THUNDER BAY – Bruce Firestone states that each person has to become passionate about building the right environment for entrepreneurs in our communities in Northwestern Ontario.
The Northwestern Ontario Regional Conference Key-note speakers shared a positive message with the 250 delegates to the conference.
Speaking about the way forward for communities, Firestone said that the move by Ontario to allow building up to six stories tall to be constructed by wood is a real plus for Thunder Bay.
Communities across Canada are losing their youth Firestone explained. Many youth are headed to mega-cities, communities with over 10 million people – and Canada doesn’t have any cities of that size.
Building a Brand
“Get your laptops out, we are going to do some Internet surfing,” stated Firestone.
“This is the most brand concious generation ever, marketing has changed completely”.
After the launch of Twitter, everything changed. It is now earning your interest instead of buying it, and the changes started with the first tweet.
“You are going to lose your young people to the megacities, but eventually they are going to come back to Thunder Bay”, commented Firestone.
Leisure is the New Infrastructure
Eric Kuhne from London states, ‘Leisure is the new infrastructure”.
Communities used to invest in roads, cell towners, and physical structures.
Today, it is more the business infrastructure, Firestone spoke of how businesses can attract customers with innovation uses for their property.
Wilderness tours are a huge potential for ‘new infrastructure’.
Firestone explained, “Entrepreneurs would rather ask for forgiveness than beg for permission, entrepreneurs want to hear from communities that ‘we have solutions’.”
Being innovative helps, Firestone explained how in small communities having innovative, unique places to visit bring in visitors. Especially in smaller communities.