learn more at www.krp.ca

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TRADE

FITT for Trade

The Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) is a non-profit organization that provides training and resources for international business trading. Their mandate is to not only provide training, but also resources and professional certification in international business to individuals and business owners. They are the only organization in the world that provides international trade training programs and other related professional designations that are recognized by the Wold trade Centers Association and the Federal Government of Canada. Their international trade training solutions have become the norm of excellence for global business professionals in Canada and around the world. 70

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Founded in 1992 as part of Canada’s sector council initiative, FITT is dedicated to developing and delivering quality training programs, resources and professional credentials specifically put in place to help prepare individuals and businesses to compete successfully in international markets. Their mission is to further develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of people, businesses and organizations so that they can better access global markets. In doing so, they will decrease and also better manage the risks of integrative trade, as well as allowing profitable competition. FITT is the world’s leading organization when it comes to being the most trustworthy source of current, industry validated information available on the following topics for products, raw materials or services anywhere in the world: • Buying

system for trade practitioners and accreditation for academic providers which meet the standards. The Forum for International Trade Training lives on six qualities that they ensure to provide in all of their services. The six qualities that FITT lives by are: leadership, change, intelligence, practicality, professionalism and partnership. These qualities are not only embedded into the employees that work there, but they are also engraved in their way of doing business. Through these qualities that they value and ensure to include in their way of conducting their organization, FITT has made it clear that they are the best at what they do. As they say that action speaks louder than words, well results also speak louder than words: • They’ve built strong relations with SMEs so that they can clearly identify and meet the changing needs of their clients.

• Selling • Manufacturing • Financing • Sourcing • In addition to providing support in international trading, FITT also takes part in the following activities: • Identification and promotion of crucial international trade knowledge as well as insights about competency gaps that can delay the success of businesses and promotions. • Development, delivery and promotion of international trade training and other enabling knowledge, skill and ability-building products and services. • Responding to specific industries, trade sectors and disciplines to create skills, knowledge and abilities that are required to become more competitive in international trade • Development of expertise standards for successful international trade: a certification

• They’ve updated their courses and programs to ensure that all their students and professionals get the most current and up to date information. • They’ve used the innovation in the technology industry to their advantage to deliver their knowledge on international trade in diverse learning styles to suit everyone’s needs. • They’ve discovered the obstacles that prevent Canada’s international-trade workforce from reaching its true potential and put in place an action plan to help Canadian businesses grow. FITT aims to get results and works constantly to find solutions and better ways to make Canadian businesses grow in the international-trade industry. These results are just the beginning of a long road of success that they will achieve in the years to come. To find out more information about the Forum for International Trade Training, visit their website at www.fittfortrade.com.


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Profile for CanadianSME

CanadianSME April Edition  

We have just launched our April issue and we’re beyond excited to be a continuance resource to Canadian small and medium sized enterprises....

CanadianSME April Edition  

We have just launched our April issue and we’re beyond excited to be a continuance resource to Canadian small and medium sized enterprises....