Small Business Week is right around the corner, but what does this mean for Canadian small business owners? For the past 43 years, BDC has organized an annual celebration of small businesses where entrepreneurs gather to learn, network and celebrate what it means to be a small business owner in Canada. From October 16th to October 22nd, let us recognize the challenges many small businesses are facing daily as they navigate unprecedented obstacles from our post-pandemic economy.
What’s This Year’s Theme?
This year’s theme is all about doing things differently. Small businesses continue to face dire circumstances such as inflation, supply chain disruptions, rising rates and labor shortages. Despite these new-found challenges, business owners remain energized and are finding new and innovative ways of running their business. Examples include inclusivity and sustainability as strategies to drive further growth in their business. Let’s celebrate the ability of SMBs to adapt to change, and to be fearless in the face of adversity.
Dare to do things differently: Power up your growth
Why Small Businesses are Important
Canadians love small businesses – and with good reason. Small businesses drive our economy by creating the goods and services we need, while employing millions of Canadians. The numbers speak for themselves, as of late 2021, about 98.1% of Canadian businesses were considered small (i.e., fewer than 100 employees). They employed 10.3 million individuals in total, accounting for 63.8% of the Canadian labor force, and produced over 40% of the total value of Canadian exports. In addition to contributing more than 40% of Canada’s overall Gross Domestic Product, small businesses are pioneers of innovation, help create jobs, and inject a sense of community in every city or town. With small businesses growing at a rapid pace, it’s important that we arm them with the necessary tools and resources to succeed.
How can I get Involved in Small Business Week?
There are several ways of getting involved in this year’s edition. But don’t worry – we got you covered.
Attend Events and Webinars
Small Business Week is a time of education. It gives small business owners a chance to learn from subject-matter experts without putting a dent in their wallet. BDC along with its partners are hosting several events throughout the week covering a selection of wide-ranging topics.
Free Online Events:
Dare to do things differently (October 17, 3:30 P.M. ET): Known as the small business week launch event, BDC’s CEO, Isabelle Hudon, celebrates this year’s theme of small business owners being willing to go off the beaten path. Register now.
How to succeed in today’s economy – A roadmap for SMEs (October 18, 1 P.M. ET): Pierre Cléroux, BDC’s Chief Economist, dives deep into the current state of the Canadian economy, gives us strategies to navigate current challenges and how to make your SMB more profitable. Register now.
Thinking Big, Supporting Small: Fueling Business Decisions with Data (October 19, 1:00 P.M. ET): In today’s world, data is everything. Tune in with Stephen Tapp, Chief Economist at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Pierre Cléroux, Vice President of Research and Chief Economist at BDC, as they discuss how data can help small business owners make better decisions. Register now.
Futurpreneur (October 20, 1:00 P.M. ET): Despite current challenges, the future of entrepreneurship is bright. Tune into this panel as they discuss how to sell products, services, and ultimately how to start a successful business in trying times. Register now.
Free In-Person/Hybrid Events:
Startup Canada (October 20, 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. ET): Taking place at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, this event brings together entrepreneurs, innovators, industry executives, and government representatives to raise the bar for Canada as a globally competitive and innovative nation. Register now.
Grow. Thrive. 2022. (October 20, 8:30 A.M. – 3:30 P.M. PT): At the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in Yaletown, Vancouver, join this free event which gathers the small business community to learn, network and share their tips for thriving in changing economic conditions. Register now.
For additional information on events occurring during Small Business Week, visit BDC’s official Small Business Week event webpage.
Networking has always played a critical role in creating relationships and key alliances within the small business world. Small Business Week is an ideal time for you to engage in meaningful conversations with business owners from other industries. These discussions can lead to a change in perspective, helping you find solutions to problems in your own business. Up to 10,000 small business owners gather to celebrate this yearly event, so you’re bound to meet like-minded individuals.
Attending events is great for exchanging ideas and growing your network with new suppliers, distributors, or even gaining new leads. Putting yourself out there puts a face to your business, increasing your visibility and adds an element of depth.
In the end, networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships. Look at what you can offer to others first, and not what you can gain. With time, you will notice that new opportunities come knocking at your door more often.
Reflect on Your Experiences
Small Business Week is a time of reflection, where you can take a step back and take stock of your business. The past two years have been extremely difficult, so it’s important to reflect on both your successes and failures during this time. Taking the time to do so will enable you to process and make meaning of all the great learnings, you’ve had. Small businesses have been incredibly resilient and have shown an unprecedented ability to adapt and innovate. Take pride in what you have been able to accomplish and look forward to what you can build in the future. Let yourself be inspired by all the amazing small businesses that will be partaking in the celebrations and see where you can apply some of the learnings in your own. Although Small Business Week is a great opportunity for education, more importantly, it’s a time of celebration.
Small Business Week – Tell us Your Story
Small Business Week has always been a special time of year for OnDeck Canada and this year is no exception. Without spoiling too much, we will be commemorating small businesses throughout Small Business Week on our various communication channels. We can’t wait to share these success stories with you and hope to inspire other small business owners in the process. These stories will be shared on our respective Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. They will also be posted on our resources webpage at OnDeck.ca. Make sure to tune in between October 16th and October 22nd , let the countdown begin!