It’s friggin’ tough to be an entrepreneur

One of the reasons why I push for more large, global companies to be attracted to the Maritimes is that precious few of our local firms ever grow into large and exporting firms. A few do – ballyhoo – but the vast, vast majority do not.

P.E.I. Preserve Company goes bankrupt

This breaks my heart. My wife and I used to go there when we travelled to PEI. I thought it was a winner. A great niche.

Gone. Well it may be back through restructuring.

A sad day to be sure.

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0 Responses to It’s friggin’ tough to be an entrepreneur

  1. Anonymous says:

    Man, that is tough. Really nice guy and a great off-the-cuff speaker.

  2. Paul says:

    One of the issues here is how much “government financing” this project would have received. Part of the problem for these entrepeneurs is you get more help than you want.

    As someone who explored some government “assistance” for my business I am appalled by the amount of money that they want you to “borrow” for unneccessary things. Money that goes to consultants, engineers..etc.

    When I mentioned that I wanted to just borrow a little money, do the work, and then come back for more, the bureaucrats advised that I make one big plan and ask for everything at once.

    And finally, governments too often are the deciders on who gets and who doesn’t get assistance. For the most part these funding institutions do not have any real world business experience, and don’t know what they are talking about.

    My impressions on this project is the developer had a good idea, and then the government got involved and screwed it up.

    Hope the guy gets restructured and survives another day.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Always tough to get a total funding figure as there are provincial and federal monies mixed, multiple company names etc but the ACOA web site lists two projects totaling $550K (see below). Not as much as you might expect but ACOA does not like retail so it is surprising they got this much.

    However, the point regarding too much funding is a good one. Innovators often get caught up in positioning for the next funding grant rather than building a successful business. We all know examples of this. The ACOA project search site will give you some interesting stats (e.g. one Fredericton manufacturer just received their 19th ACOA project)

    I am all for supporting winners but there is a fine line between supporting and artificially sustaining. We need our entrepreneurs to have the drive to be a commercial success and if they get some funding help along the way, that is great. Instead, there are a number of these innovators who end up having the drive only for the next grant.

    Funding can be addictive and destructive and should be administered accordingly.

    Client Name/Project Description/ Assistance Type/ Total Government Funding/ ACOA Assistance/ Total Cost

    P.E.I. PRESERVE CO. LTD./ PEI Preserves Capacity Expansion/ Repayable Contribution/ $185,416/ $185,416/ $531,500

    P.E.I. Preserve Co. Ltd./ Develop 12 acres of botanical gardens/ Repayable Contribution/ $350,000/ $350,000/ $921,874