Hasbro Monopoly Junior 2004 Lemonade Stand
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What the Lemonade Stand Represents
The purpose of these searches was to identify the earliest mention of the lemonade stand and to establish it origins. From this research, the best estimate is that lemonade stands first appeared in the 1870s in the United States. None of the materials reviewed explicitly stated how or when lemonade stands emerged as a commercial venture. The lemonade stand has become associated with entrepreneurship and small business, and in particular youth entrepreneurs. It is identified as the first business venture of young people and is frequently mentioned as a summer activity. The lessons learnt in these first ventures may endure to later endeavours. An article describing the success of entrepreneurs who participated in Junior Achievement programs as children states The lessons kids learn at the lemonade stand stay with them when they enter the workforce and provide a solid foundation from which to grow.  In addition, the references to lemonade stands identified in this paper represent various aspects of business operations and related issues. Some of the more common are:
The influence of government on business, in particular, taxation, subsidization, and bureaucracy Marketing practices such as niche marketing and pricing Inappropriate accounting practices Mergers and takeovers The reality and uncertainties of the marketplace, for example influence of environmental factors such as the weather, competition, employee downsizing Greed and monopoly Also clearly established is the use of the lemonade stand as a learning or teaching tool. It translates very well into games for children, simulations and classroom exercises for most grades. Many childrens storybooks develop story plots around the lemonade stand and it is used extensively as a model for fundraising. Finally, advertising agencies have used the concept in advertising copy. It is important to observe that, as a symbol of capitalism, the lemonade stand has endured despite the changes in drink preferences. After more than 125 years, it still appears in cartoons, newspaper and childrens stories, and is used in educational materials. It is often used as a symbol against government bureaucracy or red tape, and interference in the business system. The next section examines possible reasons for the symbols endurance.
The tax revenue losses of capital gains-free sales of shares are more than offset by the taxes paid by the successful activities of the entrepreneurial firm. The losses to the government, in order to pay for such a program, are the capital gains taxes on the subsequent sale of the original shares by business angels. However, by the time an investee (the entrepreneurial firms) is sufficiently successful for a business angel to market their shares profitably, the firm is successful and paying taxes, the firm has dozens (maybe hundreds) of employees all paying taxes, and the firm contributes to the community paying municipal taxes. The net contribution to the public coffers by the success of the firm far outweighs the capital gains foregone by the government. Furthermore, the exit tax relief only comes into effect if the business is successful. A UK program, called the Enterprise Investment Scheme, raised 2.2 billion of investment funds during an eight-year period.  The cumulative cost of the program which included
1. Wright, M. and Robbie, K. 1996. Venture capitalists, unquoted equity investment appraisal and the role of accounting information. Accounting and Business Research 26, no. 2, 153168. 2. Amit, R., Glosten, L., and Muller, E. 1990b. Entrepreneurial ability, venture investment, and risk sharing. Management Science 36, no. 10, 1232 1245. 3. Amit, R., Glosten, L., and Muller, E. 1990a. Does venture capital foster the most promising entrepreneurial firms? California Management Review 31, no.3, 102 111. 4. Farrell, A.E. 2000a. Informal Venture Capital Investment in Atlantic Canada: A Year2000 Review. Moncton, Canada: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. 5. Based on a $50,000 investment in an area of Newfoundland and Labrador outside of North East Avalon. Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick have similar, though not as generous, equity investment tax incentives as this example. British Columbias tax credit incentive is 30 percent of up to $200,000 providing for a maximum tax credit of $60,000. 6. Gompers, P.A., Lerner, J., Blair, M.M., and Hellmann, T. 1998. What drives venture capital fundraising? with comments. In Brookings Papers on Economic Activity: 149 205. (Washington. 7. Boyns, N., Cox, M., Spires, R., and Hughes, A. 2003. Research into the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts. Cambridge: Inland Revenue. 8. Half of that number was in the last year of the eight year evaluation period, 1994 2001
Movement towards a capital gains free incentive for early-stage equity investors is a win/win/win scenario. Entrepreneurs win by having outside financiers play a long-term, supportive role helping entrepreneurs overcome hurdles that are hard to surmount alone. The business angel wins by successfully financing a fledgling firm or founder during the most difficult period of a young firms growth, the early-stage capital acquisition and subsequent growth. The angel reaps their benefit years later in the form of a capital gains-free exit. The government wins in two ways. Firstly, the exit-orientation means the effect of the tax foregone only becomes apparent if the entrepreneur and the
Any loss of revenue to the government by way of foregone capital gains is recovered and multiplied by the success of the firm and its tax contribution to the community.
angel are successful. Secondly, by the time the firm is flourishing sufficiently for an angel to exit successfully, the firm is profitable (and paying taxes), the founders are successful (and paying taxes), and dozens, if not hundreds, of employees are employed (and paying taxes). Any loss of revenue to the government by way of foregone capital gains is recovered and multiplied by the success of the firm and its tax contribution to the community.
Dr. Farrell came to Saint Marys via a career in the public and private industry and has contributed to building three firms. Dr. Farrell completed her doctoral studies at the University of Nottingham in the UK and is a leading entrepreneurship educator in the region. Her approachable manner with students has made her a popular professor, and she has coached many teams in national and international competitions. Collectively, her students have won more than $100,000 in prizes. Dr. Farrells research interests are in early-stage equity finance, particularly both informal and formal venture capital.
The New Economy and Atlantic Canadas Brain Drain:
Can We Do Something About It?
B Y J O H A N N V A L L E R A N D , J I L L H I S C O C K , A N D S Y LV I E B E R T H E L O T
The prediction of a new economic era is certainly not recent. For more than 20 years numerous bestseller books have been forecasting, upcoming fundamental changes in the industrial world.  What was predicted is now reality and consequently we must face these changes which are real, worldwide, and affecting many industrial sectors. Within the new economy, the concept of hyper-competition was born. Hyper-competition is fierce, intense, and extensive. This, along with other factors, has contributed to making the transition to the new economy the most strategic challenge that has faced every country in the world. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) publications are among the most relevant literature to highlight the real power of this new economy (appropriately named the knowledge economy). According to the OECD, the knowledge economy is now causing major gaps among the 52 countries which are monitored by the OECD. Europe, Asia, and North America are all facing this problem, and everyone is focusing upon the same goal as a top priority; that is to be competitive. Like other countries, Canada has invested substantially to position itself on this new strategic chessboard. In 2000, a first report, Canadian Competitiveness; Nine Years after the Crossroads , traces a path that must be followed to face the challenges of the knowledge economy. In 2002, another Canadian government document was published: Achieving Excellence: Investing in People, Knowledge and Opportunity.  In that report, the conclusion is simple: to better face the new economy, we must invest in our workforce. In that same period, the Canadian government published a second document: Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians.  That document calls for a collaborative approach among all sectors of our society to ensure that Canadians have the tools they need to participate in Canadas workplace. The paper outlines a series of national goals and milestones for children and youth, students, the adult labour force, and immigration.
Had an idea for a small business Know of resources supporting business startup in area Worked in a small/ medium-sized busines 20 30
These strong percentages suggest that if students studying in Atlantic Canada are not interested in becoming entrepreneurs, they certainly have some predisposition towards entrepreneurship. However, do they perceive entrepreneurship as a means to bring employment prospects, financial security, intellectual challenge, and the opportunity to be creative? Possibly not!
What is the message from this study?
Based on the results of our study, we see that a relatively high percentage of graduates are leaving the Atlantic Region in pursuit of employment opportunities with large government and non-government organizations. Generally, they wish to pursue further education upon graduation, possibly to position themselves to capitalize on these employment opportunities, and they desire intellectual challenge, the opportunity to be creative and original in their careers, and a dynamic and collaborative workplace. Financial security seems more important than a high starting salary and/or the prospect for promotion and, it appears that, despite significant investment in programs and initiatives to promote small business and entrepreneurship among students, few of them see entrepreneurship as a good career option; one that will provide the career attributes they desire.
Our study supports the notion that we do have a brain drain issue in Atlantic Canada. While Canadian immigration has been a large contributor to offsetting the reduction in the workforce in other areas, it does not seem to be offsetting it in the Atlantic Provinces. To pursue our competitiveness in the knowledge economy, one key factor is to create and maintain a well-educated, qualified workforce. Educational institutions, such as universities, play a predominant role in creating a well-educated and qualified workforce, but potentially losing almost 40% of potential members of the workforce may challenge our ability to maintain a large group of well-educated, qualified people, especially in a region where an aging population may become a major factor. While it is unreasonable to believe that we can retain all of our graduates, it is reasonable to believe that we can retain more of them. But, how do we increase our ability to compete in this new economy and further, how do we encourage students to stay in a region where small business and entrepreneurship form the backbone of the economies here, when many of them believe the best career opportunities are with large organizations elsewhere? In our opinion, it is not sufficient to ignore or discount the brain drain phenomenon; we must face it and combat it so it does not get worse. Actions really have to be put in place.
What are some of the potential remedies?
16. Hiscock, J., Berthelot, S. & Hessian, S. 2004. Entrepreneurship in Atlantic Canadian University Environments: The Variables that Promote and Hinder Entrepreneurship Development, The Atlantic Canadian Universities Entrepreneurship Consortium. 17. Industrie Canada, 2006. Principales Statistiques relatives aux petites entreprises. 18. Riverin, N. & Filion, L.G. 2004. Global Enterprise Monitoring 2004 Canadian Report. 19. Fortin, P. 2000. The Irish Economic Boom: Facts, Causes, and Lessons, Industry Canada.
Dr. Johann Vallerand has been a professor of management at Universit de Moncton since 1995. She received her Ph.D. in business strategy from Universit Pierre Mends, IAE Grenoble in collaboration with Laval University, Qubec. Her research is focused on SMEs business strategy and entrepreneurship and she has published several articles regarding those subjects.
Jill Hiscock is faculty in the School of Business at the Nova Scotia Community College, Kingstec campus. Since 1996, she has been actively involved in entrepreneurship education and development at the post-secondary level. She coordinated and co-authored a major entrepreneurship research study conducted in all of the 18 Atlantic Canadian universities.
Sylvie Berthelot is Head of the Chaire dtudes Jeanne et J.-Louis Lvesque en gestion financire at the Universit de Moncton. She obtained her Ph.D. in accounting from HEC Montreal in 2000 and she has authored many research works in accounting and entrepreneurship since that time.
Promoting Government Outreach to Small Business Financing in Atlantic Canada
B Y M E N G S T E A B T E S F AY O H A N N E S
Small Business Financing: An Important Agenda in Atlantic Canada
S M A L L B U S I N E S S E S ( S B S ) A R E W I D E LY R E G A R D E D A S T H E E N G I N E O F E N T R E P R E N E U R I A L E C O N O M I C G R O W T H I N B O T H D E V E L O P E D A N D D E V E L O P I N G C O U N T R I E S. T H E Y A R E S U B S TA N T I A L E C O N O M I C C O N T R I B U T O R S G E N E R AT I N G L O C A L A N D B R O A D - B A S E D E M P L O Y M E N T A N D P R O M O T I N G E N T R E P R E N E U R I A L I N N O VAT I O N. [ 1 ]
SBS requires a nurturing environment and supporting infrastructure to develop and achieve their noble objectives. There are vital external and internal (organizational) factors affecting SBS development in any national socio-economic framework. The external ones are national institutional capacity, regulatory framework, training and entrepreneurial development, access to finance, market opportunities, technological support and suitable socio-cultural and political environment.  The responsibility of managing external factors fundamentally rests with Federal and Provincial governments, community structures, business sector umbrella agencies, academic and training institutions, and many other relevant institutions. The internal factors are the firms competitive capabilities to raise funds and carry out their core business activities with vigor and efficiency. Both internal and external factors are instrumental for the further development of SBS, and beefing-up their vital contribution to the
entrepreneurial economic development. This article will specifically focus on the SBS access to finance in the Atlantic Provinces. Many research findings have attested that access to finance is the major factor that affects SBS growth and sustainability.  SBS financing is also a strategic issue in the development agenda of the Atlantic Provinces. In line with this, concerned institutions have attempted to facilitate SBS access to finance.   However, entrepreneurs have continued to complain about the limited access to finance in the Atlantic Provinces. Their complaints emanate from the conservative attitude of banks and other commercial lenders towards SBS loan requests (e.g. lack of the required information, complicated application procedures, high collateral or security requirements, high interest rates, and imposing harsh loan repayment terms). Furthermore, complicated and excessive requirements
to qualify for government loans aggravate difficulties in accessing finance at both start-up and expansion stages.   For example, the Canadian Federal Government approached commercial banks to administer their SBS loan programs such as Canada Small Business Financing (CSBF). However, a good number of them were reluctant to accept this mission due to their perception that processing SBS loans would be burdensome and unprofitable.  This situation is not a good one, particularly for new immigrants who are potential entrepreneurs. Every year more than 200,000 immigrants land in Canada, and at least 25% of them are principal immigrants.  More than 60% of the principal immigrants have a tertiary education level. A good number of them have prior relevant entrepreneurial acumen and experience, seed capital, and eagerness to establish small ventures in their adopted country. They cannot realize their dreams without acquiring the necessary financial support, customized training, and professional mentorship. Unfortunately, the provinces in Atlantic Canada have thus far benefited little from this readily available stock of potential immigrant entrepreneurs.  This is due to the inadequacy of appropriate facilities and the lack of favorable environment encouraging both new immigrants and the locals to engage in entrepreneurial activities. In line with this concern, the critical question is: what should be done to curb the continuous complaints and dissatisfaction of SBS owners about access to finance? This is a complex issue and demands an in-depth study involving major stakeholders such as banks, credit unions, Federal and Provincial Governments, private and cooperative investors, venture capital firms, and other financing establishments who have the mandate to address the SBS financing issues prudently. In order to limit the scope of this article, I focus on organizational aspects of the existing government sponsored SBS financing schemes and action programs.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF CLUSTERING GOVERNMENT SPONSORED SBS FINANCING I N I T I AT I V E S
So far, the Provincial Governments in Atlantic Canada (PGAC) have initiated many schemes and action programs promoting SBS financing. The major ones are:  Business Development Program Seed Capital Program Community Business Development Corporations Aboriginal Business Canada Women in Business Initiative Business Management Training Allowance Innovative Communities Fund Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund Regional Economic Development Organizations Aboriginal Economic Development Official Languages and Minority Communities Atlantic Innovation Fund International Business Development Agreement Venture Capital Business Development Bank of Canada Canada Small Business Financing Program Canada Business Service Centers All these initiatives are relevant and supportive, but they should be implemented in the best possible way to further improve SBS financing outreach. This means that PGAC should search for better and more innovative ways of implementing established initiatives as part of their continuous improvement endeavours. Effective implementation requires the capability to streamline, cluster, and properly manage SBS financing initiatives. Moreover, PGAC should increase their awareness of the root causes of SBS financing problems. These root causes mainly stem from the lack of capacity to obtain funds at the right time, of the right type, in the desired amount, and at various stages of development. One approach is clustering the existing fragmented government sponsored SBS financing
schemes and action programs into SBS financing packages. Well-organized and clustered schemes and action programs can be easier to implement and offer better management of financing outreach activities. It can also help to examine and identify available weaknesses of the already implemented action programs and schemes by conducting the necessary analysis in a SMARTER  way. I proposed seven SBS financing packages as shown in Figure 1. The clustering option is theoretical and should not be treated as a prescription that guarantees a proven best approach. It should be subject to careful examination and substantiation from a cost-benefit analysis point of view by PGACs stakeholder organizations and their supporting partners. I would like to underline that it is easy to design and propose schemes and action programs, but the most intricate task is to successfully implement and
broaden the outreach to the targeted beneficiaries. This challenge rests mainly on the shoulders of the executing agencies. Each one of the SBS financing packages proposed in Figure 1 should act as an umbrella for the related SBS financing schemes and action programs. For example, the Direct Financial Assistance Package can contain schemes and action programs dealing with providing financial assistance for: new venture feasibility studies, anticipated technological and innovation works and discoveries conducted by SBS, banks to pursue smooth lending to SBS, capital starved new business opportunities, women owned SBS, and establishing new ventures in socially and economically disadvantaged areas in line with the regionalized economic policy of the Atlantic Provinces.
F I G U R E 1 : G O V E R N M E N T S P O N S O R E D S B S F I N A N C I N G PA C K A G E S
Direct financial assistance schemes
Direct credit grant schemes
GOVERNMENT Bank loan susidization schemes SPONSORED SBS FINANCING OUTREACH Loan guarantee schemes
Direct equity participation schemes
Export financing schemes
Financing of technical and managerial advisory services and performance upgrading extension schemes
The theoretical methodological steps shown in Figure 2 are intended to serve as supportive tools for successful implementation of government sponsored
SBS financing schemes and programs. I recommend them for concerned agencies to consider for possible use in their SBS financing modus operandi.
FIGURE 2:METHODOLOGICAL STEPS OF IMPLEMENTING GOVERNMENT SPONSORED SBS FINANCING S C H E M E S P R O M O T I N G T H E C A P A B I L I T Y O F S B S I N E F F I C I E N T R E S O U R C E U T I L I Z AT I O N
STUDY THE GENERAL S I T U AT I O N O F T H E E X I S T I N G AND NEW SBS IN TERMS OF: their types of activities, their locational aspects, their importance in the export promotion and import substitution national development strategies, their contribution towards achieving environmental sustainability, their present and potential contribution to job creation, their contribution towards: the promotion of regional balances in economic development and through narrowing ruralurban developmental gap and the income inequality, their contribution towards enhancing indigenous technological, managerial and entrepreneurial capacity, their contribution to overall industrialisation, their contribution as a means of overall manpower development. IDENTIFY problem areas that need government assistance
DESIGN the desired SBS financing scheme(s) and structure of the organizational set-up required for the implementation of the designed scheme.
3 RAISE THE REQUIRED FUNDING for the designed SBS financing scheme(s) (the required funding can be generated from government treasury, foreign sources, contributions from private and public business organisations and financial institutions and contributions from the community at large).
4 REPEAT THE PROCESS for designing a better and realisable scheme(s). EXPRESS the clear purpose of the financing scheme(s) including other related extension advisory services
5 SET-UP the comprehensive eligibility criteria (For example, for SBS to qualify, it may be necessary for them to engage in certain activities which are vital for economic development in the provinces of Atlantic Canada) IS THE TEST RESULT VALID? (i.e., is the designed scheme(s) helpful and instrumental?)
enough but that is complicated by getting your name out there. We found this to be very challenging. Also, at the beginning of opening a restaurant money is basically a big challenge. But first and foremost, in this type of business, experience is key. You could have all the money in the world, and not know how to run a restaurant, and it will fail. In the first year, eight out of ten of these types of businesses fail. So you need to have experience, knowledge and a good relationship with people to make it work. But even with these key ingredients, the banks didnt help us at all. We had to put all of the start up costs and daily operations costs on our own credit cards, and our lines of credits. We took the risk because banks dont look at you for years.
Christine is known for consistently bringing passion, hope and determination to every project or challenge presented. In 2006, Christine was recognized by her peers and was added as a Board Member for the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia. The Wooden Monkey was awarded Best New Business of the Year 2006 by the Halifax Chamber of Commerce and she was an award presenter at the 2007 Chamber of Commerce Metro Halifax Business Awards. Also in 2006, the restaurant was a finalist in the Better Business Bureaus Ethics Awards. Outside of her professional
Q A Q A Q A
A S A F E M A L E E N T R E P R E N E U R S TA R T I N G Y O U R O W N B U S I N E S S W H AT W E R E S O M E O F T H E C H A L L E N G E S A N D O P P O R T U N I T I E S Y O U FA C E D ?
I think females have come along way. In fact, in the restaurant industry it has been mainly men previously. But I dont feel this pressure and it certainly hasnt hurt us as female restaurateurs in this particular case. People may be surprised that you are one of the owners or you are an entrepreneur because I think that they assume it is going to be a man. But I dont really feel it and I try not to focus on it. Im determined to make it work and thats what keeps me going.
W H AT A D V I C E W O U L D Y O U G I V E O T H E R F E M A L E E N T R E P R E N E U R S G E T T I N G R E A D Y T O S TA R T A N E W B U S I N E S S V E N T U R E ?
career, Christine, a proud mother of two, is active within the youth development community by volunteering as a coach and instructor within the Metro Basketball Association.
Be strong, be determined, be passionate, be enthusiastic, be positive, and dont take no for an answer. I believe that with both companies and banks, whether you are trying to get financing or trying to market yourself. You hit a lot of roadblocks and you are constantly faced with no, no, no. You may actually feel sometimes like youre not going to get the yes, but if you keep going and keep positive there is always a way, there is always a way.
W H AT R O L E D O Y O U T H I N K W O M E N S N E T W O R K S A N D A S S O C I AT I O N S P L AY I N T H E SUCCESS OF FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS?
I think that these networks provide a sort of a community feeling for women so that they can achieve their goals. Also, they provide a forum to connect with good role models. Women can look and see other women who are achieving their goals so you dont feel so discouraged. I am a mom as well, so I have a little more to balance and that often comes with being a woman. There is a little more involved. However, I think that it creates a good outlook. You can respect and look up to somebody and feel confident. In addition, womens networks also provide help. You know at the Wooden Monkey we received a grant from the Women in Business Initiative  for a software package that is very very expensive, but it is essential to have for costing in our business.
Cassandra Dorrington, President Vale and Associates Human Resource Management & Consulting
Vale & Associates was started back in March of 2004, and basically I had always wanted to do consulting work. It was an ideal time in my life professionally and personally to actually step outside the corporate environment and create my own consulting business. Cassandra started her own business after a rich 20 year career in human resource management and accounting. Cassandra
Dorrington is the President of Vale & Associates Human Resource
My company specializes in providing Human Resource Management Services and consulting to small to medium-sized companies. I focus on these clients because many of them are in the early stages of development and look externally to engage HR expertise. So as these companies continue to grow they are looking for the expertise and infrastructure that will support their business model. We also have a contingent of large scale clients who have HR inside the organization but, given their requirements for special projects, they look to bring expertise from external consultants to deliver on those projects.
Management and Consulting Inc. Prior to starting her own business, Cassandra worked in the high-tech, telecommunications, and consulting industry with organizations such as Aliant Inc., xwave, and Deloitte Consulting. Cassandra specialized in
Human Resource Advisory Services, Employment Equity/Diversity, and Training and Development and has provided consulting services to a number of national and international clients in the private, parapublic, public and not-forprofit sectors. She is a graduate of Saint Marys University with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Business Administration Degree (Executive Program).
BARRIERS TO INNOVATIVENESS / IMPLEMENTATION OF INNOVATIONS
skills, distribution network, intensity of competition, existing infrastructure, geographic/distance related issues;
ACCESS TO: capital/funds technical/engineering/legal/accounting expertise good (skilled, motivated) employees distribution network
EVENT / ACTION
I N N O VAT I O N ENTREPRENEURSHIP C R E AT I V I T Y
PRODUCTIVITY QUALITY LOWER COSTS
BETTER COMPETITIVE POSITION HIGHER MARKET SHARE H I G H E R P R O F I TA B I L I T Y
STIMULATORS OF INNOVATIVENESS Stimulators are classified similarly as barriers to innovativeness.
It is important to note that stimulators are NOT a reverse side of barriers. Let us assume that factor x is identified as a barrier. Removing this barrier does not mean that a stimuli towards innovativeness has occurred. This is similar to speeding in a 70 km/hour zone, in that the 70 km/hour limit is a barrier. If you speed you may be fined. However, if you drive at 50 km/hour you will not be rewarded. Furthermore, removing a barrier of 70 km/hour may not stimulate you to drive 50 km/hour. Likewise, removing barriers to innovate will not necessarily stimulate innovations.
Moreover, one should note that some barriers are considered constraints that cannot be removed. There are limited opportunities to change the location of the business we will not move a Fredericton business to Hong-Kong. Also, it may be difficult to cope with issues of outflow of professionals and skilled labour, for example. However, innovations may also occur when a disadvantage is changed into an advantage.
About the Study:
A questionnaire was mailed to randomly selected companies, with an additional web-page version of the questionnaire developed and forwarded to potential respondents. Canvassing was used to acquire responses to the questionnaire. Frequent responses by prospective respondents included: I have no time, I am not interested in aspects of innovation, or I cannot answer the questionnaire - it is the boss job. Therefore, the length and comprehensiveness of the questionnaire cannot explain the refusal to participate. Lastly, we conducted interviews with selected entrepreneurs from the Greater Fredericton Area. Fifty-two useful questionnaires and eleven interviews formed a database for this pilot study. The results from the questionnaires and interviews are very generic. The conclusions that can be extracted from this pilot study do not permit suggestions related to specific types of companies, yet they nevertheless provide valuable feedback for institutions and individuals planning for further discussions regarding business success and innovations.
W H AT S T I M U L AT E S I N N O VAT I O N S ?
Respondents claim they would innovate more if they had easier access to the following (listed in order of importance): Funding for innovation Knowledge and opportunities for enhancement (via information, education, and training, or with technical expertise) Governmental assistance for innovation
Funding is certainly helpful. This motive is further discussed when examining answers to other questions from the inquiry. For example, what brings business success? Most respondents answered that success comes from access to capital and good employees (knowledge). Questionnaire results indicated that grants/loans are the second most useful source in support of innovativeness. Each interviewee shared the same response in terms of elements that can foster innovation and at the same time stop innovation from occurring, with money at the forefront. As one stated, a lack of money normally stops innovation, and finances the lack of and the inability to find small grants/loans prevent SMEs from innovating because without the capital it is difficult to innovate. At the same time, R&D projects or commercial opportunities fosters this along with community and support networks among both municipal and business.
W H AT B R I N G S B U S I N E S S S U C C E S S ?
Respondents believe that the key to business success is related to: intuition, common sense, flexibility and imagination; ability to recognize market opportunities; drive for success; and, ability to generate, find and implement good solutions Networks of friends and contacts, business experience, or good education are of much lesser importance to respondents.
Innovation is believed to have a positive impact on business performance, giving the respondents a sense of optimism and confidence about the success/position of their firms. They are confident and believe that if I want to succeed, I will, and innovation may help.
In order to succeed you must have the money. Respondents felt that grants and soft loans are important to their companies. For some, however, it is a struggle to receive these because [it is] hard to find support services.
the business world. It should be noted, however, that some SMEs move much faster than the process of receiving government assistance: we can NEVER work with the long time frames government programs require; therefore, we are not considered for these key government programs. As one interviewee noted, These government agencies and officers do not seem to realize that time is of the essence and it is important. Tax credits are considered a good incentive for innovating: tax credits for example recognize and eliminate the risk factor. However, R&D Tax credits are helpful but cumbersome. Here, it is important to note that government programs screen out commercially viable projects, in favor of projects with a long lead time.
Current research suggests that there are no substantial differences in perceptions of items that are important for business success in SMEs, or for underlying requirements that stimulate innovativeness between selected respondents. There may be a tendency, especially in small size enterprises, to rely on business, intuitive judgment, while ignoring systematic methods. Complexity of processes and a lack of well established methods add to the difficulties. Further complications arise when a complex web of personal preferences and business contacts strengthen the temptation for bias and subjectivity. Respondents generally believe that they are innovative and that innovations positively impact a companys performance. Many suggested more innovations will occur if easier access to funding and knowledge is available, which would allow them to exploit emerging opportunities. Further, there is a belief that business success is driven by entrepreneurial spirit and capabilities which aid in the discovery and implementation of business solutions. Formalized methods of innovation such as aid in idea selection or governmental assistance are not considered pertinent to success for respondents. Although the sample is not representative, results indicate that entrepreneurs perceptions of conditions are similar, irrespective of operational context. Further study is obviously warranted but our preliminary observations suggest that programs focused on fostering entrepreneurial orientation and stimulation of innovativeness may be developed and transferred across regional and technological borders.
Wojciech Nasierowki is a member of the International Business and the Strategy and Marketing Areas at the University of New Brunswick. He teaches Competitive Strategy, International Business, and New Product Development in the BBA program. He has focused his research interests on aspects of formulation and evaluation of strategic plans; and technology management and its international transfer; as well as the impact of international and technological changes on the operations of companies. Currently, he conducts studies on innovations by small and medium-size enterprises.
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