Chitra Anand, head of public relations, communications and corporate reputation for Microsoft Canada, spoke to a crowd of Brampton entrepreneurs at the Courtyard Marriott on Tuesday. Anand’s keynote was on The Future of Marketing: Trends, Technology and Consumer Behaviour. Her message: technology has changed the way we buy. “Old school” marketing methods are no longer delivering what a business needs.
The Brampton Entrepreneur Centre (BEC) hosted the networking and breakfast event, with the support of the Province of Ontario. At the event, $45,000 in grant money was given to nine Brampton entrepreneurs who completed the Starter Company program, an entrepreneurship program designed to help young people in Ontario start or expand a small business.
“Small businesses are our lifeblood and their success is critical in shaping Brampton’s future,” said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. “Programs such as Starter Company help stimulate our youth early in their career and nurture their entrepreneurship skills.
Councillor Jeff Bowman, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, along with co-Chair Councillor Doug Whillans, helped kick off the event. “Ms. Anand is a dynamic speaker with a message that’s very relevant for today’s businessperson,” said Councillor Bowman. “We’re very excited to offer these kinds of outstanding learning and networking opportunities through the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre.”
Incredible growth in the digital space creates the opportunity to leverage new mediums of communication. Consumers interact differently and have become referral-based buyers with direct access to information and influencers. A power shift is taking place, from the business to the consumer. Ms. Anand described the impact of this shift and how to make sense of it in a meaningful way.
Youth Jobs Strategy
The Starter Company program is funded through the Province of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, and delivered through regional or municipal offices like the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre. It’s one of the many resources entrepreneurs with plans to launch or grow a business can tap into.
The Starter Company grant recipients were: Lisa Clarke (Lala Wellness), Mary Musisi (Mack Fitness), Amanda Li (Nutrition. Wellness. Simplified), Crystal Smith (Party Haven), Francesco Giuliano (Soundrive Records), Hillary Webster (Webster Naturopathic), Oliver Bartoszek (Northern Tech), Lovedeep ‘LD Puri (Laroop Marketing) and Jermaine Banks (Authenticity).
BEC runs events throughout the year to support business and connect entrepreneurs. It also offers individual consultations and advice, and is the access point for funding and programs to support start-up and established businesses.
Chitra Anand is at the forefront of an important new movement in the workplace: intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurs are the people within your organization who possess an entrepreneurial spirit, driving innovation, creative thinking, and new ideas. The current head of PR for Microsoft Canada, Anand has been an intrapreneur for her entire career. Her talks reveal how to foster that spirit, and how to stay on the cutting edge of market trends, technology, and consumer behaviour.– CINEWS