Posted by on Oct 22, 2011 in Blogs | 0 comments

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit beautiful Saskatoon for the Growing Saskatchewan Conference thanks to the support of Community Futures Saskatchewan and Western Economic Diversification Canada. Over 200 enterprise support professionals from all sectors and regions of the province came together to connect, learn and move the economic development agenda forward.

During the conference I had the opportunity to meet with Startup Canada partners and to introduce delegates to the vision behind Startup Canada and in particular, the need for the initiative to be steered and driven forward by the grassroots enterprise support community across the province. Throughout my discussions with other delegates, it became clear how Startup Canada might be leveraged across the province to elevate entrepreneurs as heroes and nation builders; to engage youth and First Nations communities in particular; and, to further enhance cooperation between and public awareness of the excellent resources and support provided by enterprise support organizations. I also had the opportunity to learn about some of the key characteristics and challenges that enterprise support professionals face and the vital role of non-paid staff and volunteers.

Every session of the Program was informative and inspiring and the event itself was a celebration of community, progress and the future. After only 3 days in Saskatoon, I could see why the Canadian Federation of Independent Business declared Saskatoon as the best city in Canada to start a business.

Below I note some of my key learnings and take-a-ways and Tweets from the Conference in terms of both knowledge and personal development.

  •  If you want your organization or start-up to get attention, you need to think differently, stand out and entice an emotional response (Saul Colt)
  • To build great Teams you need to lead by example and create a workplace culture based on celebration, joy and recognition (Matt Weinstein,
  • Tweet: @Playfairinc now speaking at #GrowingSask on the Power of Choices – “People are not disturbed by things but by the view they take of them”
  • Tweet: @Matt_Weinstein says that we need to create workplaces that reward, recognise, celebrate & are fun in order to retain & build amazing team.
  • Tweet: Dan Taylor says that we need to cultivate creative rural economies for economic development #growingsask
  • Tweet: Developing unique quality of place is critical to attract entrepreneurs (talent & people) and investment for regional economic development
  • Tweet: You need digital, social and business networks to cultivate social economies #GrowingSask
  • Tweet: Tourism redefined – attracting entrepreneurs
  • In building creative economies, you need to create hope (Dan Taylor)
  • Success in business is in part an outcome of experience in business and education in business (Leslie Roberts)
  • The key drivers of entrepreneurship are passion, conviction, focus, tenacity and curiosity (Loraine Behnan)
  • We need to continually ask ourselves these three questions: (1) What do we do best; (2) what can we do better; (3) what should we stop doing?
  • Shift your perspective, be an opportunity seeker, align yourself with positive people and recognise the power of partnerships – i.e. none of us is smarter than all of us – develop a healthy sense of humour
  • Think Differently (Cameron Herold)
  • Education, education, education is a precondition of fostering more entrepreneurial First Nation’s Communities

Thank you again to Community Futures Saskatchewan and SEDA, Startup Canada partners old and new and those who suspended preconceived notions of what is possible to embrace Startup Canada from the onset.

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