Canadian businesses prepare for growth, innovation, & prosperity

The first quarter of 2016 has been exciting for Canada. Everywhere we turn, Canadian businesses are seeking innovative ways to embrace growth and global expansion. Innovation, partnership, and collaboration have become overarching themes across all sectors.

In March, we attended the GLOBE 2016 Summit on leadership and sustainability in Vancouver. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s opening keynote offered a new vision for Canadian businesses, effectively reframing climate change from an environmental issue to a growth opportunity, and backing it with federal investments in cleantech, science, and technology.

Watching from the audience, I was particularly inspired by his words. “The investments announced today will supply the architects of our next generation of infrastructure with the guidelines, standards, and data they need to ensure that every Canadian community and every Canadian industry can thrive in a changing climate,” Trudeau stated. Another keynote speaker, Michael Porter, author of some 18 books on creating shared value asked, “What will Canada’s story be?” and spoke of “the economic advantage that popped out of heaven and landed on us.” You can read more on GLOBE here.

On the heels of GLOBE, we returned to Toronto to the global PDAC (Prospectors Developers Association Conference), the world’s largest mining event. This year was particularly exciting as our client, Hatch, repositioned its global engineering business for a new era of positive change, embracing the opportunity to play a more influential role in the future of the mining and energy industries.

Other innovative initiatives are also catching our attention. Two of the largest business associations, the Toronto Region Board of Trade and the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, recently created a working group and a business council to strengthen, stimulate and promote the economic potential of the Innovation Corridor Region (ICR) between Toronto and Waterloo. The Corridor is a globally competitive corridor connecting nearly 13,000 companies, nearly 3,000 startups and over 213,000 employees.

In April, we spent time in Waterloo with Communitech, one of the hubs of Canada’s “innovation economy”. As Trudeau noted in his visit: “What’s happening here really, really matters, not just to Canada but to the world.” Canada is second only to Silicon Valley for its density of startups.

To help Canadian firms increase their export potential, the Toronto Region Board of Trade (TRBOT) has launched TAP GTA, a trade accelerator program to serve as the one-stop shop for a company’s exporting needs. We’re thrilled that we’ll be hosting a panel with three of these emerging businesses at our May 18 “Growing Global” event with the Board.

Never before has it been so exciting to be part of this growing ecosystem, seeking ways to bring innovation, entrepreneurial values, and growth into the everyday dialogue we have with our clients, partners, and community.

We are inspired, energized, and ambitious – and here at Interbrand, we can’t wait to help our clients take hold of that opportunity and grow both their brands and their businesses.

Contributors

Managing Director, Interbrand Canada