This week, BDC kicks off Small Business Week across Canada, with this year’s theme focusing on the need for businesses to embrace new technologies. Across the country, BDC is hosting a series of events to help entrepreneurs learn how to measure their digital performance and take action to digitize.
When it comes to technology, Magnet is using its online platform to help businesses grow by efficiently matching businesses to the right talent, trade and procurement opportunities.
Co-founded by Ryerson University in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Magnet is part of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster and provides its technology-based service and social innovation to advance careers, businesses, and communities nationwide. The Magnet technology aims to address three core issues facing businesses as they grow: access to talent; access to markets; and access to capital.
Reaching new markets, access to capital
The Magnet Export Business Portal is one example of how the Magnet technology can be used to help businesses grow. Businesses that are keen to reach new markets can use the Magnet Export Business Portal to get information that is customized specifically to each business.
Here is what the Portal does:
Whether a business is just starting or is an established small and/or medium size enterprise, the Portal provides an entry point for businesses of all sizes to receive timely information about programs and services from providers like the Ontario Ministry of International Trade, Global Affairs Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada, and Export Development Canada, which are partners on the Portal. It’s free to use.
Another example is the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade’s Ontario Tech Opportunities Platform (OTOP) which is powered by Magnet. OTOP is a marketplace for tech companies, alerting businesses of government procurement opportunities. The platform matches businesses to relevant government procurement opportunities, as well as other relevant information, including export-related programs and talent-related initiatives.
For Magnet, capital is also about helping businesses access all the different programs and funding opportunities that are offered through organizations like EDC and ITAC, which uses the Magnet platform to connect students to tech internships through its Career Ready program. It can be challenging for businesses to find and access information, so the Magnet platform makes that easy.
Where we are headed is to do all of this, for different industries, in one system that promotes overall business growth in Canada.
When it comes to accessing talent, ensuring diversity within a business is important – equally important to accessing capital and markets. The Magnet platform helps businesses connect with talent, including from within populations that are currently underrepresented in the labour market including: youth; women in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics; newcomers to Canada; Indigenous peoples; persons with disabilities; and other individuals facing barriers to employment. The Discover Ability Network is one organization powered by Magnet that connects employers to people with disabilities.
Magnet is focused on understanding where skills are being developed; helping employers connect to the people with skills they need more quickly; and understanding how to build career awareness in youth, which is critical when considering the needs of future workforces. Through innovative job-matching technology, Magnet is creating opportunities for student growth in future skills development.
Furthermore, Magnet offers one-stop-shopping solutions for employers and job-seekers to make it easy for businesses to connect with people who have the skills they are looking for – rather than having to post jobs on various job boards or reach out to individual post-secondary institutions to recruit students.
Learn more about how Magnet can help small businesses.