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Spotlight on Scaling Canada’s SMEs

Published on
Naysan Saran / Co-Founder & CEO - CANN Forecast
Pape Wade / CEO & Co-Founder - Airudi
Cara Clairman / President & CEO - Plug'n Drive
Alexandra Tavasoli / CEO & CTO - Solistra

Sustained and significant funding in research and development has helped startups to take their ideas to commercialization, but Canada faces a number of challenges in growing and scaling its small and medium-sized enterprises into national and international competitors. 

Access to funding, talent and government support all factor into a company’s ability to scale up, and while Canada ranks third in the world for entrepreneurship, each of these areas must be addressed if Canadian companies are to excel internationally. By speaking with four self-starters who are currently scaling their organizations, this Spotlight addresses the personal and professional challenges of scaling a business, and the potential avenues for improving Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem writ large.

Takeaways

  1. Canadian entrepreneurs need to think about going global from the beginning in order to mitigate the downside of our small domestic market.
  2. Access to funding is the crux of Canadian companies’ ability to scale up, and it must be increased through government support programs and venture capitalism.
  3. Canadian venture capitalists should refocus their priorities in order to invest in startups for long-term growth rather than investing so a company can sell early.
  4. Canada has a strong talent base but it is hard for companies to retain sales talent—-which is necessary for scaling up—-because salaries cannot be as competitive in the early stage of a company’s growth.
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