Small Business Summit: Fueling Growth in the Nation’s Capital

If small business is the engine of economic growth, then it needs fuel. That is what the Small Business Summit is all about.

This first-ever conference from the Ottawa Board of Trade and Ottawa Business Journal specifically targeted at small businesses with 5-25 employees. The event aims to inform and inspire small business owners, managers and your teams, providing fuel to your engines!

Support local businesses in your neighbourhood and learn more about Ottawa’s diverse and vibrant small business community.

Get informed, get inspired and grow your small business.


Single Ticket
Ottawa Board of Trade Member – $200+ HST
Future Members – $250+ HSTUse promo code SmallBiz2019 or OBJ2019 for $99 ticket!

Registration and event details:

Agenda Day 1: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
The Westin Ottawa – Governor General’s Ballroom

5:00 pm: Registration, Networking and Cocktails

6:00 pm: Opening Remarks

6:15 pm: Awards Presentation: Small Business Awards

6:45 pm: Opening Keynote: Debrief to Win: How America’s Top Guns Practice Accountable Leadership.. and How You Can, Too!
Speaker: Robert “Cujo” Teschner, Lt. Col./Former F-22 Fighter Pilot

Building on his experience as U.S. Air Force Top Gun instructor, Robert Teschner has adapted the military’s high-performing team approach to achieve continuous improvement in business. He introduces a framework and process that allows business teams to thrive. He argues that the key to a business’s long-term success is its practice of accountability and the degree to which its leaders hold themselves and their teams accountable for the decisions they make.

Read more about Robert here.

7:45 pm: Closing Remarks

Agenda Day 2: Wednesday, October 23, 2019
The Westin Ottawa – Governor General’s Ballroom

8:00 am: Continental breakfast, networking and Exhibitor Booths are Open

8:30 am: Opening remarks provided by the Ottawa Business Journal and Ottawa Board of Trade 8:40 amWORKSHOP: Get a Grip on Your Business
Speaker: Pascal St-Jean, Coach / Advisor / Investor & TEC Canada Chair

Award-winning local entrepreneur and business coach Pascal St-Jean will lead a workshop that asks this question: Do you have a grip on your business or does your business have a grip on you? Don’t let common problems and frustrations run you and your business. Get a grip and gain control by focusing on six key components. This workshop includes an organization checkup that includes a 20-question survey. How does your company score?

9:40 am: EXPERT ROUNDTABLE: Marketing Hacks to Boost Your Brand
Jamil Bhuya, Burgers n’ Fries Forever
Erin Blaskie, L-Spark
Kyle Turk, Keynote Group
Marketing has undergone a revolution that leaves many business owners and managers scratching their heads? To help sort things out, three of Ottawa’s top marketing experts step to the podium to unveil marketing hacks to boost your brand. Each with five slides and 15 minutes, they will share marketing tips for three sectors: professional service firms, hospitality and technology. And then they come together in an expert roundtable to answer your questions.

10:40 am: Health break, networking and visit exhibitors

11:00 am: PERSPECTIVE: Winning the War for Talent
Speaker: Ingrid Argyle, Local Employment Planning Council

11:10 am: PANEL: Second Career Entrepreneurs: The Midlife Pivot
Moderator: Catherine Leteinturier-Guissé, BDC
Shann Bosnell, Founder and OwnerBrown Bag Coffee
Heather Desjardins, Founder and Owner of The Open Door Educational Services (Forty Under 40 2019)
Lorraine Mastersmith, KIN Vineyards

There is a misconception that entrepreneurship always starts in your 20s. That’s not the case. There is a growing amount of research that people who enter entrepreneurship later in life can draw on invaluable life lessons to make them more successful. Join our BDC moderator as she digs into second career entrepreneurs who have fascinating midlife pivots.

12:15 pm: Lunch, Networking & Exhibitor Booths Open

1:00 pm: KEYNOTE: A Nation of Entrepreneurs: The Changing Face of Canadian Entrepreneurship
Speaker: Pierre Cleroux, Vice-President Research and Chief Economist, BDCWhat does it take to succeed as an entrepreneur today? This year Small Business Week, the BDC surveyed 1,000 entrepreneurs about their skills to discover how it affects business performance. How entrepreneurship is evolving in Canada? What’s motivating entrepreneurs and the challenges they are facing? How to develop your skills to continue growing your business? Discover what skills you need to get your business to the next level.

1:45 pm: PERSPECTIVE: Building a Culture of Inclusion
Speaker: Julie Caldwell, Assistant Director, David C. Onley Initiative

As the war for talent heats up, business owners need to re-think their HR strategies. Gain insight into how your organization can better support employees with diverse needs, promote workplace well being and create a thriving work environment, by making inclusive hiring decisions.2:00 pm: PERSPECTIVE: The Future of Main Street
Mark Kaluski, Chair, OCOBIAIn an increasingly online world, where goods are being purchased and meals delivered without ever having to leave the house, what will the future of our mainstreets look like and how will retail shops and services adapt to survive? How BIA’s and other groups are working with cities, communities and businesses to ensure the viability of the commercial districts that enhance our neighbourhoods.

2:15 pm: FIRESIDE CHAT: When Mainstreet Ottawa and Shopify Come Together
Speakers: Sheba Schmidt, West End Kids and Rahul Kulkarni, Shopify

Sheba Schmidt has owned West End Kids, a children’s-only clothing store in Westboro, for 24 years. This traditional brick-and-mortar store started an amazing transformation when they entered into a two-way relationship with Shopify. West End Kids tapped powerful ecommerce technology and Shopify got some insight into the internal workings of a main street store. Schmidt will be interviewed by a Shopify expert to unveil a story filled with business lessons.

3:00 pm: Closing remarks