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MBA student Mindy Lampert at the Schulich School of Business at York University, October, 2010. (Della Rollins)
MBA student Mindy Lampert at the Schulich School of Business at York University, October, 2010. (Della Rollins)

Small Business Briefing

A $2-million gift to help firms go global Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

The Certified General Accountants (CGA) of Ontario on Wednesday announced a $2 million gift to York University's Schulich School of Business to fund an academic chair focusing on global competitiveness for small and medium-sized businesses.

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"A significant percentage of CGAs in Ontario serve SMEs," said Doug Brooks, CEO of CGA Ontario. "Research by the CGA Ontario chair in Global Competitiveness for SMEs will play an important role in assisting SMEs to become more competitive outside their domestic markets."

Dezso J. Horvath, dean of Schulich, added the chair will conduct research into the success factors for international expansion "to enhance export know-how and foreign investment competence of businesses, to identify and leverage extensive international networks, and to develop public policies specifically designed to create the conditions necessary for Canadian SMEs to become more broadly engaged in the global marketplace."

The social networking gender battle

LinkedIn developed an online professional networking ranking, and it found that globally and in Canada men are savvier online networkers than women. The company defines online savviness in two ways: the ratio of connections men have to those of women, and the ratio of male members on LinkedIn to female members. In Canada, broken down by industry, men and women were equally savvy in architecture and planning, furniture, market research, public safety, and (yep) ranching.

Coming soon: Billions in funding

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said his department has received applications for $11.6 billion (U.S.) from its Small Business Lending Fund and that it plans to start distributing the money soon, Bloomberg reports. The $30 billion program was set up in September by U.S. Congress and the administration of President Barack Obama to provide low-interest capital injections to community banks that increase lending to small businesses.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

The global search for startups begins

Startup Open, a competition that recognizes early stage businesses with high-growth potential, has launched its search for the 50 most promising new companies around the world as one of the featured events of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011. The competition, now in its second year, is open to entrepreneurs who have a "startup moment" between November, 2010 and November, 2011.

EDITOR'S PICK FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

A lesson from the world's wealthiest people

The Swiss obsession with neutrality inspired the name of one columnist John Warrillow's core ideas for creating a valuable company. "The Switzerland Structure" is a way to evaluate your business to ensure that neutrality allows you to minimize your dependence on any one company or individual. He recommends you consider The Switzerland Structure in all areas of your business.

From the ROSB archives

The momentum toward global diversification is expected to grow among Canadian companies over the next few years as a result of a realization that Canadian business cannot continue to rely on the U.S. market.

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