From Good to Great: The Benefits of Scaling Up BC Business

November 1, 2017
Jock Finlayson

To build a more prosperous and innovative economy, new businesses have to be created and some existing firms must grow.

Size matters if BC is to be globally competitive

Despite some recognized competitive strengths, British Columbia must contend with a number of disadvantages that can hamper business growth/business development.

  • We have too few large locally-based companies and a weak corporate head office sector overall. On both of these indicators, we trail many peer jurisdictions across North America that outperform British Columbia in GDP and income per capita.
  • We have a middle-of-the-road, albeit improving, record on business innovation.
  • In recent years, BC has posted some solid gains in international exports, with more of our SMEs becoming engaged in global markets over time. But when the value of exports is measured on a per employee basis, BC continues to lag behind other provinces.
  • The high and rising cost of living in urban regions of British Columbia underscores the need to expand employment opportunities in occupations and industries that offer above-average compensation – something that remains an ongoing challenge.

We believe more can be done to assist BC companies in scaling up.

This paper discusses the economic benefits that would flow from the presence of more high-growth firms and the development of a stronger base of significant-sized companies.

We encourage government decision-makers to take a fresh look at the current mix of policies in the areas of taxation, business investment, innovation, public procurement, trade, skills and immigration, and industrial development – all with an eye to creating an environment that is conducive to scaling up BC businesses.

Follow the discussion #ScaleUpBC

BC Business Summit

At the 5th Annual BC Business Summit: Scaling Up for Prosperity in a Changing World, Jock Finlayson and Ken Peacock presented on the contents of this report. You can review their presentation material below. Check back in the coming weeks for event video.


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