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For Immediate Release
May 14, 2020

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is pleased to announce the evolution of two Signature Programs. The Small Business Council will transition to the Scale-up Business Centre for SMEs. Further, the Women's Leadership Council will transition to the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council.  Both programs will launch in August 2020.

The Scale-up Business Centre for SMEs (SBC)

Since, the Board of Trade's inception in 1887, we have focused on growing the economy, supporting entrepreneurs and enterprises throughout the region, country, and internationally.  This spirit was behind the Board of Trade's efforts to re-launch the World Trade Centre Vancouver (WTC-V) in 2017. In a few short years, the WTC-V has supported over 200 companies to grow their export revenues by an average of 28 per cent and reach 44 new markets.

As SMEs address challenges due to the economic impacts from the global pandemic, they need access to resources and information to help their businesses survive this crisis and be positioned for future growth.  While the WTC-V has assisted SMEs in growing their exports, there are still many challenges in helping local businesses grow.

Research from World Trade Centre Toronto's Defying Gravity expert report suggests that few small Canadian firms become either mid-sized or large. However, those that do have a significant effect on the economy. The Government of Canada estimates that high-growth firms, just four per cent of businesses in Canada, created 45 per cent of net new jobs.[1] We must increase our competitiveness if we are to compete on a global scale. 

Building off the success of the WTC-V, and the findings of Defying Gravity, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is launching the Scale-up Business Centre for SMEs (SBC). The SBC will provide a series of curated program offerings to help high-potential firms from various sectors overcome barriers to continued growth and elevate their growth trajectories.

The Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council (DLC)

At the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, we work to continuously champion, unite and advocate for a diverse business community.  The Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council will focus on addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion to encourage allyship and enhance business innovation. McKinsey's report on diversity in the workplace, Diversity Matters, suggests that racially and ethnically diverse companies outperform industry norms by 35 percent. A diverse and collective approach to business ultimately supports the business bottom line and drives economic development for regional success.

This council will hold events, offer programs and initiatives that continuously reflect and encourage this mandate while also presenting sponsorship opportunities for companies that are advocates or champions of diversity and inclusion. As we work to broaden the program, we will continue our efforts in supporting the advancement of women in business.

"In these unprecedented times, we are confident these programs will positively impact our community. Supporting local high-potential firms from various industries to scale-up and championing diversity and inclusion will help ensure Greater Vancouver can thrive in the future and be the best place to live and do business," says Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

To learn more and apply to either of these program Advisory Committees, please visit boardoftrade.com/advisory committee. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2020.

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About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada's leading business association, engaging members to impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.

 

[1]https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/061.nsf/vwapj/ProfileGrowthFirms_Eng.pdf/$file/ProfileGrowthFirms_Eng.pdf

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