Posted on 13, Feb | Posted by

How to make more entrepreneurs-

Want more entrepreneurs?

Make college cheaper.

Read the full blog post

Posted on 11, Nov | Posted by

SMEs show their worth – Again

By Paul Blais

Barber in front of his business

The strong propensity for Canadians to start new SMEs was highlighted in a recent report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which identified Canada’s rate of entrepreneurship as very high among innovation driven economies, just behind the US and on a par with Australia. Read the full blog post

Posted on 26, Nov | Posted by

By Jon Beale

Food truck in Toronto.

Food trucks are one of the fastest growing sectors of the restaurant industry in the U.S. economy. Long considered the domain of hot dogs and ice cream carts, a new wave of mobile food has taken North America by storm in the form of chicken tikka masala burritos, short rib empanadas, and crème brûlèe. With sales in the U.S. of nearly $700 million in 2013 (representing 1% of sales in the U.S. restaurant industry), food trucks are projected to quadruple their economic impacts to $2.7 billion by 2017.

A recent workshop hosted by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario and the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance explored the story and impacts of food trucks in Canada. The workshop brought together economic development professionals, city planners, by-law managers (and more) from across Ontario to share their experiences with food trucks and to learn some of the best practices to help foster a food truck friendly community. Read the full blog post

Posted on 4, Feb | Posted by

TINAN Number 52 (January 2014)

In TINAN Number 52

  • Raising the bar for workforce and economic development collaboration
  • Why social capital matters for startups
  • A 21st century take on patronage for cultural entrepreneurs
  • Happier communities? There’s an app for that.
  • Company Corner: Justin Shin joins the MDB Insight team
  • Resource Review: Screw business as usual

Posted on 22, Mar | Posted by

TINAN Number 44 (March 2013)

In TINAN Number 44:

  • Assessing sustainable economic development
  • Can we have high density and liveability?
  • Remaking American manufacturing
  • Mitigating the cost of youth unemployment
  • Company Corner: Edinburgh – Toronto Summit: Business innovation in the creative industries
  • Resource Review: Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosysytem in your City

Posted on 12, Nov | Posted by

From red flags to green (Part 2): how to see into the invisible economy

Last month, I had the chance to speak at the annual conference of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in Houston, Texas, with a focus on the question of how and why Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) is evolving to be more effective in the new economy.

I’ve had a lot of requests for transcripts and copies of the speech but I generally don’t speak from notes, so I promised I’d provide an overview of my thoughts on this blog. Here’s the second of three blog posts that will cover off the main ideas and themes of that presentation. Read the full blog post

Posted on 22, Jun | Posted by

TINAN Number 37 (June 2012)

In TINAN Number 37:

  • Small companies are big players in global economic recovery
  • Cultural sector proving more recession proof in USA
  • Not so suburban
  • Measuring a better life
  • Youth retention strategies: Can I have a job with that please?
  • Bloggers Wanted
  • Resource Review: Is this the end of growth?

Posted on 8, Mar | Posted by

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Lessons from a legend

Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs was truly one of this generation’s greatest entrepreneurs and innovators, creating two cutting edge companies (Apple andPixar) and changing how we interact with media. In the biography “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson, themes of Jobs’ life are explored (check out a list of his top ten career achievements for a crash course). What dictated Job’s life and work was a passion for what he did, as can be seen in this commencement address he gave to Stanford’s class of 2005 or his iconic product launches.

But what does a techie from Silicon Valley have to teach economic developers? The article “Canada, like Steve Jobs, should zero in on innovation” in the Globe and Mail layouts out two particular lessons for Canadian economic policy; firstly, we need to start investing in innovation rather than invention. Money for research and development has increased, but training and skills development around thinking differently need to be fostered. Secondly, policies that are unique must be considered. While best practices can be valuable, developing unique approaches and policies, although risky, can allow communities to lead the way in economic development. In this line of work, it’s worth asking “What would Steve Jobs Do?“.

Read the Full Review

Posted on 8, Jan | Posted by

Think Better by Tim Hurson

Building better ideas

Communications theorist Arthur VanGundy once suggested that “Ideas are not solutions; they are the raw material of solutions.” As we struggle for innovative approaches to challenging issues in our local economies, economic developers often fall into traps that block progress. Sometimes it’s the trap of “best practice” where we resort only to imitation. Other times we’re confronted by the economic development equivalent of writer’s block. We imagine that if only we could generate a constant, steady stream of amazing new ideas, our work would be so much easier.

In Think Better, creativity coach Tim Hurson presents an exciting toolkit for idea generation that just may help economic developers achieve the creative breakthrough they need in these challenging times. Hurson begins with a dynamic, entertaining and common sense review of just where good ideas come from, drawing on cutting edge academic research and the practical experience of companies and entrepreneurs around the globe. This section of the book alone is worth the price of admission.

Read the Full Article

Posted on 16, Mar | Posted by

TINAN Number 22 (February 2011)

In TINAN Number 22:

  • Cultural mapping and economic development: Recent tools and development
  • New social media seminar for economic developers
  • Angels investing in the local economy
  • Halló, my name is Iceland…
  • Skillshed Analysis – Get to know your workforce
  • Client Corner:  City of Markham
  • Resource Review:  FutureShock: Rethinking Education for the 21st Century Economy

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