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Start and Run a Business

Wondering how to make your business idea a reality?

October 21, 2016 | Alessya | Comments (0)

bright idea

Toronto Public Library's Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Sima Gandhi, founder of riince, held two sessions titled "From Idea to Innovation" where she discussed how to go about taking the idea in your head and bringing it to fruition. These were held at Albion and Fairview library.

If you missed the workshops but are still interested in her insights and suggestions, feel free to look at the Powerpoint slides of her presentation: Download Idea to Innovation

Sima is also available to meet one-on-one with aspiring entrepreneurs, if you would like to discuss a business plan or idea and receive guidance from her. Applications for the one-on-one sessions can be found here.

Get your opportunity to meet and ask Sima some questions at her upcoming workshop about social media and influencer marketing. This workshop will be held at the Toronto Reference Library on Thursday, November 10 from 6:30-8:00pm.

Entrepreneurs Share Experiences and Ideas through Entrepreneur in Residence Program

October 19, 2016 | Entrepreneur in Residence | Comments (0)

Thanks to the entrepreneurs who came out to share their experiences and ideas at Toronto Reference Library's Meet the Entrepreneurs program, part of Small Business Month at Toronto Public Library.


The audience was able to hear from, and ask questions of, the following participants:

Eaton Donald - CEO of Tri-D Technologies, makers of ExactFlat, a Toronto-based technology company serving global, national and regional manufacturers of sewn or resin impregnated products.

Mona Datt - Founder of eDecree, a legal and insurance transcription company with offices in Toronto, India and Europe.

Aamar Khwaja - Inventor of modgarden, Aamar is a health advocate and on a mission to see everyone eat healthily.

Adam Paulin - Creator of Thin Ice, a wearable weight-loss technology. Raised almost $800,000 through crowdfunding.  

If you weren't able to attend this workshop, come and meet Adam Paulin at Toronto Reference Library on October 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm. Adam will also be running a session at North York Central Library on Wednesday, November 23 at 6:30 pm.


Tax and Business Best Practices Workshop for Medical Professionals

October 18, 2016 | Christina | Comments (0)

Stethoscope  Blood Pressure  Medical      

Photo credit:  WerbeFabrik

Join us for a discussion on tax-smart planning strategies for medical professionals (or soon to be graduates). Learn how to minimize taxes by using a corporation, pulling cash/investments from your corporation tax-free, reducing your tax bill, and starting your own personal pension plan. This program is being offered:

Fairview Library  Monday, October 24, 2016 
  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
  Fairview Room 3
  Register at the Fairview Info Desk or call 416-395-5750.

A similar program is being offered at the Dufferin/St. Clair branch. Veteran CPA Canada speaker and business advisor David Duong, CPA, CMA, B.Comm, CIM®, shares complex strategies to defer, reduce, minimize and eliminate taxes via prudent, proactive planning.

Dufferin St Clair Library   Tuesday, November 8, 2016
   7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
   Dufferin/St. Clair Branch


If unable to attend, the Canadian Medical Association has information on financial planning and advice.  Topics covered under their website's menu tab are:  MD Financial Management, Incorporation, Banking, Investments, Insurance, Managing Student Debt, MD Private Investment Counsel, and Estate & Trust.

The following titles at Toronto Public Library may be of interest:


              Preparing Your Corporate Tax Returns Start & Run a Medical Practice
       Preparing Your 
 Corporate Tax Returns
Start and Run a
Medical Practice

Crowdfunding Got You Confused?

October 16, 2016 | Alessya | Comments (0)

 Adam Paulin

Adam Paulin

Thursday, October 20, 2016

6:30 – 8:00pm

Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Hall

Adam Paulin was able to raise almost $800,000 through crowdfunding for his wearable weight-loss technology invention, Thin Ice. He has gone on to run and advise further crowdfunding campaigns that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to jumpstart businesses. Paulin is passionate about crowdfunding and loves to help inspire others to use it to achieve their dreams. He will be speaking at Toronto Reference Library to share his story and answer your questions.

Sima Gandhi, TPL's 2016 Entrepreneur in Residence, will also be on hand to answer any questions regarding her new product and the process of bringing it to market.

No registration required.

This workshop will also be repeated at the North York Central Library on Wednesday, November 23; 6:30-8:00pm, located in the Auditorium.

 Interested in learning more about crowdfunding? Try one of these titles available at Toronto Public Library:

Crowdfunding for Beginners The Crowdfunding Revolution The Crowdfunding Handbook The Crowdfunding Bible




Do You Have What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur?

October 12, 2016 | Alessya | Comments (0)

On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, Sima Gandhi, the library's 2016 Entrepreneur in Residence & founder of riince, will be in discussion with a panel of four 'real-life' entrepreneurs regarding life as an entrepreneur in Toronto: the struggles, successes and failures.  

The four guest speakers are:

  Mona Datt Eaton Donald Adam Paulin Aamar

Mona Datt - Founder of eDecree, a legal and insurance transcription company with offices in Toronto, India and Europe.
Eaton Donald - CEO of Tri-D Technologies, makers of ExactFlat, a Toronto-based technology company serving global, national and regional manufacturers of sewn or resin impregnated products. 

Adam Paulin - Creator of Thin Ice, a wearable weight-loss technology. Raised almost $800 000 through crowdfunding.  
Aamar Khwaja - Inventor of modgarden, Aamar is a health advocate and on a mission to see everyone eat healthily.
When: Tuesday, October 18, 2016; 6:30 - 8:00pm
Where: Toronto Reference Library, Hinton Theatre - 3rd floor

The Entrepreneur's Journey

October 7, 2016 | Entrepreneur in Residence | Comments (0)

Starting a business is not a linear process, but this info graphic will give you an idea of the steps along the way.  Learn more and meet like minded people at the Toronto Reference Library's Small Business Series.  

Get one on one small business help from the library's new Entrepreneur in Residence, Sima Gandhi.  Application details here.  Applications close Monday, October 31, 2016.

Stage Pyramid

For more information on starting a small business try one of these titles:

Business for Beginners 18 Steps for Starting Your Business Why Aren't You Your Own Boss? Click Millionaires

Or try one of our 18 business-related databases when doing research for your business plan. Check out these blogs written by business librarians for tips and tricks on how to use the databases such as CARDonline MarketLine  and Research Monitor.




October 5, 2016 | Entrepreneur in Residence | Comments (0)

Note: This blog was originally published on 30Mar2015.  It has been reposted here with permission from the author.


How do these three words intersect?

In 2013, Deloitte published the global Millennial Innovation Survey  with one of its key findings being that: “Innovation is considered to be one of the top three ‘purposes’ of business and just as important as profit.”  At a recent workshop at MaRS, Jennifer Rosart, Innovation Project Manager at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, posed the question: “What is the difference between improvement and innovation?” The smiles on the faces of the workshop’s participants indicated that it was a provocative question. Jennifer expanded on the hospital’s distinction between improvement and innovation by adding the word 'imagination'. Improvement is solving a problem with an existing technology or tool. Innovation is solving a problem by imagining a solution that does not yet exist.

In my work with entrepreneurship education, I was fortunate to be involved with an amazing array of companies and ideas. What I find fascinating about all of them is the human capacity to imagine a different way of being or doing. One impactful example of the 3 i’s in action is MaRS venture eSight. eSight’s goal was to give sight to those deemed legally blind. By imagining a solution that would enable users to have freedom, self-efficacy and confidence with seamless vision, the eSight team was able to innovate a hands-free, mobile and multi-use technology that allows users to move seamlessly through their activities! 

Entrepreneurs imagine a different future and find innovative ways to bring it to reality and to improve lives. If you want to innovate, here are some ways to get started. 

  • Respect your mistakes and learn from them.
  • Be a dissenter—but do not be the type who goes to jail!
  • Be the type of dissenter who questions existing models.
  • Embrace the unknown, don’t fear it.

Join us at the Toronto Reference Library on October 18; 6:30-8:00pm, for an Entrepreneur Panel Discussion, led by me! Hear the stories of various entrepreneurs and how they are changing the way things are traditionally done. 

Get one-on-one small business help by filling out an application here. Applications close Monday, October 31, 2016.



CARDonline Now Available at Toronto Public Library

October 1, 2016 | Christina | Comments (0)

Do you have a small business and would like to compare how much it would cost to advertise in various media; i.e. daily newspapers, radio, outdoor media and more? 

CARDonline, the Toronto Public Library's newest business database, can help. The database provides advertising rates, data and media planning information for advertising, marketing, PR and communiations professionals.

Searching is easy. Type a keyword(s) in the Search Field and limit by Category. Categories are All Categories, Advertising Agencies, Interactive, Magazines, Media Associations, Media Representatives, Newspapers, Other Advertising Media, Out of Home Advertising, Radio and Television

Keyword & Category Search

You can also browse by clicking on a Category or use the drop down menu.
 Browse or Category Search

On the Search Results page, results can be refined by clicking on the links to the left. Refine your search by Type, Province/State, Media Representative, Publisher, Format, Language or Ethnicity. In the example below, results are limited to Polish language newspapers in Toronto.

 Refined Search

To view a listing, click on the selected title. Individual listings include Contact Information, Material Address, Issuance & Closing, Advertising, Rate Card, Position Charges, Mechanical Specifications, and Circulation.

To print a listing, click on Printer Friendly.

CARDonline is available in the Business Department at the Toronto Reference Library and North York Central Library. Ask at the Information Desk for assistance.

Meet Sima Gandhi at the Entrepreneur-in-Residence Launch

September 26, 2016 | Alessya | Comments (0)

Sima Gandhi, EIR
Sima Gandhi

On Wednesday, October 5th, 2016, CBC business commentator, Michael Hlinka, interviews Sima Gandhi, Toronto Public Library's Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR). You are invited to come and meet Gandhi, founder of riince.

Sima was raised in an entrepreneurial family and started her career in the family business of commercial lighting manufacturing at Solera Corp. She has a varied background in private sector startups, spanning several industries including manufacturing, education and construction. The Skylar Project was a social purpose business Sima was involved in, with the objective of building sustainable housing solutions in emerging economies.

As part of the business acceleration team of MaRS’ Entrepreneurship Programs, Sima facilitated and managed relationships with Regional Innovation Centres and Campus Linked Accelerators to make MaRS educational content and experiential workshops accessible. Most recently, Sima founded riince, designing and manufacturing an innovative kitchen utensil addressing the changes in social norms towards eating environmentally friendly proteins and super-seeds.

Sima holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto, and is a member of Founder Institute and Founder Dating.

The 2016 Entrepreneur in Residence Launch is on:
Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Place: Atrium - Toronto Reference Library
No registration required.

Visit the Entrepreneur in Residence web page as well as the Business & Personal Finance blog for upcoming EIR programs during the months of October and November across the city. All EIR programs are free.

Discover how to apply for upcoming free one-on-one business advice sessions with Gandhi.

For other Small Business programs throughout the Toronto Public Library system, visit the Small Business Programs & Seminars web page.

From Idea to Innovation

September 19, 2016 | Alessya | Comments (0)

Sima Gandhi, EIR
       Sima Gandhi

Sima Gandhi, TPL's Entrepreneur in Residence and founder of riince, will be showing us how she took an idea in her mind and transformed it into an innovative physical item. She discusses her new product and the process of: problem solving, solution conceptualization, validation, manufacturing and distribution.

This talk will be occurring at three locations across the city:

1. Tuesday, September 27         

6:30 - 8:00 pm 

Fairview Branch - Room 3


2. Wednesday, September 28    

6:30 - 8:00pm 

Toronto Reference Library - Hinton Theatre

Guest speaker: Lee Cadesky, C-fu FOODS


3. Thursday, October 6              

6:30 - 8:00pm

Albion Branch - Auditorium

These events are free and all are welcome.

If unable to attend, visit the Business & Personal Finance blog for advice written directly by Sima!

Remember to check out the available resources for entrepreneurs and/or small businesses in relation to raising money for your small business at Toronto Public Library. And if you're interested in more workshops across the city, take a look at our small business programming.






Welcome! We are specialized librarians in our business department and we write about current issues for small business owners and those interested in personal finance matters. For more information and resources see our Small Business & Personal Finance page.