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September 30, 2003
Toronto hosts Small Business Forum 2003
Toronto Economic Development today hosted its signature Small Business Forum
2003, attracting over 4,000 delegates to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre
for Toronto's largest small business event of the year.

"Close to 67,000 small businesses operate in Toronto and employ over 350,000
people," says Brenda Librecz, Executive Director, Toronto Economic Development.
"The Small Business Forum is intended to equip entrepreneurs with the tools and
knowledge they need to succeed, making small business big business for
Toronto's economic prosperity."

The annual Forum fosters a learning environment where small business owners and
operators can take advantage of the past experiences and wisdom of their peers
and successful entrepreneurs. Exchanging ideas and sharing strategies was
evident at the myriad of symposiums, break-out sessions and roundtable
discussions. The forum also encouraged participation from aspiring
entrepreneurs and newcomers to Toronto, providing an opportunity for them to
gain a foothold into Toronto's business environment.

The two keynote addresses led the day's activities with the underlining theme
of balance. Robert Barnard, Founder and Managing Partner of D-Code, focused on
social enterprise, the idea that business can serve the community while
simultaneously driving a healthy bottom line. A balance between a solid
business practice and a commitment to the social environment is the winning
approach small businesses need to take in order to get an edge in today's
dynamic economy. The concept of social enterprise was also highlighted at the
Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs Forum.

Kate Bird, Director of Career Essentials, addressed challenges female
entrepreneurs face when balancing personal and professional lives. The strong
attendance at the Women's Forum was a testament to the need for targeted and
timely information for this fast-growing sector of the entrepreneurial

The day of programming was enhanced by the trade show that featured over 90
exhibitors promoting the latest in business products and services. For complete
details on the Forum, visit:

Toronto Economic Development, through its Enterprise Toronto office, delivers a
variety of programs and services to assist with small business start-up and
growth. This includes advisory services and business seminars as well as
facilitating access to small business resources.

Media contact:
Vik Jain, Enterprise Toronto, 416-396-5243



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