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Highlights from The Globe's 2011 Small Business Summit

Programs for the Small Business Summit held at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto on Nov. 8, 2011.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

On Nov. 8, 2011, Report on Small Business brought the country's brightest and most successful entrepreneurs together to discover, share and connect at Toronto's MaRS Discovery District. The one-day event featured a keynote speech by the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, Maxime Bernier, as well as a dozen sessions focused on the issues that matter most to owners and operators, including financing, succession, innovation, hiring, marketing and social media.

Here are some highlights from the event:


Live coverage. A team of editors delivered running commentary from the day-long event, and posting reactions from readers.

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In Pictures. The Nov. 8 event in Toronto featured speeches and workshops designed to help entrepreneurs grow their companies


Video: The Globe's first Small Business Summit. In November 2011, more than 300+ of Canada's most innovative and influential entrepreneurs gathered at the MaRS Discovery District for the first-ever Small Business Summit in Toronto. The room was buzzing with inspiration and excitement – you could practically hear businesses growing.

Video: Bernier weighs in on calls to freeze EI rates. Maxime Bernier, the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, says he will advocate for a lower increase to Employment Insurance, but that it hinges on how well Canada's economy holds up in the new year. On Nov. 2, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) members sent 15,000 petitions to federal MPs, expressing their concern with the plan to increase EI premiums by 10 cents for employees and 14 cents for employees per $100 in payroll in 2012. And while the feds opted for a more modest increase of 5 cents for employees and 7 cents for employers, the CFIB contintues to deem the system 'harmful' and 'unfair.'

Video: What are the Feds doing to help small businesses? Maxime Bernier explains what the Harper government has done for small business owners in 2011, designated the 'Year of the Entrepreneur.' Mr. Bernier was the keynote speaker at the Globe's inaugural Small Business Summit held in Toronto on Nov. 8.

Video: What's involved in creating a succession plan? Jacoline Loewen, director of Loewen & Partners Inc., explains why succession planning is like going to the dentist, and why no one's having the conversation they should be having

Video: Tapping into the immigrant talent pool. Ratna Omidvar, president of Maytree Foundation, explains the benefits of hiring immigrants and how small business owners can connect with this rapid-growing segment of the labour market

Video: What can small businesses do to attract top talent? Namita Nijjar, president of Blue Ocean Talent, explains what small business owners can do to attract and retain skilled employees

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Video: How to pitch to the media. Bill Walker, General Manager of Fleishman-Hillard, discusses the common mistakes small business owners make when pitching their stories to the media

Video: The challenges of running a global business. Arnon Melo, the president and managing director of Mellohawk Logistics, says trust is a huge part of running a successful international business

Video: Do women bring a distinct vantage point to business? Shira Yoskovitch, co-founder of Fact Network, discusses the unique traits that female entrepreneurs can bring to the table

Video: What to consider before selling your business. Rick Nathan, managing director of Kensington Capital Partners Limited, offers advice to entrepreneurs looking to sell their business and the potential pitfalls of doing it alone

Video: Thinking of starting a business? Here's what you're up against. Hiring the right people for the job and forming meaningful partnerships are just some of the challenges confronting small business owners today, say experts

Video: How to pitch to the media. Bill Walker, General Manager of Fleishman-Hillard, discusses the common mistakes small business owners make when pitching their stories to the media

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Video: Dispelling some social media myths. Tony Chapman, CEO of Capital C, shares some tips for entrepreneurs looking to engage their audiences using social media

Video: Why more small businesses should consider the cloud. Duncan Stewart, director of research at Deloitte Canada, says that while cloud computing is not the answer for every small business, the payback can be tremendous

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