Good story in the TJ today quoting John Risley, head of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, about the importance of small business.
It seems to me that many of us are talking about the same things just using different terms and coming at it from different angles. When Risly talks about small business it seems to me he is talking about the kind of high growth, fire-in-the-belly entrpreneurs who want to take some innovative product or service to the world.
That is not the same thing as the guy/gal who runs a small consulting shop (ahem), is an electrician/contractor, or any of the 95%-98% of small businesses who fill small niches in their local market.
My only point all along – sorry for the endless repetition – is that those small businesses will not grow the economy long term as they are reactive to niche needs in a local market.
But if Risley sees his story as a small business/entrepreneurial story – I am in full agreement.
Born April 26, 1948,
Co-founder of Clearwater Fine Foods
1968 – After struggling with the required science courses for his arts degree, drops out of Dalhousie University.
1976 – Together with brother-in-law Colin MacDonald, starts Clearwater Fine Foods, a seafood business in Bedford, N.S.
1997 – Forms Ocean Nutrition Canada, which focuses on health supplements that get their key ingredients from the sea.
2002 – Spins off Clearwater Fine Foods’ seafood business into an income trust, with about $300 million in annual sales.
2003 – Partners with Michael Lee-Chin in Columbus Communications, a Caribbean ISP, telephone and cable TV company.
But surely he (and you) can see the difference between the role of the mom and pop shop in a local economy (95%-98% of all small businesses) and the role of a guy who build companies with hundreds of employees and global markets?
We need to be a place where mom and pops can find and fill local niche markets with limited red tape and with competitive taxation, etc. But if we are really interested in economic development, we need to see guys like Risley bubble up in this region.