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New Brunswick Leads The Way On Scale Up

Canada continues to be one of the best places in the world to launch a business and New Brunswick has an award-winning startup ecosystem. However, as a country, and as a province, we are not as good at scaling up as we could and should be.

It’s worth remembering that approximately 50 per cent of new businesses fail in the first five years, and only four-to-six percent of remaining companies ever reach 50 employees. With those sobering numbers in mind, Opportunities NB (ONB) has placed an even stronger emphasis on helping New Brunswick companies with scale up efforts.

What do We Mean by Scale Up?

Investopedia offers perhaps the simplest explanation: “Scalability describes a company’s ability to grow without being hampered by its structure or available resources when faced with increased production.”

Studies coming out of Ontario have shown that larger companies are 2.3 times more productive, generate 19 times more revenue, raise six times more capital, and create 6.5 times more jobs than non-high-growth companies.

Since its inception in 2015, ONB has had a focus on scale up via the work of its Business Growth Team. In December, in partnership with Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) J Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship (TME), we announced a more formalized approach to helping more New Brunswick-based businesses reach their full potential — Scale Up Atlantic Canada.

The Importance of Scale Up

“Accelerating the growth of local businesses creates more potential anchor companies for the province’s economy,” says ONB CEO Stephen Lund. “Large companies help smaller businesses grow, it’s that simple. We must continue to attract anchor companies from outside the province, but also support the growth of local New Brunswick businesses through these types of ambitious scale up programs.”

“Scale Up Atlantic Canada is a natural extension of ONB’s existing Business Growth portfolio,” notes Traci Simmons, ONB Vice-President, Strategy and Stakeholder Relations. “We have had great success at nurturing New Brunswick’s entrepreneurial ecosystem over the last four years, helping to launch multiple Startup Communities across the province. Now it’s time for increased focus on helping our small businesses take it to the next level. We want to see more of our 8-10-employee clients become 40-50-employee companies.”

“Companies that successfully scale up are also in better position to increase their exports, which drives our economy by bringing in new money,” notes Lund. “By encouraging more companies to scale up and think more globally, New Brunswick wins.”

About Scale Up Atlantic Canada

Scale Up Atlantic Canada is the latest addition to ONB’s Business Growth model and will be of great benefit to the province’s urban and rural businesses. Thanks to the collaborative approach taken by ONB, ACOA, and UNB this proven program will help business leaders in New Brunswick and all of the Atlantic Provinces deliver immediate growth to their companies.

The program provides participating companies (defined as those generating revenues between $4 and $15 million) with advanced expertise in the ‘Three Cs of Growth’ – Customers, Capacity, and Cash. The program combines peer-to-peer support with classroom-based learning. Participants will take part in a variety of workshops (running from March 21 to September 2019) focused on sales, marketing, finance, and organizational development.

The program was developed and trademarked by Dr. Dan Isenberg – founding director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project. Babson College is ranked as the top entrepreneurship school in the United States and Dr. Isenberg is a former entrepreneur, investor, and professor at Harvard and Columbia University. The Scale Up program is a well-vetted one, with proven success in the United States, Denmark, Columbia, Brazil, and other international jurisdictions.

The First Cohort Begins

UNB will play host to Scale Up Atlantic Canada, where Dr. Isenberg and the Scale Up team will lead business leaders through the program. This morning saw the announcement of the program’s first official cohort. Fifteen companies have been selected from across Atlantic Canada to participate in the inaugural program.

They are:

  • Auto City (Fredericton)
  • B4 Checkin (Halifax)
  • Blacks Transfer (Saint John)
  • The GAP Group (Keswick Ridge)
  • Gemba Software Solutions (Saint John)
  • InteliSys Aviation Systems (Saint John)
  • Ispire (Saint John)
  • Kelson and Kelson Ltd (Saint John)
  • Kognitiv Spark (Fredericton)
  • Magnetic Hill Winery (Moncton)
  • Measurand (Hanwell)
  • MLT (Moncton)
  • Mrs. Dunster’s (Sussex)
  • Sedin Technologies (Fredericton)
  • Velsoft (New Glasgow)

ONB would like to extend its congratulations to these fantastic companies. Our team looks forward to working closely with the New Brunswick-based businesses as they work to become the province’s next success story.

Find out more about growing your business in New Brunswick at:

This story was sponsored by Opportunities New Brunswick.