The world’s population is hungry and growing hungrier, but Canadian agriculture took a giant leap forward to meet those needs through value added development of Canada’s food and feed sectors. At a recent ceremony in Ottawa, Protein Industries Canada was named one of the winning supercluster proponents under the federal Innovation Superclusters Program.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains announced that Protein Industries Canada, along with four other regional finalists, will share in $950 million under the federal program.
Protein Industries Canada (PIC) is an industry-led alliance of over 120 private-sector companies, academic institutions, and other stakeholders across Western Canada aimed at fully developing the potential of plant-based proteins from crops such as canola pulses, grains, hemp, and flax. PIC’s work will focus on improvements and opportunities in four areas: crop breeding, crop production value-added processing, and export development.
Our deep congratulations to our members involved in the successful bid (below). To read more about Protein Industries Canada, visit their website.
How do you answer that question? Do you stop and pause when asked this question? Surprisingly, many have no concept of themselves as a leader and even wrestle with the notion that they should be held responsible as a leader. So just who is a leader?
The word leader is defined as a front-runner, one who leads a group, or a country.
I would like to broaden the definition of leader to include someone who has taken on the responsibility to lead their life in a certain way, to lead a group towards an outcome, support, and champion others to the next level of success. We could also include someone who leads a country to do great things.
You may then ask if all people in authority are leaders, and the answers are yes and no. They may hold a title of authority and lead chaos but its time for us to take back the meaning of leadership to mean someone who is responsible and accountable for their words and actions.
I think the word leadership has been bantered about to the extent that we lend it to abusers, stealers, and people of ill repute, whose inability to balance their ego has led to them being erratic, impudent, and abusive to those they lead.
The word leader suggests a strong, courageous individual who is willing to serve others. It depicts someone who is saddened by others’ failure but is still gracious. They do not threaten, bully, or molest those they have authority over. To do any of these would violate their values, personal honor, and sense of identity. They are committed to enhance their ability to contribute to others and to society. They think about the consequences of their actions before taking them, do their best to ensure that what they do benefit others and not just themselves.
To be in a position of authority does not mean you are a leader. Leaders pave the way for others to follow. They are role models who others can emulate. If you’ve heard there is a leadership crisis, it is because we have continued to label people in authority as leaders, even when they show they lack the ability to lead.
Since there are very few natural born leaders, leadership is a skill that must be developed consistently. Since we have failed to provide the proper structure to nurture and develop leaders we are now at a turning point in society where many people in positions of authority are being let go, asked to step down, or even fired because their behaviour has been damaging or abusive to those they led.
Though this is disappointing, it is not surprising. As a Conflict Analyst I have intervened in far too many conflicts influenced by someone in a leadership role who lacked the skills. Leadership skills should be cultivated over time in a nurturing, encouraging, environment with exposure to a range of competencies and interpersonal skills as necessary for leadership.
So, if you have a set goal for your life or business and is willing to take on the responsibility of leading people, consider building your capacity to serve well.
When Susan Kuz was introduced at a recent happiness workshop, she began by tackling one of the first questions she’s usually asked – how do you pronounce her business’ name Being Pukka?
“So it’s pronounced being puck-ka. It actually comes from a Hindu word and it means to be authentic, highest quality, genuine,” said Kuz.
Kuz has worked as a positivity practitioner and coach for eight years, helping individuals and corporate clients create positive change. After 25 years working in public and private corporations, Kuz decided she to pursue her calling when circumstances and a clear need coalesced.
"This has always been an area I’ve been interested in – since I was a teenager reading my first personal development book…. As I went through corporate life, I saw there was a need for this kind of mental wellness work."
“I combined my passion with my corporate life. Just for fun I’d create workshops, discussions, I’d coach people because I had a passion for it. But a number of years ago I was downsized and I thought, well, now’s the time. I’m going to jump in with both feet. At the same time I came across more in depth training in the area, which gave me a stronger knowledge base than I had. Being Pukka evolved from that.”
Kuz used her seminar as an opportunity to discuss the impact happiness has on success in all areas in life with the people who attended.
“We had 12 things that they could do to immediately increase their happiness and they took away a short list for themselves that resonated with their lifestyle and the difference that it could make most immediately for them,” said Kuz, who draws on the work of happiness researcher, Sonja Lyubomirsky as well as others studying positive psychology.
Maintaining relationships, showing gratitude, and setting goals were some of the topics that she touched on.
The seminar was a good networking opportunity for Kuz, and she left her contact information for anyone who wanted to work with her to dive deeper into the program. Staying on top of business networking can requires a strong commitment - especially for independent entrepreneurs. Kuz says that while she runs Being Pukka by herself, she turns to a much wider support circle to keep motivated."
“I have a mentor from my field who is tremendously motivating. He helps me to become clearer in my direction,” Kuz says. “He helps me keeps things simple and less cluttered, as opposed to always pursuing the newest idea in the field.”
“I also meet with people in the same field at conferences or through continuous learning events online around the U.S. or Australia or anywhere in the world. I find those ‘coffee discussions’ incredibly motivating, hearing from people who are doing similar things in the positive psychology realm.”
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce is also part of Kuz’s network, which she joined shortly after starting Being Pukka in 2015. “I really enjoyed the environment – especially the people there,” said Kuz. “That was the part I really loved – being connected to other business owners and people growing their businesses – and who are also coming there to meet other people and learn.”
Kuz said the best part of her job is helping people and hearing about the positive impacts her messages has on them personally and professionally.
“I’d worked with a gal who was a small business owner at the time,” Kuz says. “Her questions at the time were how to develop a work-life balance – because she was busy with her business but she also had a very young family.
“She came back to me months later so happy for the clarity on what was most important to her. Our work together helped her make decisions that enabled her to be so happy not just in her business, but in her personal life.”
Prepared for The Winnipeg Chamber by Amanda Emms, a Red River College Creative Communications student.
If you’re like many small businesses these days, you might wonder how else you can save money after what may have already been a belt tightening year. According to Troy Vosseler, co-founder of Gener8tor, a concierge Startup accelerator in Wisconsin, getting your employees involved can be a big help in saving the company money. Here are a few tips he shares on engaging your team in the budgeting process:
Be transparent. Share the business plan and the financial picture so employees know what’s coming in, what’s going out and how it all comes together. Show employees they have role in the business’s success and update them regularly on the company’s progress.
Be a role model. Employees take their cues from the top, so model responsible spending behaviour, whether it’s spending on travel or buying new software.
Ask for ideas. Lead brainstorming sessions with your staff on how everyone can cut costs. Not only will you potentially hear some innovative ideas, but you’ll be creating buy-in, a great way to incent your staff to cut back on the expenses they incur.
If you’re wondering what your business can do to save money in the upcoming year, consider some of these cost-savings ideas:
Cutting costs may not be any business owner’s favourite activity, but it is one area in which you have some control. And chances are once you incorporate a few cost-savings measures in your office, you’ll be wondering why it took you this long to change your previous, less efficient ways.
Known as the 'Google' of Winnipeg, Bold Commerce is a leader in tools, services, and software solutions focused on eCommerce site Shopify. Of the giant platform’s 80,000 worldwide agency partners, Bold Commerce is the largest.
We sat down with the 2018 finalist for our Wellness and Workplace Culture Award to discuss their definition of success and what our community means to their team.
The Winnipeg Chamber: What excites you about what you do?
Bold Commerce: The most exciting part about what we do is seeing our employees (we call them ‘builders’) grow and develop throughout their careers with us. While our main goal is always helping the client achieve success, our biggest reward is seeing all of the wonderful people under our roof achieve success while they’re at it.
With an average age of around 29, we have a very young staff. The beer on tap, arcades games, ping pong table and high energy work environment are great, however the career development and education opportunities within Bold are extremely valuable to all of our Builders who utilize them.
Watching the team grow and building the company is so exciting, but when we get to stop and think about all the impact we are having on so many families here in Winnipeg, it motivates us to keep doing what we are doing.
WC: What do you credit with your success?
BC: The day the company was formed, all four founders agreed they didn't just want to build great 'products', they wanted to build a great 'company'. They have always taken a long approach at business, believing that if you give more value than you receive and focus on making your clients and users successful, the company would achieve success.
Every decision made was not about what made Bold the most money, but rather what had the greatest impact on growing the total value of the company. The big goal being to one day have the huge impact in the lives of staff, and the community.
WC: What do you think of when I say the word community?
BC: To Bold, community is everything. From a philanthropic perspective, Bold is committed to the community and donates 1% of their profit, 1% of product, and 1% of time to local charities. We believe if they're not making a difference in the community and lives of their staff, we're not successful.
We have also been leaders in creating a workplace culture second to none. Things that come to mind when people think about Bold are the amazing daily catered lunches, basketball courts, in office gyms, arcade rooms, beer on tap, ping-pong and foosball tables, and working in socks on bean bags while staff fly by on pocket bikes and hoverboards. The Winnipeg Free Press recently did a story on business in Manitoba over the last 150 years for Canada's birthday this year, and Bold was the cover story!
WC: What does Winnipeg mean to you?
BC: Winnipeg is our home. Although Bold started out in Ile Des Chenes, we have always counted on Winnipeg and the support of the community to help us grow Bold and build an amazing company. Being a part of the Winnipeg community, the energy and the arts has given us an edge in so many ways rather than being in a specific tech hub where attitudes and perspectives are often much different.
Winnipeg has raised some wonderful, intelligent and innovative people who bring so much value to what we do as a company. They have built this incredible culture within the company that has allowed us to grow and achieve success at the rate we have.
Great culture is a place where they can grow personally and professionally and feel they are making a difference. From education funds to mentorship programs, we put great thought into creating this exact environment. We've also recently rolled out an employee stock options plan where staff are all owners now too. It's unlike any other place you'll see in Manitoba and we truly believe our employees and our community deserves that.
WC: Who do you want to inspire?
BC: Our main goal is to inspire Entrepreneurs. This includes every brand of ‘entrepreneur’ – employees, clients, our greater community. We want to help individuals achieve major success, and we want to inspire others to know that it is possible to achieve this here in Winnipeg. You don’t need to pick up and move to Silicon Valley or Toronto to do this. Our city has the talent. Our city has the support. Our city has the potential.
APTN launched in 1999 as the first national Indigenous broadcaster in the world, creating a window into the remarkably diverse mosaic of Indigenous Peoples. A respected non-profit, charitable broadcaster and the only one of its kind in North America.
As our 2018 Spirit of Winnipeg Award Recipient, chosen by our Board of Directors, APTN will be recognized for their outstanding impact and commitment in making Winnipeg better.
Before the 9th Annual Spirit of Winnipeg Awards, we asked APTN what makes them successful, what they love about Winnipeg, and who they wish to inspire.
1. What do people need to know to understand who your organization is?
APTN is the world’s first national Indigenous Television Network and Canada’s only independent national Indigenous network.
APTN provides platforms from which Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) can tell their stories - share their stories with all Canadians via APTN’s programming and news platforms – via traditional TV – via social media platforms. (APTN launched because Canada’s Indigenous populations believed that mainstream media did not allow for the telling of our stories.)
Through documentaries, news magazines, dramas, entertainment specials, children’s series, cooking shows and education programs, APTN opened a window into the remarkably diverse worlds of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and throughout the world.
2. Who do you help with what you do?
We bring the stories that matter most to Indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians. We’ve also maintained our commitment to reconciliation.
In the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's 94 Calls to Action, number 85 specifically states:
We call upon Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, as an independent non-profit broadcaster with programming by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples, to support reconciliation, including but not limited to:
a) Continuing to provide leadership in programming and organizational culture that reflects the diverse cultures, languages and perspectives of Aboriginal Peoples.
b) Continuing to develop media initiatives that inform and educate the Canadian public, and connect Aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians.
3. Who do you credit with your success?
APTN understands that its continued success is paramount and contingent upon the people that the network recruits. That is why in addition to supporting the professional development of staff, APTN is committed to fostering the talent and skills of young and emerging Indigenous Peoples. Through work placement, internship and mentorship programs, the network offers unprecedented opportunities for First Nations, Inuit and Métis media professionals.
The network creates significant employment opportunities and offers a healthy and positive workplace for employees to learn, thrive and grow – both professionally and personally. APTN’s ultimate goal is to help its employees reach their true potential, celebrate their achievements and encouraging employee excellence, volunteerism and community involvement.
Also, when APTN launched, there were very few Indigenous Peoples trained in the broadcasting industry. The network’s first hires were predominantly non-Indigenous. Through APTN’s training and development programs, including mentorships, the network was able to overcome the shortage. And today, we are proud to see that 65% our employees are of Indigenous ancestry.
4. What does Winnipeg mean to you?
Winnipeg means a meeting place to us and our ancestors who came before us. It is located on Treaty 1 Territory, the traditional territory of the Anishinabek and the homeland of the Métis nation.APTN’s head office is centrally located in Winnipeg to convey the stories from regions straight across the country.
Being central makes us accessible. Winnipeg is also a location with a deep talent pool and has one of the highest urban Indigenous population in Canada.
5. Who do you want to inspire?
The youth! They are our future. We state it in our mission:
“APTN is sharing our Peoples’ journey, celebrating our cultures, inspiring our children and honouring the wisdom of our Elders.”
To hear more about the 21 finalists of our 9th annual Spirit of Winnipeg Awards, join us and 400+ business and community leaders on Friday, March 9 at Club Regent Event Centre.
$235 – Ticket
$2350 – Corporate Table of 10
$2550 – Sponsored Table of 10
As the city’s lead economic development agency, Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) is a key player in laying the groundwork to grow Winnipeg’s economy. The organization, which also includes Tourism Winnipeg and the YES! Winnipeg initiative, aims to be the experts on Winnipeg and works with both private business leaders and the public sector to encourage businesses to grow, expand or move to Winnipeg.
EDW’s focus is to ensure that what Winnipeg has to offer is recognized both locally and globally, while positioning the city among North America’s top places to do business. We want people to know what is happening here. To achieve this vision, the organization works with the private and public sectors to enable more homegrown wins, while highlighting our many competitive advantages.
One of the benefits of working in a community like Winnipeg is the high importance and value we place on strong relationships between industry leaders, government officials and community stakeholders. Working with our local businesses to support targeted business development and growth not only helps grow our diverse economy, but also lays the foundation for attracting new businesses looking for a competitive location to grow. This requires us to assist in job creation and retention, identify new investment opportunities, while helping local entrepreneurs launch new and exciting commercial ventures.
There are many examples of local businesses accomplishing big things – from industry giants New Flyer Industries and Price Industries, to advanced manufacturing centres like Boeing and Standard Aero, Winnipeg’s local economy is already built on a strong economic foundation. Tech companies SkipTheDishes, Norima Consulting and Bold Commerce are also growing here at breakneck speeds. New opportunities are constantly brought forward and are analyzed by our team. Recent interest from global companies in setting up blockchain and cryptocurrency data warehouses in Winnipeg are being looked at now. These – and countless more examples – demonstrate the success and opportunity Winnipeg businesses are seeing on a daily basis.
Understanding Winnipeg’s strengths allows us to better leverage our competitive advantages. Data warehouses are looking at Winnipeg in part because of our affordable energy prices and our climate – these advantages give us a leg up over other markets. For Winnipeg to win worldwide attention, we need to do a better job selling ourselves. This requires us all to collaboratively work together – among all industries, businesses and levels of government. By working together, we will succeed more often.
EDW is finding ways to help companies to expand their customer base and find new global market opportunities – part of that opportunity involves ensuring we have the right data with which to make informed decisions.
We need to keep going toe-to-toe with the biggest and best cities in North America – we have the resources and capacity to compete on this level. As our city continues to grow and develop even more business ties, world-class infrastructure, and private investment – we will see more business opportunities come our way more and more often.
Whether homegrown or transplanted, Winnipeg provides the opportunity for long-term business growth.
The most recent Program for International Student Assessment show Manitoba's 15-year-old students are a year behind their counterparts in Canada's top performing provinces when it comes to reading and science, and more than half a year behind when it comes to math.
People often point to high graduation rates as a sign of success, but if our students are falling far behind their Canadian peers in learning outcomes, how can we possibly count graduation as a success? That’s why in Manitoba Bold your Winnipeg Chamber called for a firm action plan to move Manitoba into the top three provinces outcome-wise by 2021.
The Winnipeg Chamber has also long advocated for an amalgamation of all school divisions in Winnipeg. We remain the only large city in Canada with multiple school divisions. The recent provincial education funding announcement included a 15 per cent reduction in the school division administration cost caps. While this isn't amalgamation, the move will keep costs down.
The province also announced a two per cent cap on local education property tax increases, preventing any major property tax increases. The Chamber supports moving the authority to set the property tax mill rate back to the provincial government from school boards, in order to ensure greater consistency.
While the property tax cap will help keep rates down for Manitobans in the short term, cost control remain important. The most recent provincial budget projects total education spending of $4.4 billion. Twenty years ago, the entire provincial budget was $5.3 billion, of which education spending was around $1 billion annually. Even ten years ago, the education budget was around $3.1 billion annually. As test results show, all that spending has not resulted in a better education system. Studies also show no clear relationship between student outcomes and teacher compensation.
At the end of the day what we all want are better student outcomes. Let’s spend more time debating how to improve student outcomes, rather than debating the size of our education spending increases.
The RFPQ is looking to short-list investment management organizations to then partner on a future request for proposals that would improve access to capital through the establishment of at least one fund. The RFI closes on March 8, and the RFQ closes on March 22. This venture capital work will support the development of the province’s new economic development strategy. Payworks CEO Barb Gamey and former Winnipeg Chamber President and CEO Dave Angus are co-chairing the development of the new provincial economic development strategy.
According to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, of the 431 venture capital deals made across Canada in the first three quarters of 2017, only 2 were in Manitoba. We did slightly better on the private equity side, but still only account for less than 2 per cent of all deals done in Canada. As recently as 2014, Manitoba tied PEI as the worst provincial performer in this area, with zero venture capital investment.
Capital is essential to business success. A lack of capital causes businesses to hit a growth wall. In a 2015 survey of the local business community, two-thirds of respondents cited “significant challenges with finding growth capital” as a barrier to growth. The recent announcement was the first concrete step by government to address this long-standing issue.
While this announcement was a step in the right direction, we can’t pretend the creation of one fund will fix the problem. A holistic access to capital strategy is needed that identifies all stages of capital financing, current capital availability, and local gaps along the entire capital continuum (idea, incubator, angels, and venture capital).
Without a proper strategy and framework in place, a fund can only fix part of the capital crunch Manitoba businesses face.
Spoil your senses at Winnipeg’s fifth Annual Beer, Wine, and Food event! Love Local MB takes place March 3, 2018 at Victoria Inn (Wellington Ave. near the airport), from 5 p.m to 9 p.m. This early spring celebration will host food and beverage artisans from Winnipeg and surrounding areas.
Guests will have the opportunity to treat their taste-buds to an abundance of bite-sized gourmet delights from top local food and beverage producers. With savoury and sweet options, and Manitoba’s finest distilleries and breweries, this year’s selection is sure to satisfy anyone’s palate!
This event marks five years of outstanding local ingenuity and community support. “The fact that the event has become a sell-out evening is telling of how much our province values and builds into its local economy,” says Peter Fehr, co-founder and entrepreneur. “We are thrilled, honoured and humbled by the extraordinary support we have felt from our fellow Manitobans.”
"It's a super fun evening out, with a complimentary cocktail, live music, lots of sampling and the opportunity to support local producers by purchasing their wares" says Peter Fehr. Victoria Inn conference rooms will be transformed into a charming food market ambience, where sensational cuisine, beverages, and music come alive together under one roof. With over 50 food and drink vendors offering an extensive collection of gourmet cuisine for sample and purchase, guests will want to arrive hungry.
A portion of the proceeds from this event will go towards supporting Siloam Mission, an amazing Winnipeg organization where “hope begins with a meal.”
Love Local MB is hosted by co-founder and local entrepreneur Peter Fehr and presenting sponsors: Gourmet Inspirations, Generation Green and Danny’s Whole Hog BBQ and Smokehouse. A full list of vendors and tickets can be purchased online at www.LoveLocalMB.com.