Business Opportunities in Brampton

City Crest 

Speaking Notes for
Her Worship Mayor Susan Fennell 


On the occasion of 

Business Opportunities in Brampton

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holy Name of Mary Catholic Secondary School


Thank you for inviting me to speak to you today.  It is always a pleasure to be engaged with Brampton’s youth because of your energy and creativity. 


And it is going to be your energy and creativity that will mature into the talent and expertise Brampton’s business community needs in the future. 


The business opportunities in Brampton are boundless, and you are going to become an essential part of turning those opportunities into reality.


Brampton attracts successful businesses, exciting job opportunities, and attractive commercial investments every year. The Brampton business community is holding strong even in this tough economy, and as the economy improves, Brampton is only going to become stronger. 

Significant investments in Brampton’s community, like improved public transit systems, increased park maintenance, competitive tax rates, increased road restoration, and advanced fire and safety technology, have made Brampton the sought-after destination for thriving businesses and lucrative commercial investments from Ontario and nationwide. 

The proof is in our dynamic industrial profile.  Brampton is home to companies like Rogers Communications, DaimlerChrylser, Loblaw Company Limited, The Clorox Company, General Mills, Ital Pasta and Best Buy.

Our downtown, home to the Rose Theater, continues to attract new businesses, including the national headquarters for Trow Engineering, one of Canada’s largest engineering consultancies.

The construction market is also thriving. According to Statistics Canada, Brampton is the fourth most active construction market in Canada.

Brampton is a leader in the classroom as well. Home to such high-level learning institutions as the Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning Davis Campus, the newest branch of Trios College, the Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC), Magna Technical Training Centre, and a slew of corporate-based private research centres, Brampton makes innovation our ambition.

Brampton is a city of excellence, innovation, and incredible potential. It is a city of prosperity, passion, and possibility — of diversity, distinction, and dedication. And it is a city of opportunity.

Recent economic development reports show that 40 per cent of Brampton’s labour force both live and work in the City. With a median age of 32.6, Brampton’s workforce is likely to mold the City into a consistent source of prosperity and unlimited possibility in the future. 

Brampton’s Economic Development Office works each and every day to attract new businesses to Brampton, so that our citizens can live, play & WORK right here at home.  Let me tell you more about EDO.




Brampton’s economic development program is a forward-thinking curriculum designed to help Brampton businesses build, grow, and innovate every day. It consists of the following strategies:

Workforce Development
Brampton is a strong supporter of higher learning and advanced education. The City is a strategic partner and investor in the new Sheridan Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies, opened in 2005.

Business Retention Program
Brampton continues to form strategic alliances with its industry clusters to manage effective local business relationships.

Investment Marketing Program
The Economic Development Office has set up a strategic economic development marketing initiative with local industries to continue to promote local business success.

Tourism Brampton
Tourism Brampton highlights the uniqueness and utter brilliance of the City’s local venues and lucrative infrastructure development to attract residents and businesses to the City every year.

Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC)
SBEC offers local business owners access to business planning, business registration, counseling, research, leadership, and mentorship advice, tools, and seminars.  This is the area that I believe you will be most interested in and so we’ll focus on this over the next 10 minutes. 

North American has a new economic destination.  There is powerful evidence that the bulk of new jobs are being created by newer enterprises, rather than the old ones that may have employed your parents and grandparents.  Full-time, permanent employment with benefits and retirement packages appears to be steadily less common. Instead, relatively more jobs are filled by self-employed or contracted workers.  Many of you, perhaps even the majority, will need to be entrepreneurial thinkers, and in fact, your generation will actually prefer the flexibility and control that this type of work will offer you in terms of lifestyle.  Your grandfather may have worked for one company his whole life.  Your mother and father will likely have worked for 4-5 employers during their careers.  It is estimated that this generation – you - will have had 10-15 jobs by the time you are 35 years old! 

Employers will be demanding strong communication skills, enhanced inter-disciplinary focus, an understanding of project management, and innovative problem-solving skills.  The ultimate skill that will always be in demand in a rapidly changing environment is that of a creative/innovative problem solver.  In such an environment, yesterday’s answer is almost always no longer correct.  Finding today’s or tomorrow’s answer is critical.  And, the pace of change is so fast that everyone needs this skill.  It is truly the age of the entrepreneur! 

And the Brampton Small Business Enterprise Centre, part of the Economic Development Office, and one of the most respected Centres across the province, is here to help all citizens as you explore, plan, launch and grow your own ventures.



The first step (not so simply!) is to come up with an idea for a business that excites you.  How do you choose the Right Business or Self-Employment Scenario for yourself? 

Consider the following:

Your interests, passions, hobbies; what excites you that can be turned into a business?

Your Skills & Education

Previous Work Experience

How much Capital you have access to & the cost to launch your specific business idea

Feasibility: An assessment of Customer Demand & Profitability

Lifestyle analysis: what kind of lifestyle do you want, and does the business you want to operate offer that possibility?

Finally:  a choice between Starting-up a new venture vs. Buy an Existing Business vs. buying a Franchise


Advantages & Disadvantages of Business Ownership / Self-Employment

There are some exciting advantages to owning and running your own business, whether that’s a business with you as the only employee, or a business with dozens or hundreds of employees.



You are the boss

You have a high degree of control over all aspects

You’ll have unlimited earnings potential

& Potential tax advantages

The self-fulfillment of doing something you love

A flexible schedule that you control

Creating your own work environment

Possibly less stress because of all the factors just listed

Of course, there are challenges in running your own business that you wouldn’t incur as an employee. 



Pressure to Perform

Financial Risk

Irregular Income

Difficult to Leave Work Behind

OR Motivation Difficulties

Stress on Personal relationships

Loneliness & Isolation

Need to be an Expert in a Variety of Tasks



Let’s talk more about having to be an expert at a lot of different things.


Need to be an Expert



You will need to wear four different hats as a business owner:


You:  the expert / technician: at whatever the operations of your business are;

You:  the visionary: strategically steering your business toward ever-changing opportunity; and

You:  the manager:  keeping up with the administrative duties of business

You:  the sales rep: finding and keeping customers year-round

Balancing the four takes experience, talent, drive & self discipline 


Planning to Succeed

The key to determining the feasibility of your business

model is to prepare a written, formalized business plan.



A business plan is important because…



It acts as a Road Map to your Destination

An Idea Isn’t a Business – you need to gather resources

Thoughts Become Real on Paper – a weak idea will be discovered as you write

It allows you to explore “What if…” Scenarios

It Eliminates Much of the Risk

Assesses Potential for Profitability

Requires you to Set Goals to work towards

It is a Decision-Making Tool for “opportunities"


So if the idea of running your own business is appealing to you, the Enterprise Centre can give you a way to experiment with this in a way that is appropriate for your age, work experience, and how much money you have, through three youth programs:



SummerCompany:  A hands-on opportunity to run your own business next summer, with training, resources, mentoring and up to $3000 in funding.  All the information is on-line at and the Brampton Enterprise Centre can work with you now to help develop your business model and application.

Business Plan Competition: A business plan writing competition, with a first place prize of $1500 in Bramalea City Centre gift certificates, plus a chance to win at a provincial level as well.  Brampton’s winner last school year was also a regional winner just last month, out of more than 1100 submitted plans!


BizKids Camp:  For your younger brothers & sisters ages 9-12, a new summer day camp through Parks & Rec to learn business basics through activities, games and a trade show at the end of the camping week.


Information on all of the programs is available by contacting the Brampton Small Business Enterprise Centre either on-line at or by calling them at 905-874-2650.


Other Brampton Enterprise Centre Services, all of which are either free or low cost:


Leading Edge Info – wall, web, in person

Reference Library

Free Business Consultations

Free Business Plan Reviews

Referral Program to Lawyers, Accountants and other professionals

Seminars & Workshops

Networking & Events


Take advantage of these wonderful youth opportunities and small business supports, available to you here in Brampton.  They are here for you to develop your entrepreneurial spirit.  Good Luck, and if we can be of help, be sure to contact the Enterprise Centre at:

33 Queen St. West, 1st Floor, Brampton, ON, L6Y 1L9