QCED to lead research with Royal Bank on SMEs
April 11, 2003
Study to focus on skills needed to manage growth
TORONTO, April 11, 2003 — RBC Financial Group (RBC), Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), and Queen’s Centre for Enterprise Development (QCED) today announced plans to conduct a major study into the management skills needed by entrepreneurs to manage growth and build successful enterprises that can compete in the global marketplace of the 21st century.
The study will build on the “Path to Prosperity” report, published last fall by RBC, CME and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which looked into the barriers to growth for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada and the United States. This second phase of research will focus on the management skills needed by entrepreneurs to take their firms to the next level – with particular emphasis on evolving SMEs who may need access to higher-risk debt or venture capital.
The new study, which will be released in October, will look more deeply into issues identified in the first phase of the survey, including management and leadership skills needed to build innovative enterprises and to profitably manage and sustain growth.
The initial study interviewed 1,200 owner/managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises on both sides of the border. While it showed that Canada and the U.S. have comparable rates of new business creation, Canada lagged significantly in the growth of these new businesses into medium and large enterprises. The study concluded that the removal of barriers to growth is important because small business represents a larger percentage of the Canadian economy than the American market, so any gains the sector makes will have a much greater impact north of the border.
“We need to improve Canada’s ability to grow our most promising small firms to ensure we remain a diversified, value-added economy with high-paying jobs,” said Gordon Nixon, president and CEO, RBC Financial Group. “One of Canada’s major challenges is that we are a small country competing in a global marketplace, where the ability to productively create and commercialize ideas is a critical determinant of economic success. To be successful, we need to create a culture of excellence through education, innovation and business leadership. And we need to find ways to capitalize on our competitive advantages.”
“While we all see the critical importance of fostering innovation and growth for our economy, the reins are in the hands of the entrepreneurial business leader,” said Niraj Bhargava, managing director and CEO of Queen’s Centre for Enterprise Development and a faculty member at Queen’s School of Business. “Ensuring that these leaders have the optimal capabilities and resources to meet their objectives is at the heart of our economic success as a nation.”
“Innovative management is crucial in determining business success in today's rapidly changing marketplace,” said Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. “Best management practice will ultimately determine any company's capacity to improve productivity and competitiveness and to overcome barriers to growth. This study will allow Canadian entrepreneurs to learn from the best in Canada and around the world.”
Topics that will be included in the new study are: managing and balancing growth; management preferences, attitudes and availability; assessing and evolving leadership; aligning organizational structure and governance; transitioning and building management teams; and implementing controls and managing performance. The study will also explore management skills that are inhibitors and enablers of growth, provide an action plan to deal with barriers to growth, and outline best practice leadership skills based on case studies undertaken with SMEs as part of the study.
The study will be led by QCED, drawing upon faculty researchers at Queen’s School of Business. Niraj Bhargava of QCED, and John Gordon, professor emeritus and former dean of Queen’s School of Business, will direct the research with support from Craig Wright, chief economist, RBC Financial Group, and Jayson Myers, chief economist, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. Since its founding in 2000, QCED has conducted focused research on high-growth enterprises and provided hands-on management services to over 200 Canadian SMEs.
Royal Bank of Canada (TSX, NYSE: RY) uses the initials RBC as a prefix for its businesses and operating subsidiaries, which operate under the master brand name of RBC Financial Group. Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest financial institution as measured by market capitalization and assets, and is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. It provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services on a global basis. The company employs 60,000 people who serve more than 12 million personal, business and public sector clients through offices in North America and some 30 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.rbc.com.
Queen's Centre for Enterprise Development – QCED Inc. – (www.qced.com) housed within Queen’s School of Business, conducts contract research and provides fast access to tailored business and management services to growing firms across Canada. QCED’s services are delivered via QCED Knowledge Angels™, business advisors and professors from Queen's School of Business with an unparalleled depth of knowledge and hands-on experience. Queen’s School of Business is one of North America’s premier Business schools and Canada’s largest provider of open enrolment executive education programs.
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters is Canada's Leading Business Network. Its mission is to continuously improve the competitiveness of Canadian industry and to expand export business. Its members account for 75 percent of the country's manufacturing output and 90 percent of exports. For more information, please visit www.cme-mec.ca.
RBC: Beja Rodeck, (416) 974-5506
CME: Carolyn Conner, (613) 238-8888 ext. 222
QCED: Sandra Olszowka, (613) 533-3090