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People walk around candles covered in traditional Japanese papers and bearing messages from residents in the Tohoku area, which was devastated by last year's earthquake and tsunami, at the "Smile for Japan" event in Tokyo October 19, 2012.

KIM KYUNG-HOON/Reuters

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Entrepreneurship plays major recovery role

A Tokyo-based social entrepreneurship group called ETIC is encouraging 200 people from some of the biggest corporations in Japan to move to the recovering Tohoku region for up to a year, in part to help put companies back together, TriplePundit reports.

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The entrepreneurial recovery effort came about when the organization recognized it could help mitigate the economic disaster resulting from the 2011 tsunami by rebuilding infrastructure. ETIC has been involved in kick-starting the startup and social enterprise scene in Japan since 1993. To this point 74 "fellows" have arrived to work with local social enterprises, and many of them are originally from the affected region.

ETIC has decided to double the size of the initiative to meet demand. Arriving participants have been involved in such areas as operations management, business development and marketing. ETIC says it wants to create "a positive spiral of entrepreneurship" by bringing young leaders to the region as part of an incubation program.

Top-of-mind issues

More than 80 per cent of Canadian private companies that responded to a recent survey are planning to expand in the next year. The results are based on PwC Canada's eighth annual Business Insights survey, which compiles concerns, top-of-mind issues and how well firms are performing from more than 400 CEOs. Other findings include:

  • 77 per cent expect business to develop in the next year, 21 per cent forecast no change, and 4 per cent expect a worse year, a conservative outlook compared with 2011.
  • 53 per cent say mobile is the priority for technology development, and 47 per cent plan to use social media for sales and marketing. But one quarter have no plans to invest in mobile and 28 per cent have no intention of using social media.
  • 34 per cent say they will use social media to attract and retain new talent, but only 16 per cent will leverage it to foster internal collaboration.
  • 77 per cent of company leaders clearly communicate their business focus on innovation as a priority.

Driving traffic to events

EventBrite has released its latest look at behaviours and trends in social commerce, which it defines as event-related transactions driven through sharing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The top of the waves findings based on activity from its site include:

  • Facebook drives more revenue from ticket sales than any other platform.
  • Twitter creates the most event-page traffic.
  • Italy has the highest sharing activity, Ireland the lowest.
  • Australia boasts the highest dollars per share (DPS) on Facebook; Twitter value is best in Ireland, Canada and The Netherlands; DPS on LinkedIn is tops in France.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

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Innovation in financing

What is sustainable purchasing? When you buy a good or a service, you take time to consider its economic value and its environmental and social impact at local, regional, and global levels. You make purchases that have a high economic value and a positive environmental impact. An introductory seminar from Small Business BC on Oct. 24, from 1 pm to 3 pm, will help participants apply sustainable purchasing to their business operations.

Networking for immigrant entrepreneurs

The KIP Business Network in Kingston, Ont., was created to provide opportunities for immigrant entrepreneurs and businesspeople to meet and share experiences. Meetings will be held every fourth Tuesday of the month, including one this Tuesday from 6 pm to 8 pm.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Choose the best credit card

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With all kinds of rewards programs and other benefits, it makes sense for small business owners to take the time to shop for the best credit card for their business. We lay out a number of options.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Canadian companies represent

Many Canadian-based companies are hawking their products in international markets quite intentionally, in part relying on the good name of Canada to make their sales, Sarah Boesveld reported in November, 2010.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com.Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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