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Big ideas give small businesses a boost

Presentations and roundtable discussion at JMSB to showcase family business and entrepreneurial expertise
October 24, 2014
By Yuri Mytko

Starting a business has never been easier. But making it successful? That has never been harder. Most new businesses fail, so what’s the secret to success?

On November 13, the John Molson School of Business will host an event focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This event is part of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s (AUCC) Open Doors, Open Knowledge initiative, which has universities across Canada opening their doors to the public to celebrate important community partnerships. 

Norman Hébert Jr. Norman Hébert Jr. will participate in a panel discussion on succession planning in Quebec. 80 per cent of private firms in Canada are family-owned.

This year's theme is "Big Ideas for Better Business," with a focus on universities partnering with small and medium-sized businesses to help them innovate and succeed. 

The day will showcase Concordia's collaboration with local businesses and will allow SME owners to learn more about institutional resources, including access to cutting-edge research and technology, innovation, knowledge transfer and the university’s pool of student talent.

First up, select students will present business plans that they developed for local businesses in their entrepreneurship-focused classes. This will be followed by presentations by the business owners themselves — Hestia Tea and Elite Party Bus — who will discuss how they operationalized and benefitted from students' plans. 

Hestia is a tea company located in downtown Montreal that offers tea-based beverages, organic teas and espresso drinks. Elite Party Bus is a transportation service specializing in providing a safe and fun way for adults to go clubbing.

The business plan presentations will be followed by a short introduction of the Concordia Small Business Consulting Bureau, and afterwards there will be a panel discussion on succession planning in Quebec, which is a major issue facing local SMEs. Around 80 per cent of private firms in Canada are family-owned, yet a majority of first-generation family businesses have no succession plan.

The panelists for the discussion will be JMSB researchers Peter Jaskiewicz and Alexandra Dawson as well as Norman Hébert Jr., chairman of the Board of Governors at Concordia and president and CEO of Groupe Park Avenue Inc., and Diane Lanctôt, president of Lanctôt Ltée Distributor.

When:  November 13 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where:  Room MB 10.121, John Molson School of Business (MB) Building, (1450 Guy St.,) Sir George Williams Campus

The event is free and open to the public.


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