10/18/2012 08:32 EDT | Updated 12/17/2012 05:12 EST

Small Business, Huge Impact


I love autumn in Canada. The changing leaves. The crisp fall air. A chance to pick out clothes based on how they look instead of how well they'll keep me from broiling or freezing. The simple things.

Autumn also gives us a chance to celebrate small businesses and the tremendous contribution they make to our economies and our communities. October 15-19 is Small Business Week in Canada and this really is a very special year for me. This year I've partnered with Scotiabank to help shine a light on the important issues and challenges businesses in Canada face today. I've had a lot of experience on both sides of the business table and I'm really looking forward to getting a conversation started with entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders from across the country.

Business success is about relationships -- the relationships we have with our employees, our suppliers and partners, and our friends and family. (Oh, and we probably shouldn't forget our relationship with money.)

I'm extremely passionate about the role small and mid-size businesses play as the backbone of the Canadian economy and -- as an entrepreneur myself -- I'm committed to ensuring the leaders of tomorrow have the resources, information, and tools they need to really succeed.

On Monday, October 15, I hosted a Town Hall on Scotiabank's Small Business online resource, We talked about everything from the wave of entrepreneurialism we're experiencing in Canada today, the burning issue of succession planning, and the unique challenges faced by women in business. I invite you to view the conversation.

And the discussion continues this Friday, October 19 when I'll be answering Twitter and Facebook questions starting at 12 p.m. (EDT) at #SBaskArlene.

I look forward to keeping the conversation going.

Arlene Dickinson


Venture Communications Ltd.

Arlene Dickinson is a Canadian marketing professional and CEO of Venture Communications. She is also a co-star on CBC's Dragon's Den, best-selling author, public speaker, venture capitalist and most importantly a huge lover of life and family. Arlene joined Venture Communications in 1988, taking sole ownership in 1998. During her tenure she has taken the company from a local firm into one of Canada's largest independent marketing firms, with offices in Calgary and Toronto.