Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Thunder Bay

small business showcase

THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Canada; and we’re all better off for it. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute to more than half of Canada’s gross domestic product, and employ over 90% of our private sector workers. In Thunder Bay and district, SMEs make up nearly 97% of all businesses.

BDC Small Business WeekTM has been dedicated to celebrating entrepreneurs since 1979. Every year, more than 10,000 business people across Canada come together at events and activities to network, learn, and socialize. This October 19th-23rd, BDC and participating partners bring you an exciting calendar of events to recognize our small businesses and their contributions. The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) and Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre (EC) work with BDC and participating organizations to coordinate speaking engagements professional development workshops, and fantastic networking opportunities.

Growing is an essential part of a business’s journey, and entrepreneurs must be equipped with the tools, resources, knowledge, and capacities to compete in today’s global environment. This year’s theme for BDC Small Business WeekTMKnock Down Barriers. Dare to Grow. – speaks to the perseverance and hard work necessary for entrepreneurs to find their paths to success.

BDC Small Business WeekTM 2015 features An Evening with Bruce Croxon, the famous digital innovator and founder of Lavalife. With a passion for digital media and marketing, the former ‘dragon’ on Dragon’s Den and current host of The Disruptors, Croxon will share his insights into the importance of collaboration, keeping an open mind, and staying on the cusp of technology as part of his formula for innovative success.

A brand new event, The Entrepreneur Centre’s first annual Small Business Showcase will give the public a chance to see what’s new in Northwestern Ontario business. At this free tradeshow, new and emerging businesses will debut their projects and show the public all they have to offer. Do not miss the keynote luncheon featuring speaker and Chicken Soup for the Soul co-author, Barry Spilchuk, who, under the theme of effective communication, will talk about how to strengthen connections and relationships for greater success in both our personal and professional lives.

If you’re a recent start-up who’s doing something innovative, new, or different, or a business that has undergone a major expansion in the last year, consider exhibiting at Small Business Showcase. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to get valuable tradeshow experience and introduce yourself to the community.

Workshops and seminars will be offered on various topics including finance, public relations, and sales and marketing. Kara Polson of Investors Group will deliver a session on small business finance that will cover succession planning, exit strategies, among other money-related issues. Firedog Communications will present a two-part workshop series that teaches entrepreneurs how to use storytelling to build their brands, measure their marketing performance, and boost their bottom line with stronger customer connections. At PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise, learn about the differences in buying habits between the four generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Millenials), and how your business can sell to them.

As part of Small Business Showcase, Barry Spilchuk will be presenting an extension of his keynote, speaking further to the power of effective communication during a workshop. There will also be an interactive seminar on media relations – writing press releases, conference planning, and public relations – presented by City of Thunder Bay Corporate Communications.

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NWOIC) along with Partners in Innovation & Entrepreneurship (PIE) will be presenting a ‘fail-forward’ seminar to students on calculated risk-taking. Facilitator Ashley Good will draw on her consulting experience as well as her work with the United Nations Environment Programme to talk about how we can benefit from failures and accelerate learning.

At the launch of the 2015-16 Enter the Den contest, Thunder Bay Ventures and the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre (EC) will provide high school students with information and inspiration at their Future Entrepreneurs of Thunder Bay event.

Following the ‘Dare to Grow’ theme of BDC Small Business WeekTM 2015, SHIFT Young Professionals Network will be hosting a luncheon panel discussion. During this informal dialogue, local entrepreneurs from thriving businesses Frape & Sons Bitters Boutique and Sleeping Giant Brewery will share their stories and insight into what makes them successful and how they consistently progress.

Above all, multiple networking opportunities abound during BDC Small Business WeekTM 2015. Drop in at NADF’s Open House, and mingle with fellow business owners and professionals at the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce’s biggest After Business event of the year.

Great things happen when entrepreneurs get together. There is a chance for you to expand your expertise, grow your networks, and enjoy yourself at each and every BDC Small Business Week event. Come out and learn, share ideas, and create your own business opportunities.

For more information including pricing and registration, view the full calendar and details at www.ThunderBay.ca/SmallBusinessWeek

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small business showcase