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Embracing Digital Transformation
for Small Businesses

Small Business Show 2024

24 June, 2024  – Metro Toronto Convention Centre

This exclusive one day show will be featuring panel discussions, webinars and keynote presentations by Canada’s top business leaders and entrepreneurs. Don't miss this rewarding event with its exciting lineup of speakers and interactive sessions. Leverage tech today!
Event Inauguration
Small Business Expo 2023

Shiraz Siddique, Media Host and Consulting Editor at CanadianSME and Founder of Leverage Consulting

Our Media Host, Shiraz Siddique, brightens every conversation with his insight, intellect and intensity. As a serial entrepreneur and sought-after guest speaker, his passion is to help companies win more deals and generate greater influence. For the past twenty years, Shiraz has held Senior Sales Leadership roles for Inside and Direct Sales teams and Sales Operations. His methodology of Calibrating, Calculating and Communicating your message, has led to record-setting performances that Outperform, Outpace and Outsell competitors.

Small Business Summit 2022

Remarks by Hon. Victor Fedeli, Minister for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Ontario

The Honourable Victor Fedeli is a lifelong entrepreneur, successful businessperson, and philanthropist, and serves the Ford government as Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade.

His business experience led his firm Fedeli Corporation to be ranked 34th in the Top 50 Best Places to Work in Canada in 1989. It also served him well, when he was elected to two terms as Mayor of North Bay from 2003 to 2010. As Mayor, Vic focused on fiscal prudence and economic development, restoring hope and restoring solvency to North Bay.

Small Business Summit 2022

Remarks by Paul Gaspar, Director, Small Business, UPS® Canada

Paul Gaspar is Director of Small Business for UPS Canada. His role is to educate and guide small businesses in Canada on ways to better leverage UPS’ tools to help them grow and expand both domestically and internationally. With his team of small business ambassadors, he empowers small business owners to determine the best mix of customized services, technologies, and innovations available to them.

Small Business Expo 2023

Remarks by Faye Pang, Canada Country Manager for Xero

Faye Pang is the Canada Country Manager for Xero, the global small business platform with more than 2.7 million subscribers worldwide that’s dedicated to making business beautiful. Prior to joining Xero, Faye helped launch the Uber Eats app in Toronto in December 2015, scaling the business from 80 restaurants on launch day to 20,000 partners by the end of her tenure.

Exclusive Keynotes
Leveraging Technology For Business Growth
Small Business Summit 2022

Exclusive Keynote by Paul Gaspar, Director, Small Business, UPS® Canada

UPS is a long-time IT innovator, laying the groundwork to improve customer service with intelligent applications that deliver relevant, seamless experiences to its customers on virtually any device.  Paul Gaspar, Director of Small Business for UPS Canada, will discuss how to leverage the often-free technology tools at your disposal to improve service, reduce costs and grow your business.

Paul Gaspar is director of small business for UPS Canada. His role is to educate and guide small businesses in Canada on ways to better leverage UPS’ tools to help them grow and expand both domestically and internationally. With his team of small business ambassadors, he empowers small business owners to determine the best mix of customized services, technologies and innovations available to them. 

While Paul has been in his current position since 2011, his career with UPS began in 1991 in operations. Through several roles, he discovered a passion for working with small businesses and helping them thrive. He now leverages his growing network of entrepreneurs and the focused learnings of SME supply chains to improve the success rate of small businesses looking to scale and go global. 

How new technology unites small business owners and the people that support them
Paula Festas

Paula Festas, Co-Founder, CEO at huumans

A seasoned executive, Paula Festas brings over 25 years of experience and a proven track record of success driving global, high-performing organizations toward profitable partnerships. Currently CEO at huumans, a smart, cost-effective accountancy and bookkeeping service for small business owners, Paula uses her extensive skill set to support SMBs at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey.

The Two Ways Attackers Target Small Businesses & How You Can Prevent Becoming The Next Victim

It costs on average $5.6M for a data breach. The attackers are targeting small businesses, and using two methods to break in, steal data and install ransomware. Watch an actual attack using the two methods. Learn what you must do to prevent becoming the next victim. This is a must-attend keynote presented by one of the world’s leading cybersecurity expert. 

Sai Huda, is the founder, chairman and CEO of CyberCatch, an AI-enabled cybersecurity software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. CyberCatch first helps implement all necessary cybersecurity controls, then the solution automatically and continuously tests the controls to detect security holes and helps remediate them so attackers cannot exploit them to steal data or install ransomware. Sai is a globally recognized risk and cybersecurity expert and the author of the best-selling book, “Next Level Cybersecurity” and a frequent keynote speaker at industry conferences. He also helped author Canada’s national Cybersecurity standard, CAN/CIOSC 104, Baseline Cybersecurity Controls for SMOs.

Leveraging Skip’s Newest Technology To Support Your Small Business
Small Business Expo 2023

Steve Puchala, CEO, SkipTheDishes

Join Steve Puchala, interim CEO of SkipTheDishes, to learn about Skip’s journey from a tech start-up built in the Prairies to an iconic Canadian brand that’s helping thousands of small businesses thrive in today’s digital and on-demand economy. Steve will share how Skip’s technology can support your business with flexible employee perks to improve productivity, encourage wellness and drive recruitment.

From Prospects to Promoters: Enhancing Business Processes with Effective Pipeline Management
Small Business Expo 2023

Kevin Karthick, Director, Channel Partnerships at Zoho Canada

An overview of Bigin by Zoho, a pipeline-centric CRM built specifically for small businesses to centralize all customer operations on a single platform, manage opportunities, boost productivity and ultimately improve customer satisfaction.

By Kevin Karthick, Director, Channel Partnerships at Zoho Canada.

Kevin joined Zoho in 2012 as a product consultant for Zoho CRM. He moved to partner channel management in 2015, where he was one of the core members and led initiatives around training, support, pre-sales, onboarding, and operations globally. He is passionate about his work, and he’s always thinking of new and better ways to contribute to the channel’s growth while thoroughly enjoying his Zoho journey. In a new change to his role, he is now managing the Zoho Canada channel program & operations. He has a firm belief in Spirituality & Pollyannaism.

Exclusive Panel Discussions
Harnessing the Power of Cloud Technology: Accelerating SMB Growth in the Digital Age

Join us for an enlightening panel discussion on “Harnessing the Power of Cloud Technology: Accelerating SMB Growth in the Digital Age” at the Small Business Expo on June 16th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This session aims to provide attendees with a holistic view of how cloud technology and the wider technological landscape can be leveraged to propel small and medium businesses (SMBs) into the next phase of their growth journey.

Our distinguished panellists, including business leaders and experts in their fields, will provide their insights on how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can best use cloud-based tools and services to increase efficiency, boost output, and delight customers. They will delve into real-world examples, showcasing how cloud technology has become an indispensable asset for business growth and competitive advantage.

Topics of discussion include:

Some of the hot topics of discussion at the panel are given below:

  • Understanding Cloud Computing: Demystifying the concept and potential of cloud technology for SMBs.
  • Benefits of Cloud Adoption: Exploring cost savings, scalability, and flexibility that cloud solutions offer to businesses.
  • Cloud Security and Compliance: Addressing common concerns and misconceptions surrounding data security in the cloud.
  • Leveraging Tech Tools for SMB Growth: Discussing various technology trends that SMBs can integrate with cloud technology, such as AI, Big Data, and IoT, to fuel their growth further.
  • Overcoming Challenges: Sharing insights and practical advice to overcome common hurdles in the journey to cloud migration and digital transformation.

No matter where you are in your cloud journey, this panel discussion is sure to be an interesting, informative, and helpful experience. Whether you are a technology enthusiast, a business owner looking to adapt to the digital era, or an established SMB aiming to optimize your operations and enhance growth, this conversation is tailored to help you navigate the increasingly digital business landscape.

Be part of this transformative conversation and discover how to leverage the power of cloud technology to fuel the future growth of your business. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to network, learn, and get inspired.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

As the Canadian economic landscape evolves, it’s indisputable that women entrepreneurs are leading the charge. Recognizing their indispensable role in the national economy, the Small Business Expo on June 16, 2023, will host an influential panel of experts to discuss the importance of women’s entrepreneurship.

Women entrepreneurs have historically been instrumental in creating innovative business solutions, often prioritizing community and social concerns. 

The number of female-owned small businesses is steadily increasing in Canada. This trend, propelled by unique perspectives and multifaceted leadership styles, is reshaping Canada’s commercial landscape.

Moreover, women entrepreneurs often face unique challenges – access to capital, gender bias, and balancing work with family obligations, to name a few. The discussion will explore these obstacles, providing insights on how to foster an environment conducive to the success of women-owned businesses.

The Small Business Expo aims to highlight the resilience and creativity of women entrepreneurs, underscoring their critical role in Canada’s economic fabric. By spotlighting these leaders, the Expo endeavours to inspire aspiring female entrepreneurs and demonstrate the limitless potential they possess.

Key Highlights:

The role and importance of women entrepreneurs in the Canadian economy.

Women entrepreneurs are changing the face of Canada’s economy with their unique business solutions, often prioritizing community and social concerns.

The increasing number of female-owned small businesses is fostering diversity and promoting inclusivity in Canada’s commercial landscape.

The panel discussion will explore the unique challenges women entrepreneurs face, providing insights to foster a more conducive business environment.

The Expo aims to inspire aspiring female entrepreneurs by spotlighting the resilience, creativity, and potential of women leaders.

Canada’s future is brimming with promise, largely thanks to its women entrepreneurs. The 2023 Small Business Expo is a testament to their journey, honouring their contributions and discussing the path forward. As we look ahead, the role of women entrepreneurs will continue to flourish, driving Canada’s economy towards unparalleled heights. 

Amazing Workshops
Think like an Attacker, Defend like the Chess Master
Small Business Expo 2023

Sai Huda, Founder, Chairman and CEO, CyberCatch

Unless you know how an attacker thinks and how the attack is planned and executed, you will not be able to defend and will always be one step behind. In this workshop like no other, you will be transported to the “hacker’s mind” and will learn up close how attacks are actually carried out against small businesses and walk away with specific know-how to protect your small business. This is a “shock and awe” but fun, must-attend workshop presented by one of the world’s leading cybersecurity expert. 

Small Business, Big Impact: Perfecting Your Customer Experience for Growth
Small Business Expo 2023

Prakash Shunmuga Sundaram, Director – Technical Services at Zoho Canada

A deep-dive into Bigin by Zoho CRM, helping you understand the product in detail and make the shift from spreadsheets to a simple yet powerful CRM built to fuel your small business growth. 

Growing Your Business With Affordable Technology Despite Economic Uncertainty

We understand running a business full-time means having to deal with competing priorities every day. These days, leveraging digital technology does not require an IT department or massive overhead costs. Many companies took the opportunity to modernize during the recent pandemic restrictions and are now benefiting from a more resilient business model.

As Digital Advisors to the federal government’s Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), Noor Siddiqui and Michael Despotovic of Apples & Oranges Marketing will demonstrate how you can get $15,000 in grant funding as well as up to $100,000 in interest-free loans, and a wage subsidy to grow their business using all types of digital technology.

Noor and Michael will present 5 digital technologies that you can implement today to improve your business. This workshop is relevant to all business owners. We welcome retailers, caterers, producers, health professionals, financial planners, and professional service providers and anyone else interested in helping their sales, marketing and operations.

Fireside Chat with Anna Sinclair
Small Business Expo 2023

CEO, Founder @Total Mom Inc 

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn what it truly takes to be a Resilient Entrepreneur

The Silent Persuasion: Upgrade Your Sales with Nonverbal Communication
Small Business Expo 2023

Angela Podolsky, Founder of Kinesics.com

In this captivating workshop we will dive into the fascinating world of nonverbal communication.
Learn how to read and interpret these silent signals to gain a deeper understanding of your
customers, their needs, and desires. Unleash the potential to create instant connections, build
rapport, and establish trust through the subtle yet impactful language of nonverbal

Throughout the workshop, you will explore:

● What is nonverbal communication
● How does nonverbal communication affect your everyday interactions
● What is “SELF, SELF TO OTHERS, OTHERS TO ME” methodology
● What are the 6 channels of communication and how do you use them effectively
● Understand the 2 sides of the brain which controls your behavior
● What are the steps to influence and read people
● Understand the messages you are giving to others through gestures and how people
see you

Whether you are a sales professional looking to sharpen your techniques or an aspiring
entrepreneur seeking to master your communication skills, this workshop will be a great fit for

Join us and tap into the unspoken language of communication, and unlock new opportunities for
success in the competitive world of sales.

Roadmap to Resilience: Building a Risk-Aware Digital Adoption Strategy
Small Business Expo 2023

David Lawy, Co-Founder, Quantum Smart

Seize an amazing opportunity – free $115 000 – all for your business!

Learn how to obtain $15,000 from the government for free and take advantage of the Canada Digital Adoption Program which also includes $100,000 0% interest loan.

This workshop is designed to empower individuals and organizations with the knowledge and tools to build a risk-aware roadmap for successful digital adoption and take advantage of the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), a government initiative that offers Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) up to $15,000 in grants to develop and implement their digital transformation strategies.

Creating a digital adoption strategy is crucial for businesses to ensure successful implementation and utilization of new digital technologies. It involves not just the deployment of the tools themselves, but also consideration of the end-users and the environment in which they operate.

  1. Identify Business Objectives
  2. Understand User Needs and Skills
  3. Select Appropriate Technologies
  4. Develop a Change Management Plan
  5. Training and Support
  6. Monitor and Measure Adoption
  7. Iterate and Improve
  8. Communicate Success

Ignite your business growth with an unprecedented opportunity to secure a complimentary $115,000!”

Join us on this transformative journey as we map out a roadmap to resilience, equipping you with the tools and expertise to build a risk-aware digital adoption strategy that drives sustainable success in the digital age.

Tips to Help you in your Federal Procurement Journey

Are you a small business interested in learning more about federal procurement opportunities? Join Procurement Assistance Canada for an interactive session to learn key tips and strategies to help you in your federal procurement journey.

Imanzi Kayitare, Policy Analyst and Roni Khalil, supply specialist both  at Public Services and Procurement Canada join us today. With over 10 years of experience in the Federal Public Service and a passion for cultivating partnership opportunities, they bring a wealth of knowledge to this topic.

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