In addition to the daily economic analysis and policy outputs, the Business Council engages in a series of initiatives and partnerships to advance the province's competitiveness, business literacy and social and economic prosperity. Recent and ongoing initiatives include:
Indigenous Intern Leadership Program
The Indigenous Intern Leadership Program, launched in the Fall of 2017, has been made possible by the BC Assembly of First Nations and the Business Council of BC through our joint Champions Table, along with the support of Vancouver Island University. This program brings together qualifying recent Indigenous Graduates with BC employers for two-year work opportunities, providing a rich experience for both the intern and the other firm employees. The internship will provide workplace skills and training beyond the Interns' formal studies while building a foundation for leadership and a lasting career. Through this initiative, we hope to strengthen and increase the capacity within Indigenous communities as well as advance economic reconciliation, community development, cultural preservation, and respect.
In 2015, the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC), the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia have entered into a partnership and funding agreement to establish HQ Vancouver. With a focused approach, this initiative will leverage Canada’s and British Columbia’s strategic location, high-quality infrastructure, sound government, and diverse and well-educated population to attract expanding medium-to-large sized Asian corporations to establish their North American head offices in the province.
At its core, this project represents a truly innovative and collaborative approach that will leverage the strengths and resources of each organization. The project team will initially focus on stakeholder engagement and outreach to ensure that project activities build on and enhance existing investment attraction efforts. HQ Vancouver’s goals include the establishment of two head office accounts in British Columbia by the end of 2017, plus a commitment by 2018 from three organizations to establish and open their head offices in British Columbia.
Visit hqvancouver.ca for more details.
NEXT Leaders Council
NEXT is a forum for emerging business leaders to engage in constructive, fact-based dialogue, debate, and advocacy around economic and public policy issues that are key to investment, growth, and a sustainable, competitive economy in British Columbia and Western Canada.
The Business Council and NEXT provide an open platform for Next Leaders to learn, question, form opinions and formulate approaches to the policy and economic issues important to the future of British Columbia. The organization engages with trail blazing business and community leaders to learn from each other and transition into informed stewards to advance our shared belief that a strong, sustainable economy is key to a sustainable province.
The organization is supported by the Business Council and led by a Steering Committee of 16 members of the NEXT Leaders. The organization holds several events throughout the year ranging from roundtables to networking events and are also invited to participate in Business Council activities and events. The membership is open to young professionals with an established career path towards leadership.
Visit nextleaders.ca for more information.
BC Agenda for Shared Prosperity
In an effort to bring British Columbia’s economic opportunities forward and re-think how the province considers important decisions about the future, the Business Council of British Columbia and the BC Chamber of Commerce coordinated a year long process over 2012-2013 called the BC Agenda for Shared Prosperity. This initiative generated new ideas for policies and processes that seek to combine the ingredients needed to drive a future of shared prosperity for the province, and its people.
The BC Agenda for Shared Prosperity is grounded solidly around the belief that a strong economy is the foundation of prosperity, and moreover, that this can serve as a platform for unlocking our full potential for our province and our families.
The initiative was informed by an Advisory Council comprised of passionate civic-minded British Columbians and included a series of regional policy workshops in the Fall of 2012 and a full day conference in Vancouver in April 2013. The BC Agenda also released two public opinion research reports, the first report looked at British Columbians’ perspectives on their personal economic future and that of the BC economy, while the second reported on their perspectives on the policies which support a strong fiscal climate and competitive economy. The initiative culminated with a road map report of 60 policy proposals designed to look at different aspects of social and economic development incorporating regional policy workshop recommendations. Many of these recommendations have guided the work of the Council in recent years including the launch of the Business Caucus, Resource Works, BC Connects and the annual survey on charitable contributions from BC businesses.
Launched in April 2014, Resource Works brings British Columbians together for a respectful fact-based dialogue on responsible resource development in the province and the connected nature of our rural and urban economies. As an initiative spurred out of the BC Agenda for Shared Prosperity project, Resource Works seeks to highlight how natural resources contribute to achieving the common social and economic prosperity goals British Columbians share.
Through social media, mainstream media and direct outreach, Resource Works communicates with British Columbians about the importance of the province's resource sectors to their personal well-being. With thoughtful research and expert opinion, it demonstrates how responsible development of British Columbia's resources creates jobs and incomes throughout the province, both directly and indirectly, while maintaining a clean and healthy environment. And Resource Works explores the long-term economic future of British Columbia as a place that depends on the responsible development, extraction and transportation of the province's resources.
In one short year, the organization has gained national acclaim as a respected and leading instigator of information, dialogue and awareness among the broad population and thought-leaders alike.
Visit resourceworks.com for more information.
BC Connects is another initiative born out of the BC Agenda for Shared Prosperity project aimed at increasing economic literacy and awareness of the economic activity taking place in communities around British Columbia. In 2014, the initiative toured over 100 community and thought leaders through Kitimat, Dawson Creek and around Port Metro Vancouver providing them with firsthand exposure to some of our most important sectors, their operations and their employees. The initiative continues in 2015 with Resource Works.
BC Business Caucus
The Business Caucus is comprised of over 30 senior business associations from across the economy. The Business Council initiated and provides the secretariat service for this leadership group that meets monthly. The goals are to better coordinate and leverage the voice of business; to understand common interests and collaboratively advance policy and issues and to be an advocate for greater economic and financial literacy particularly through organizations that can impact the K-12 system. In early 2015, the group successfully supported the renewed funding of Junior Achievement. Later in the year, the group will conclude an education declaration supporting the need for greater collaboration of business and the education system with the goal of producing students that have a comprehensive understanding of the economy, sector operations and practices, entrepreneurship, and career options and associated skills and education requirements.