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Start and Run a Business


January 16, 2017 | Raya | Comments (0)



Between January 25th and 27th the City of Toronto and the founders of StartupFest present ResolveTO, a festival that will bring together the best of young startups and large organizations for a look at innovation, disruption and emerging markets. The emphasis will be on corporate and societal challenges that engage the startup and innovation community on finding solutions.

This event will include content from both startup veterans, and enterprise leaders, with a winter village showcasing relevant themes in the industry. A Startup track will focus on scaling, acquisition, and enterprise partnerships, while an Enterprise track will explore how companies should use a startup mindset, innovation, and self-disruption to survive and thrive in today’s high-change business environment.

The City is supporting ResolveTO in its inaugural year with the view of building this event into an annual large-scale festival that brings the world's most innovative corporations to Toronto to set millions of dollars in challenges for the startup community to resolve.

This 3 day event is being held at 505 Richmond St West in Toronto. For more information about this festival visit the ResolveTO website.



A Global Gathering: The Best of Young Entrepreneurs and Large Organizations

January 16, 2017 | Alessya | Comments (0)



The most influential minds in startups and enterprises will gather in Toronto, on January 25th, 2017, for three days of unconstrained thinking. A unique, collaborative mash-up of innovation, disruption, adaptive cultures and emerging marketplaces will be on display at the newly launched ResolveTO.

ResolveTO is produced by Startupfest, Canada’s largest startup event, held in Montreal every July. Startupfest is Canada’s defining event for entrepreneurs; past speakers include Alexis O’Hanian (Founder, Reddit), Kara Swisher (Executive Editor, Re/Code), Tim O’Reilly (President, O’Reilly Media), Tobias Lutke (Founder, Shopify), Danae Ringelmann (Founder, Indiegogo), to name a few.

If you're an entrepreneur or just curious about what the start-up community is up to, ResolveTO is the place to be and be seen. This festival will include a range of speakers, workshops and pitch competitions, where you will have the opportunity to brainstorm and network with like-minded individuals. 

Prepare yourself for the event by reading up on the latest happenings in entrepreneurship, disruption and innovation:

Big Bang Disruption  The Great Disruption  Lean Startups for Social Change The People Equation


Small Businesses You Can Start on a Shoestring

January 12, 2017 | Raya | Comments (2)


Small business
(image courtesy of Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India)

Are you thinking of starting a new business in 2017 but don't have a large amount of capital to get started?  The following businesses can be started inexpensively and in some cases, with almost no start-up cash at all. Each one can be started very quickly and all of them can be operated as home-based businesses. You will not become a millionaire running these businesses. What these businesses offer to the person prepared to work at them is a good living, a flexible schedule and the satisfaction of being your own boss. If you don't know where to start visit an Enterprise Toronto office for assistance with writing a business plan,registering your business, information on licensing/permits/insurance or attend one of their numerous information sessions or programs that can help your business get off the ground.

1. Pet sitting/walking

Turn your love for animals into a great business opportunity. Many people leave their pets at home alone most of the day while they are at work, but are willing to pay people to check on their pets and walk them during the day. Professional pet caregivers come into the home to care for the pet while the owner is away, feeding, walking and playing with the animal.The cost to start this business would be marketing materials and a reliable car to get from client to client. Check with associations and governmental organizations to find out if you need insurance coverage.

2. Tutoring

If you excel at one or more subjects, consider using that skill to tutor students of all ages. Costs of starting this business would be related to marketing your business. Access to transportation would allow you to go further afield.

3. Lawn care/snow removal/gardening

By starting a gardening business and combining it with snow removal, you could have a year-round business. Time-crunched home-owners prefer to do other things on their days off than mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. This is a great job for someone who likes to be outdoors and can be started inexpensively with basic gardening tools and business cards and fliers. Snow removal services might require either a truck or a snowblower.

4. Handyman/painting

Do you find it easy to do home repairs?  Can you do very simple electrical or plumbing repairs? And do you enjoy painting? If so, this is the job for you! Many people just don't have the time or interest in doing their own repairs or painting. Start a handyman business and watch your client base grow. Check with associations and governmental organizations for any required permits, licenses or insurance.

5. Cleaning services

Keeping your home clean can be difficult if you work full-time and have a family. With such busy lives, people are willing to pay someone else to clean their homes, leaving them time to do things that they consider to be more important. So, why not start your own cleaning business? Your start-up costs would include cleaning supplies, flyers and other marketing materials to advertise your business.

6. Computer repair services

Are you a computer whiz? Take your computer skills to the next level and get paid for fixing computer problems. Almost all businesses have computers that they rely on and when something goes wrong, their business cannot function properly. Or if you prefer, focus on residential computer services. Check with your insurance company about coverage.

7. Ebay seller

If you have a product that is in demand and that is suitable to be sold online and shipped to the purchaser, selling on Ebay may be the way to go. It can be a more inexpensive option than setting up your own online store and eBay offers all kinds of information to help you sell successfully. Costs involve having a computer, Internet access and a product(s) that would sell.

These are just some of the many jobs you can start on a shoestring. For other ideas and for more information on the above jobs, take a look at these books available at the library:

Starting an ebay business Start and run a home-based food business Start and run a home staging business How to start a home-based mail order business

Home-based business for beginners 101 best businesses for pet lovers How to start a home-based online retail business Start your own consulting business








More Women Are Becoming Entrepreneurs in Ontario

January 3, 2017 | Christina | Comments (1)

                           2015 GEM Ontario Report  
  2015 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
Ontario Report

The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Ontario Report, a recent study produced by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Ryerson University and The Centre for Innovation Studies, analyzed the performance of entrepreneurs in Ontario in comparison with similar economies worldwide, including Canada as a whole, the US, Australia and Germany.  Findings indicate that Ontario is a leader in entrepreneurship participation, with growth from 11.7% in 2013 to 14.4% in 2015. In Ontario’s robust entrepreneurship ecosystem, everybody has access to entrepreneurship, regardless of age, gender or income.

According to the report, Ontario had the highest female entrepreneurship participation rate at 13.8%, and 87.76% of female entrepreneurs were opportunity-driven. Michelle Mcquigge's states in her article More Women Join Growing Ranks of Ontario's Entrepreneurs that "for every 100 male entrepreneurs in the province, the survey suggested that there are 92 female counterparts. This number put Ontario ahead of Canada and many of the other 62 economies included in the global survey."

To read more about woman entrepreneurship in Canada, Industry Canada released the following Special Edition of their Key Small Business Statistics publication that may be of interest: 

            Majority Female-Owned Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises  
  Majority Female-Owned Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises  

This report aims to provide a picture of the general distribution of majority female-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada.

Check out the following titles at the Toronto Public Library for additional information on businesswomen and/or self-employed women:

In the Company of Women     Leading Women       Earning It
In the Company of Women Leading Women Earning It


I Know How She Does It Minority Women Entrepreneurs My New Business
I Know How She Does It Minority Women Entrepreneurs My New Business


Women, Work and the Web     Feminine Capital
    Stiletto Network
Women, Work and the Web Feminine Capital Stiletto Network


From Idea to Scale

November 1, 2016 | Entrepreneur in Residence | Comments (0)

There is no roadmap to growing a start-up, but there are several stages you will go through along the way to scaling your business. Stages Pyramid

Librarian Alessya here again. Networking is a great way for entrepreneurs to paddle through the murky waters of all that is involved to take an idea from concept to a successful product or service. Toronto Public Library offers a monthly Small Business Network in seven library branches across the city, where like-minded individuals can informally meet and chat about the various stages above and to offer support and knowledge to each other. Check it out!



Crowdfunding basics seminar at North York Central Library

October 24, 2016 | Raya | Comments (0)



On Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016, from 6:30pm-8:00pm, Sima Gandhi, TPL's Entrepreneur in Residence will be hosting a free seminar on crowdfunding basics.

This session features special guest, Adam Paulin. Adam was able to raise almost $800,000 on the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo, for his wearable weight-loss technology invention, Thin Ice. He has gone on to run and advise further crowdfunding campaigns that have raised 100s of thousands of dollars to jumpstart businesses. Adam is passionate about crowdfunding and loves to help inspire others to use it to achieve their dreams.

Ms. Gandhi will also be on hand to answer any questions regarding her new product and the process of bringing it to market.

Click here to register for this program.


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). 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.  This program is being offered: 

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




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.