Press Release

BC BUSINESS OWNERS KICK-OFF SMALL BUSINESS MONTH AT INSPIRE CELEBRATION OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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September 28, 2016 – British Columbia: This year marks the 10th anniversary of Small Business Month in British Columbia, an occasion celebrated every October to recognize the important contributions entrepreneurs make to our economy and local communities.

With many activities taking place across the province, Small Business BC and TD Bank Group will launch the month-long occasion with the province’s largest Small Business Month event, the 7th Annual INSPIRE Celebration of Entrepreneurship.

“Passion gets the ball rolling, but a little inspiration now and then helps business owners stay committed, patient and persistent,” says George Hunter, CEO of Small Business BC. “INSPIRE is all about learning from the determination and ingenuity of other successful entrepreneurs.”

Held on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at the TELUS World of Science in Vancouver, INSPIRE will bring together 400 attendees, including B.C.’s leading entrepreneurs, small and medium-size business owners, government representatives, media and industry influencers for a night of networking, exhibits and discussion.

Hon. Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Liquor Distribution, Province of British Columbia will be presenting Small Business BC with the Proclamation of Small Business Month, as well as discussing the “Strength of BC’s Small Business Sector.”

This year’s panel discussion will address “Developing Successful Operations from the Ground Up” and includes insights from:

  • Charles Chang, President and Founder, Lyra Growth Partners; Founder, Vega
  • Bradford Cooke, Founder and CEO, Endeavour Silver Corp.
  • Darryll Frost, Founder and President, Central City Brewers & Distillers
  • Tom Leavitt, Founder and CEO, Leavitt Machinery
  • Sunny Lenarduzzi, Radio and Television Host/Reporter, City TV

This will be followed by our keynote speaker, Peter Higgins, President and Chocolate Scientist, Purdys Chocolatier, on “How Success is Created,” and our headline keynote presenter, Alexander Fernandes, Founder, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Avigilon, speaking on “Advancing Teams, Technology and Innovation to Become an Industry Leader.”

“Small businesses are the engines of economic growth, employment and innovation in Canada and represent 98 per cent of all businesses in British Columbia. These businesses are critical to the economic health of every community in the province,” says Scott Gamble, SVP, Small Business Banking, TD Bank Group. “TD is dedicated to helping these businesses start up and thrive, and we’re delighted to partner with Small Business for this evening of inspiration.”

The public is encouraged to join at the 7th Annual INSPIRE Celebration of Entrepreneurship presented by Small Business BC and TD Bank Group.

For more information, visit www.sbbc.co/INSPIRE2016.

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Quotes

“Small business is of vital importance to British Columbia. We are home to some of the most innovative and entrepreneurial small businesses in the world touching every sector of the economy and all regions of the province. This sector is a priority for our government, and through initiatives like the Small Business Accord and red tape reduction to streamline the regulatory burden on business owners, we are working to reach our goal of making B.C. the most small business friendly jurisdiction in North America.” – Hon. Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Liquor Distribution, Province of British Columbia

“Central City Brewers & Distillers has grown through entrepreneurial spirit and a focus on anticipating the market place. British Columbia is a great place to be an entrepreneur, but it is relationships that drive things forward. From investors to lobbyists, the people that surround us make way for the industries of tomorrow. When we opened our brewery in 2003 we saw craft beer as an opportunity for growth; it has since exploded and B.C. entrepreneurs have been there.” – Darryll Frost, Founder and President, Central City Brewers & Distillers

“When I was in university, I knew I wanted to eventually build and run my own business. Now, 40 years and three companies later, my dream has become a reality. When I started Endeavour Silver in 2003, it was basically just an idea to build a silver mining company, we had no assets, $300,000 of mostly our own money and a listed shell company with a $0.10 share price. Today, Endeavour has three operating mines, two more in pipeline, 2,500 employees and contractors, a market capitalization of CAD$650 million trading on the TSX and NYSE, and we are not half done yet. There is no school for entrepreneurship but a little passion and a lot of hard work goes a long way to fulfilling your entrepreneurial goals. I look forward to learning from and contributing to INSPIRE.” – Bradford Cooke, Founder and CEO, Endeavour Silver Corp.

“The people you surround yourself with make all the difference. An empowered, motivated, trained and properly compensated team will always rise to the occasion.” – Tom Leavitt, Founder and CEO, Leavitt Machinery

“With skyrocketing real estate prices, lack of head offices, declining value of natural resources and relatively low paying jobs, affordability for future generations is a huge concern for us in Vancouver. I believe the long-term solution is to teach and support entrepreneurial thinking and best practices, starting as early as possible.” – Charles Chang, Founder, Lyra Growth Partners; and Founder, Vega

“Purdys Chocolatier’s success is built on the foundation of fantastic chocolates and providing an amazing customer experience, but at the very heart of our success is our team of fantastic people. As we grow today, in areas such as social media, digital platforms, and our physical shops, our success will depend on keeping this people first culture alive.” – Peter Higgins, President and Chocolate Scientist, Purdys Chocolatier

“As a former journalist, I’ve always had a passion for using communication to connect, impact and empower an audience. From traditional media to digital, I’ve taken my love of broadcasting and worked with organizations like Hootsuite, NATO and Applebee’s to bring their message online through video marketing and social media strategies. And through my YouTube channel, I’ve educated more than 2 million people on online marketing tactics. I’m thrilled to be able to share my experience and tactical advice at INSPIRE.” – Sunny Lenarduzzi, Founder, SunnyLenarduzzi.com; Radio and Television Reporter, CityTV

Media Contact:
Mark Blendheim
Communications Manager, Small Business BC
Direct: 604-775-5607
blendheim.mark@smallbusinessbc.ca

About Small Business BC
Small Business BC provides entrepreneurs with the information and guidance necessary to build a solid foundation for their business. Through a wide range of products, services, education and resources there’s a piece that fits with every business. No matter what stage or what skill level, when an entrepreneur finds themselves asking “How do I…?” Small Business BC is the one to call.