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Small Business Briefing

Startup Canada officially launches 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. Download our app here.

Federal government offers support to entrepreneur-led initiative

A new Canadian organization that aims to celebrate entrepreneurship and identify challenges facing Canadian startups gets its official launch in Ottawa tonight.

Startup Canada, which has already started a cross-Canada tour, will get a boost of support tonight as MPs, industry leaders and entrepreneurs come together for the official launch at the University of Ottawa.

Startup Canada is the first national entrepreneur-led initiative of its kind. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who will be attending tonight's event, said in a press release that he was looking forward to throwing his support behind the initiative.

"We look forward to working with this group going forward to help put Canadian entrepreneurs on the world stage," he said in the release.

“Startup Canada welcomes the federal government’s support as we aim to identify actionable proposals and priorities for advancing entrepreneurship in Canada,” added Startup Canada co-founder Victoria Lennox.

About 2.7 million Canadians are self-employed, according to Stats Canada. The national tour aims to help connect, inspire and grow this community, according to the press release.

"This will not only diversity Canada's workforce, but also attract new investment across multiple sectors, and inspire the next generation of Canadian startups," said Startup Canada founding chairman Adam Chowaniec in the release.

The initiative is already one month into its six-month cross-Canada tour. It has already completed the Nova Scotia leg of the trip, and next heads to Prince Edward Island, followed by Ontario, New Brunswick and then points west.

DIY SEO management just got easier

BrandYourself, a U.S. startup which offers an easy approach to managing your online profile, has added a new feature to help small businesses figure out where their search engine results are coming from in a more intuitive way than Google Analytics, reports TechCrunch.

The new feature reveals data about who is visiting a BrandYourself profile page, as well as showing what search parameters brought them there.

It's designed to allow users to figure out how to optimize their online presence to garner more traffic to their page. Every time someone visits your profile, BrandYourself can send an e-mail alert notification about how they got there and what company they are searching the company from.

Yahoo takes aim at small business owners

In an effort to woo small business owners, Yahoo has introduced its Small Business Dashboard to help consolidate marketing results and online-reputation information into one platform, reports Clickz Marketing News.

The marketing dashboard is comprised of four components: search engine listings, online reputation statistics, campaign tracking and website traffic analysis. The package is designed to make Yahoo a hub for small business owners, giving them the ability to keep an eye on every aspect of their online presence from one place.

"We're now taking it beyond Web hosting to, 'How can you help me grow my business and manage it day-to-day?' Tom Byun, general manager of Yahoo Small Business, told Clickz.

The dashboard allows small businesses to track where they are listed on other sites and directories, as well as pulling online reputation information from up to 8,000 sources, including Twitter and Facebook.


Montreal Startup Festival

Entrepreneurs will converge on Montreal from July 11 to July 13 for the International Startup Festival. The three-day event will feature aspiring entrepreneurs pitching and presenting their ideas, with one deserving startup taking home an investment of at least $50,000 supplied by a group of angel investors and venture capitalists. The deadline for nominations for the prize is Friday, May 4 at 5 p.m. For more information, visit its website.

Toronto Talks presents Jumpstart Your Sales

In the latest in this series of workshops featuring industry experts, Toronto Talks will be joined by international business speaker and trainer Eric Lofholm on May 8. Mr. Lofholm will be speaking about a number of business topics, including networking and ways to generate and convert leads. Tickets are $35 in advance, and $45 at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Toronto Talks website.


The Challenge: Can biking tour firm expand without diluting its brand?

In this continuing feature, the Report on Small Business seeks out expert advice to help a small or medium-sized company overcome a key issue. This week, Toronto-based Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventures struggles with whether opening up its business to more novice cyclists will risk alienating its core customers of more experienced mountain bikers, with whom its built its reputation.


Sake maker brewing the next big thing

Masi Shiroki, the founder and owner of Vancouver's Artisan SakeMaker shared his thoughts on the premium sake business with the Report on Small Business in this Nov. 19, 2009 story.

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