Dream big with small and digital power

by SueT

October is the month of autumn, a colorful season with mild weather and beautiful foliage, a busy period of ripening and growing, a harvest time for farmers and also for business owners. Here comes the annual Small Business Week which runs from October 16-22, time to celebrate entrepreneurship, startups, small and medium businesses in our communities.

Small business can be seen every where, we visit them, we talk to them, have a health checkup regularly at a medical clinic close to home, order the food with their delivery to the door, get the services and goods from them…so what is about a small business? how they fuel the economy and impact the community?

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Dream it, do it

Small business is powerful. It may be a micro company that has fewer employees and less annual revenue comparing to a regular or large enterprise. It can be a privately owned consultancy, an independently operated law firm, a local grocery store in your neighborhood, a walk-in clinic down the street, or a coffee shop at the corner…They provide the products and services we need, create jobs and employ millions of people across the industries.

Small business is big in Canada. There are more than 1.2 million small and medium-sized businesses from professional and technical services to construction and retails, they help the trades work and marketplace stay active and competitive, they’re at the heart of our communities and the backbone of our economy. If we look at some provinces like Ontario and British Columbia, there are about half a million small businesses in one and the other to represent a strong business community. In BC, approximately 1-in-10 people are small business owners or entrepreneurs to make the province a home of entrepreneurship.

It takes action, passion, commitment, entrepreneurial spirit and much more to start small get big, and make dreams come true.

Small business is all about entrepreneurship and opportunities. Many successful owners started small with only 1 or 2 people but have a big idea and a willingness to work hard and grow. By becoming bigger businesses, they provide more and more opportunities for people and give back to the community with inspirational entrepreneurship. Every year, Small Business Week brings thousands of aspiring business owners, entrepreneurs and founders together for the opportunities of learning and sharing, networking and celebrating. Digital literacy, innovative solutions, green technologies, business ecosystem and sustainable community, it’s a group of dreamers and doers to work hard and change the world with the ambition and big ideas along the way.

Start local, think global

There’s no doubt that small businesses are important for many reasons: job creation, selling varies goods and services to benefit people and sparking innovation. How many of us got our first jobs at a family business down the street? Were you ever helped by a trade worker in the area? Have you been any block parties sponsored by a local business? Did you take any practical advice from a small business owner in the neighborhood? Plenty of small businesses start from local, focus on local and have a big impact on local to thrive, prosper and grow together, they’re lifeblood of our communities.

This week, we celebrate the contributions small businesses make to our neighborhoods and local communities. Let’s support them as much as possible to eat local, shop local, buy local and act local…

To start and grow a business is never easy, and one thing always stands out, the passion and dedication of entrepreneurs. Many small business owners dare to do things differently with courage and innovative thinking. They conduct import and export with overseas partners, collaborate with others to work together for digital transformation, hire a marketing consultancy to research and develop new markets, invest in green business and digital projects with professional advice for growth…

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Nowadays, we’re facing many changes due to the pandemic and economic issues. I personally saw a few businesses in my area has disappeared, like one day I went to a familiar store but only saw the closed door…they may be gone in silence without too much attention but I know it’s not the good sign for small business, our community and our life. Certainly, some small businesses are finding ways to succeed in tough times, and some are struggling to survive with physical distance and safety.

The economic downturn is real, it hits international market and local business, no exception to the mall businesses. If you confront challenges like reduced cash flow, declining sales, labor and buyer shortage…we’re here to help each other out, provide digital solutions and personalized plan for your business, work with creative practices and online strategy to solve your problems, build resilience in global community for a win-win collaboration.

Be the change

Small business is the cornerstone of our economy, plays a significant role in local and global communities. Doing business is not only to achieve financial success and independence, but also help people including women and minorities to benefit the community at large: create job opportunities, help local economy, promote entrepreneurial spirit, encourage collaboration and partnership.

We see the pandemic hit hard on our businesses and economy, inflation and tax increases continue to hurt. Over the past 2 years, while small business owners have faced many challenges, such as rising costs, lack of workers and supply chain disruption, can we find better ways of working?

Any business can be an impact business, let the digital power and green impact be your strength.

Power up your growth with digital technologies is now more than ever. The economic recovery has brought new changes for entrepreneurs, services providers, restaurant and shop owners, digital services are on the rise. So what are you waiting for? Get online and go digital, improve your online presence and e-commerce business, work with a digital advisor to enhance your digital literacy for a sustainable business. Technologies empower small business, when small business succeed, our economy grows, jobs are created and communities thrive. So we live in a changing world now and disruptive innovations are on the way, be part of it to make our businesses more inclusive and sustainable, improving our digital strategy while driving the economy.

Give back

October is in the middle of fall season, it’s annual Women’s History Month and Small Business Month. Small Business Week is also underway till this weekend, the giving season and holiday season are coming right after. This harvest time is in full swing, I saw my neighbors already stored some pumpkins and potatoes for Halloween, I plan to light the candles for my late family members and pray for them on All Souls’ Day, Thanksgiving is also coming up next month…It’s a season full of diversity and sustainability about harvesting food, celebrating life and giving back to the community.

Food is essential for our life. When we celebrate the harvest festival, we celebrate the food culture and sustainability. World Food Day is an international day celebrated every year on the mid-October, which is the founding date of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. You can join the event to visit a local farm or food business, check out a community garden close to home and grow your own food, help food security and sustainable agriculture, donate your time or money to food bank or charities to give back the community.

Recently I joined a regional conference about arts and culture over a weekend. The theme is braving the future together with a focus on EDI topics and issues. It gathered the participants from varies backgrounds, there are small business owners and program funders, executive members and staff from public services and non-profit organizations. By meeting and talking with them, I feel to open a dialogue between different social groups, a peer conversation to express and share freely, a space to collaborate and promote equality, diversity and inclusion among members.

This year, Indigenous Peoples’ Day occurs on October 10, a time to honor the beautiful traditions and cultures of the native people, an opportunity to celebrate and recognizes their histories and valuable land for living with diversity and sustainability. From culture to business, from non-profit organizations to public services, from startup founders to financial funders, giving back and giving more are all about building communities and resilience through collaboration and partnership. We all need help and we all can help, keep helping each other and working together is a good way for the benefit of everyone in our communities.

Go digital, go global…LefTech offers consulting services to help small businesses with digital strategy and solutions, we promote green business and technologies, we support entrepreneurship and community for sustainable practices and living.

Happy harvest, happy fall! Let’s celebrate small businesses that make our neighborhoods vibrant, support diverse entrepreneurs with Small Business Diversity Forum, build an inclusive business ecosystem with more public services and programs. Whatever you want to start your own business, transit your startup to a small business, finance your company with some funding and boost your business with technology, there are some tools and resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners to recover and grow:

Digital Adoption Program: help business owners to adopt new technologies and grow the e-commerce with a micro-grant

Small Business Financing Program: access to the fund, loan and materials to finance and grow your business

Regional education and free webinars for Small Business Week

Regional and national events for Small Business Month

Giving back to the startup ecosystem

You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.
Les Brown, The Power of Purpose

November is National Entrepreneurship Month, time to celebrate startup community and entrepreneurial experience.

Entrepreneurship matters. From economic development and transformation to sustainable community and life, it contributes to employment and business growth,  improves quality of life and work-life balance, inspires innovation and technology, supports diversity and communities in everyday life.

With Thanksgiving celebration and Giving Tuesday event, November is also the month about showing gratitude and appreciation to people and business around us, giving back to community and support good causes in many different ways.

Hard work, leadership, inspirational life and big dreams…entrepreneurship means different things to different people. To innovators and creators, it could be more about bring disruptive ideas to life and changing the world; to entrepreneurs and founders, it’s more about making impact on community and achieving their dreams. No matter you’re new startup, small business or a serial entrepreneur, the key is to take action, get started and keep doing…

Be a doer

So you want to be an entrepreneur? You have a good idea in mind, a target market to work and a great product to launch, here are a few tips about the experience of starting a company and running your own business:

1. Start smart, start well…It’s less important that you do something perfectly and more important that you do it with energy and motivation.

2. No pain no gain. Nobody is born gifted, every talent needs hard work and constant practice to chase his dream. Entrepreneurs are made, not born too. It requires sacrifice, hard work and a willingness to accept constant change in the business world.

3. Do the research and know the risks. Expect that failure will come, and minimize it where possible. Be flexible and resourceful to face the challenges along the way…

4. Identify your purpose and network with others. Resources and relationships are very important to entrepreneurship, keep in mind to form your alliance with business owners who can help grow your business.

5. Work with collaborators and get the word out about your business. Instead of doing everything on your own from marketing to finance, you can save time and energy with specialized services. Especially about marketing service and digital media projects, many entrepreneurs collaborate with marketing consultant for branding, social media marketing, event planning and public relations.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
– African Proverb

Being an entrepreneur is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. No doubt at all, there’s more to entrepreneurship than just a business idea. Anyone can acquire the knowledge and experience to transform a business idea into reality, but it takes business skills, entrepreneurial mindset, patience and perseverance to live an entrepreneurial life. Starting a business is hard, but the hard is what makes it great. Do what you love, and love what you do…so would you be up to take action and start your own business with a purpose?

Be a giver

It’s end of the year again, there are lots of ways that small businesses, corporations and brands can get involved in year-end giving. With Thanksgiving tradition and GivingTuesday event, end of year giving is a great opportunity to do more for the causes you support and get community engagement.

Doing business with purpose is not only market-driven to make money, and also impact-driven to help people and support the community. As a service-based creative business, we support good causes from fundraising event to public presentation. We give our time, technology and expertise to raise money and awareness for charities, connect with the organizations to collaborate nonprofit projects, and help them engage people effectively via social media platforms.

Being thankful is a mindset, having an attitude of gratitude is a virtue in business and life.

What goes around comes around, helping others actually helps yourself. From individuals to startups, when we become more grateful and give our time, talent and donation to help others, they benefit from our generosity and in turn more people benefit the same as well. For startup community, giving back means to pay it forward and build an entrepreneurial ecosystem. From green business to social enterprise, check out how little things can make a big difference:

    1. Start small. Get involved in the community and support charities and non profits by making a donation, volunteering time, spreading the word for good causes and helping the community engagement.
    2. Think big. As technology has an impact on all aspect of life and people, good tech can solve the problems and save the world. Go paperless with digital, go green with solar energy, and go global with social media…think about our environment and world, we support tech for good to use, design and build tech to address social challenges like global education, waste prevention, and healthcare with innovative solutions.
    3. Pay it forward. Business and success is not everything, think of our short and long-term goals with social responsibility, be generous with our time, talents and resources to invest in social, cultural and environmental issues, at the end we are the ones who receive the greatest benefit of a sustainable community.
    4. Build an entrepreneurial ecosystem. By giving, sharing and inspiring, together we support each other to make the change and create impact through collaboration. Creators, investors, leaders, incubators and entrepreneurs are all ecosystem builders in startup community, such as venture-friendly markets, quality business support and network, available finance to research and development, effective leadership and technology for creativity and innovation…

Be an innovator

NASA has just landed successfully a robotic geologist InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Transport) on Mars after 300-million-mile journey from Earth. By NASA, the Journey to Mars is humanity’s Next Giant Leap deeper into their solar system. 45 years ago, the Apollo missions blazed a path for human exploration to the moon and today that path extends to Mars and beyond. After landing on Mars, the robot will investigate processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system more than four billion years ago, and many more missions will follow on the Path to Mars including human landing and step foot on the Red Planet.

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Almost on the same time, SpaceX has made a historic launch of the first and largest rideshare mission on a US rocket. It also marks a new record of its 19th launch in the year, and the 3rd launch with the same reusable rocket by the company. The spaceflight brought together payloads from 17 countries including US, UK, Canada and Australia etc. total 64 small satellites aboard its reusable Falcon 9 rocket were deployed into low-Earth orbit in this single launch. They are university spacecraft, tech demonstrations, imaging and communication spacecraft from 34 commercial and government organizations, plus the companies seeking to revolutionize the Internet of Things.

Tech for good, tech for change. From national space agency to private space services company, from space tech to reusable rocket launch and digital tech, technology drives exploration and innovation. It expands our knowledge, helps our research and development, transforms our world, tackles social challenges and change our lives for the better. Many business and social enterprises get involved in tech for good to create innovative solutions and foster positive change at work, in the community and the world.

Tech for good is a community and a movement for long term sustainability, such as digital solutions, STEM education, social design, renewable and solar energy…it adopts a responsible technology approach for business, people and planet, creates collaboration between creators, designers, founders, incubators and leaders for working together to make a change in all aspects of our life.

Tech for Good is the intentional design, development and use of digital technologies to address social challenges. It is the combination of the most powerful and flexible tool we’ve ever had and good design approaches that are user-led and test-driven.

— Dan Sutch, Researcher and CEO at the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technologies

Entrepreneurs are innovators, and builders of startup ecosystem. We share knowledge of the marketplace, provide service, advice and information to help other businesses, use technology to support the community and change our life for the better. From tech for good to digital innovation, entrepreneurship has the potential to bring new ideas and technology in life that contribute to business growth and improve well-being of global community.

Collaboration creates opportunities. In entrepreneurship system, we value business ethics, supportive environment, best practices and strategies for collaboration. Entrepreneurs, members of the public and communities are expected to collaborate and deliver research and development projects, share resources and input insights within network, create solutions and opportunities for creativity and innovation.

Based on startup mindset and entrepreneurial spirit, giving back means to pay it forward and build an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Entrepreneurship can make an impact with innovation and collaboration, be a giver and innovator to make a difference in our community. Today we give thanks to collaborators, partners and supporters, and we’re grateful to be part of global entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Happy November and end of year giving!