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ThinkFresh Group at SET 2014!

Howard Tam recently spoke at the Social Enterprise Toronto (SET) 2014 Conference on January 30, 2014. As the conference theme was on trends and opportunities, Howard co-presented with Nikki Toten from Scadding Court Community Centre and spoke about the opportunities presented by micro-enterprise markets and the needs of the micro-enterprise sector.

Indeed, there is a need to think about micro-enterprises from a sectoral mindset in order to start thinking about the networks and supports that are necessary for it to thrive. As Christopher Hume pointed out recently in the Toronto Star, our city is becoming overgrown with monotonous chain shops, and not enough space and resources are being made for small, independent businesses. If we want to get serious about creating the conditions necessary for more successful retail micro-businesses, we need to consider how the system current treats them from availability of financing and infrastructure to business loans and geographic access.

At the ThinkFresh Group, we’ve spent some time looking into this and charting out what the sectoral map looks like. While very preliminary, its a good start. We’re hoping to crowdsource the info necessary to finish it – we’re just trying to figure out how to setup a wiki model to allow that to happen. If you do have any suggestions at this point, please feel free to email Howard about it:

In a subsequent post, we’ll go into more of the details of what a micro-enterprise sector could look like.


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