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Elizabeth Banks portrays Effie Trinket, left, and Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from the film The Hunger Games. (Murray Close/AP)
Elizabeth Banks portrays Effie Trinket, left, and Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from the film The Hunger Games. (Murray Close/AP)

Small Business Briefing

Lions Gate investor profits to tune of $1-billion 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.

A Hunger for Twilight

New York-based MHR Fund Management made one smart investment when it picked up a 35-per-cent stake in Vancouver’s Lions Gate Entertainment, the studio that has he Hunger Games and Twilight series in its stable. As this Forbes story points out MHR’s Mark Rachesky, who is also co-chairman of Lions Gate, has profited to the tune of $1-billion (U.S.). A pretty good haul in today’s volatile markets.

Mr. Rachesky made his initial investment in 2009, and picked up shares in the $4 range. The stock rose 27 per cent in 2011, 97 per cent in 2012, and 55 per cent in 2013.

Mr. Rachesky actually trained as a doctor who ended up working for investor Carl Icahn, and then went solo. Lions Gate is MHR’s best-performing investment of its $5-billion or so in holdings.

A white-knuckle ride

Canadian entrepreneurs in a survey cited lack of access to credit (74 per cent) as the biggest deterrent to setting up a business. A research paper from Regus, which polled more than 26,000 managers and owners in 90 countries, found that red tape (65 per cent) and market domination of corporations (51 per cent) were the second and third biggest pain points. “I agree, official mechanisms have not done anything much for my business,” a Regus customer says in a press release. “But if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you soon find that nothing comes easily. It’s a white knuckle ride and you have to have nerves of steel. That’s why it’s usually the entrepreneurial community that generates growth out of an economic downturn, while the big boys run for cover.”

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Connect and create opportunities

Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan holds its annual conference in Saskatoon on Thursday and Friday. It’s designed to bring together business and professional women across Saskatchewan to make connections, build relationships, create opportunities and leave motivated.

Commercialization of innovation

A digital media conference focused on the commercialization of innovation, CDMN Canada 3.0 2013 takes place in Toronto on May 14 and 15. Speakers will outline issues such as entrepreneurship and talent, attracting investment to gamification, and Canadian achievements in the commercialization of information and communications technology (ICT) and mobile.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Faster, cheaper, happier

Process innovation – finding faster, cheaper and better ways to deliver your products and services to customers – can bring you a significant competitive advantage and substantial savings all while building brand equity, writes guest columnist Ken Tencer. He says there’s no better way to delight your customers than faster delivery of a better quality product.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Lessons from Katniss

Katniss Everdeen - the stoic 16-year-old from the Hunger Games novels - is an inspiring figure for fans of the books. But she can also offer some lessons about survival to small business owners, according to Kara Ohngren, the writer of an article from Entrepreneur.com, cited in an earlier edition of our Small Business Briefing.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com.

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