insights from the globe and mail small business summit

On May 9, entrepreneurs across Canada came together for The Globe and Mail Small Business Summit in downtown Toronto. This year's theme, The Place for Big Ideas, brought together 300 guests, 21 speakers and Globe journalists. Panels and talks examined a range of business considerations, from building workplace culture to using social media to stay ahead of the pack. 

We heard from the mayor of Toronto, John Tory, who highlighted the importance of building cities that work. Whether it's the ability for people to move within the city through ease of transport systems or reducing the red tape businesses have to cut through, the sustainability of small businesses relies on the support of the city they're in. 

Michael Serbinis' keynote spoke a lot to believing in your ability and your business. As the CEO and founder of League, he knows the importance of striving for the top spot in your industry. It can be scary and it takes work, but if you're going for 'it' then strive towards being the best. 

On a panel featuring leading entrepreneurs sharing their key learnings, Sarah Richardson and Allen Lau had two gem quotes I wrote down to share. The first from Sarah is "I only grow when there's a need for it." If you push your business forward without considering if it's truly necessary, you run into risk of pushing too large. Allen spoke to the importance of developing one's self. "The best product an entrepreneur can build is yourself." 

Workplace culture was another large theme in the event. The overarching message was that leadership sets the tone in the workplace. And when the leader doesn't intentionally set the tone, they are still setting the tone. So as business owners, it is pivotal to be mindful of what you're putting out to your employees. 

The closing highlight was Dani G's talk on creating buzz through social media. As a P.R. professional, I wasn't sure how much I would get from this portion of the day - but I was enthralled. From how to crack the algorithm to ensuring your social is actually social, Dani had the whole room's attention. 

I'm so thankful to the Globe and Mail for hosting an engaging and formative conference!