Small Business BC Event


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October 1, 2019

Meet the Small Business Community, Hear from B.C.’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs and Celebrate the launch of the Small Business BC Awards!

Join us for our 9th INSPIRE event at Vancouver’s iconic Science World, an evening celebrating business and entrepreneurship, with an inspirational panel discussion featuring industry-leading businesses.

Join 400 of BC’s leading entrepreneurs and CEOs, small and medium-sized business owners, government representatives and industry influencers. Including complimentary drinks and canapés.

Making an Impact: Small Business’ Leadership Role in Climate Action

This year’s INSPIRE will address the positive impact businesses and entrepreneurs can have on climate change. Encompassing networking, inspiration and a lively panel discussion, we’ll tackle how starting a sustainable business, or adapting new green technologies and operations, has allowed for increased business success and profitability.

According to a new poll by Insights West, Canadians view climate change as the top issue facing the world today. This has driven interest in sustainable, eco-friendly products and services, with companies frequently being evaluated based on environmental impact.

Hear from a selection of local business leaders as they discuss the dual goals of remaining profitable while helping to fight the progression of climate change.

Our panel discussion, moderated by CBC Vancouver Meteorologist Brett Soderholm, (7:30pm-8:30pm) will feature:


Gerry Egan, VP of Maintenance – Harbour Air

  • Harbour Air became North America’s first fully carbon neutral airline in 2007.
  • They are one of the founding members of Project Green YVR, a Vancouver Airport Authority initiative to help Sea Island businesses reduce their waste, water and energy use.
  • They also recently announced plans to become the world’s first airline to run an all-electric fleet of planes.

Emily Pearson, Manager of Energy and Environment – Vancity

  • As a values-based financial cooperative, Vancity credit union is a leader in environmental sustainability, both in using its financial tools to help its members build sustainable lives, businesses and communities.
  • Since 2012 they have provided almost $2 billion in environmental sustainability related financing towards green buildings, green businesses, clean technology and renewable energy, and local and organic food.
  • They have also been carbon neutral since 2008.

Ellen Walker-Matthews, VP Destination & Industry Development – Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association 

  • In November 2017, the Thompson Okanagan Region was officially certified as the first destination in the Americas to have successfully achieved the Sustainable Tourism Destination accreditation from Biosphere International and the Responsible Tourism Institute.

Brianne Miller, Owner – Nada Grocery

  • Nada Grocery, located on Vancouver’s East Broadway Street, is Vancouver’s first zero waste market. Their store offers an alternative to the heavily packaged goods on offer at other retailers, as they pursue a vision of a food system free of excess and waste.
  • Their mission? To cultivate a better world by inspiring people to change the way they shop for groceries.

Christine VanDerwill, Partnerships and Communications Manager – Climate Smart 

  • Climate Smart helps businesses and non-profits learn how to measure and reduce their carbon footprints.
  • Their unique training program incorporates classroom learning, web-based software, and one-on-one support. Rather than hiring a consultant, clients are equipped with the tools and knowledge to tackle greenhouse gas management in-house.


Registration and Networking: 5:30pm – 7:15pm

Opening Message: 7:20pm – 7:30pm

Panel Discussion: 7:30pm – 8:30pm

Closing Remarks: 8:30pm – 8:40pm

Networking: 8:45pm – 9:45pm


  • Canapés will be provided during the networking from 5:30pm

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