April 22, 2016 – The Ontario Chamber of Commerce identified six critical challenges inhibiting Ontario businesses from moving to the next stage of growth in its report Breaking Barriers: Ontario’s Scale Up Challenge. In the 21st century economy, Ontario’s continued growth and prosperity depends on our capacity to innovate and translate these new ideas into real economic gains. To do so, we need to create an environment that lets our most promising firms thrive.
To spur the creation of new and innovative companies, governments, institutions, and the business community have done much to build up and tap into the entrepreneurial spirit of Ontarians. However, too few entrepreneurs are continuing to build their business, or “scale up”, in Ontario. As such, the province is foregoing many of the economic benefits that could be provided by this untapped growth potential.
In Breaking Barriers: Ontario’s Scale Up Challenge, the OCC explores the issue of scaling up in the Ontario context. To do so, we draw on interviews with nearly two dozen business owners, sector associations, and other organizations, as well as a survey of over 350 Ontario business owners.
As the report reveals, businesses in the province are facing a number of barriers that are preventing them from “scaling up” in Ontario. These include a labour pool that lacks scaling experience, insufficient access to financing, and misaligned public supports and incentives. The recommendations contained in this report are designed to break down these barriers and enable the province’s businesses to attain their full growth potential.