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How startups can create a culture of inclusiveness


As a young female in a leadership position at a successful tech startup, who also happens to be visibly religious, I know a thing or two about representing minorities in the workplace. After years of hearing and reading about the lack of diversity in startups and personally encountering what seem like isolated incidents, I’ve noticed a very real pattern of exclusivity. Here are a few things I’ve learned during my career at several Toronto startups on building a workplace culture that is collaborative, inclusive, and one that can help accelerate the growth of your company. read more

4 Comments Categories: Small Business

Vancouver’s BroadbandTV making major waves in online video world



Fast-growing, Vancouver-based BroadbandTV is emerging into one of the most dominant online video purveyors in the world. The 10-year-old company said Thursday it is now the largest “multiplatform network” in the world, boasting 319 million unique video viewers on desktop computers in December, according to comScore data, vaulting past previous leader Maker Studios Inc., a unit of Walt Disney Co. read more

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Oil tycoon Pickens cashes out on crude market



Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, who made and lost fortunes targeting some of the largest U.S. explorers over the past 40 years, has cashed out as the worst crude market downturn in decades drags on.

Mr. Pickens has sold all his oil holdings and is waiting for the best moment to get back in, he said Thursday in an interview on “Bloomberg Go.” With prices low, mid-size U.S. oil companies such as Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Apache Corp. are acquisition targets for larger firms like Exxon Mobil Corp., he said. read more

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Global appeal of Canadian bonds could soon falter


External demand for Canadian bonds is at risk of faltering, casting doubt on the supply of foreign capital needed to meet Canada’s borrowing needs, according to a National Bank Financial report.

The Canadian fixed-income market is exposed to foreign investors like never before, said Warren Lovely, head of public-sector research at National Bank. And with Canada’s once-superior economic stature having slouched under the weight of the commodity shock, the appeal of Canadian bonds to global investors could fade, he said. read more

1 Comment Categories: Investing Tips

Three top stock picks from Sprung Investment’s Michael Sprung



Michael Sprung is president of Sprung Investment Management. His focus is Canadian large caps.

Top Picks:

Bank of Nova Scotia

Last Purchase December 23, 2015 $57.16

The Bank of Nova Scotia is the most international of the Canadian banks with branches in the Caribbean and in Central and South America. The Canadian banks have been impacted by the recent volatility in the markets. BNS is now selling at levels that long-term investors should find attractive as the premium valuation has fallen. The dividend yield is now greater than 5 per cent. read more

1 Comment Categories: Investing Tips

Ontario brothers giving ‘cheap, garbage-y’ wine a makeover



Each week, we seek expert advice to help a small or medium-sized business overcome a key issue.

Consumers can be a fickle lot – except when they’re hanging on stubbornly to long-held beliefs.

This tendency has presented something of a challenge to Yannick and Greg Wertsch, brothers and owners of , a six-year-old enterprise in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., that produces and sells wines from a retail store in the family barn as well as through a wine club and in restaurants. read more

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In photos: Ontario winery touts grape with a lowly reputation

Brothers’ goal is to persuade restaurants to serve vidal

 
  • Brothers Greg and Yannick Wertsch are the owners of Between the Lines Winery, a six-year-old enterprise in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., that produces and sells wines from a retail store in the family barn as well as through a wine club and in restaurants. One of their specialities is vidal grapes, the variety used most often in Ontario to make icewine.

    (Glenn Lowson For The Globe and Mail)
  • But while wines made with vidal grapes sell out in the store, they don’t do well in restaurants. “Selling vidal in restaurants is almost impossible,” says Yannick, who notes that Between the Lines now sells about 5,500 cases of wine a year, up from 1,000 five years ago. “Most people think of vidal as a sweet, cheap, garbage-y wine, so restaurants don’t want to carry it because they know they’re not going to sell it.”

    (Between the Lines)
  • One of the brothers’ innovative ideas is a sparking wine in a can called Origin. Here, they look over a canning machine at the winery, which was built on the farm where their parents had grown grapes to sell to the region’s wineries.

    (Glenn Lowson For The Globe and Mail)
  • Over all, the brothers would like to change the widespread perception of vidal as a low-end wine. At their vineyard, they’ve worked to improve the grape’s quality by reducing yields – a strategy that prevents dilution of soil nutrients.

    (Between the Lines)
  • During tours at the winery, Between the Lines staff will often serve vidal and ask visitors to guess what they’re sipping. “We always have people telling us it’s chardonnay or riesling,” says Yannick Wertsch, right. “When we tell them it’s vidal they’re always surprised.”

    (Glenn Lowson For The Globe and Mail)
  • A few restaurants have embraced Between the Lines’s vidal. But the brothers would like to see more of this wine flowing at restaurant tables.

    (Glenn Lowson For The Globe and Mail)
  • “We had one restaurant in particular that has had a lot of success with our vidal wine as their house white,” Yannick says. “We educated their staff and talked to the owners about promoting our vidal wines. This is about updating knowledge – a lot of people tried vidal 20 or 30 years ago, and the wine quality has changed so much since then.”

    (Between the Lines)

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Entrepreneurs: Give up trying to break into Toronto


I’m an advocate for growth and expansion, but I feel it’s time to address a common misbelief I hear from a lot of small businesses across Canada that are dreaming of going to Toronto, all for the purpose of trying to “get in.”

If you ask these companies, they would tell you that is where the opportunity is to expand their business and that once they are in Toronto, they will get even more business because “that’s the way it works there.” read more

6 Comments Categories: Small Business

Barrick Gold stock requires daily attention


Hi Lou,

What do you think of Barrick?

Thanks,

Lo

—————

Hey Lo,

Thanks for the assignment. This will be the third time since 2013 that I examine the case for Barrick Gold Corporation . The last was on Feb. 21, 2014 when the shares were trading for $23.29. Brett wanted to know if the stock had gone up too far and too fast and if he could expect more from it. The patterns analyzed were pointing to further gains, but by March of 2014, a double top formed, calling an end to the advance. The lesson from that review is that investors need to take regular snapshots of their investments to see if there have been changes in market sentiment. read more

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