Virtual Roundtable — Chamber of Commerce, Businesses & Trade Experts

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Visible minority businesses and visible majority businesses and the industries they serve have been plunged into crisis as a result of SARS-CoV-2.

While some industries and businesses are facing existential challenges, others are booming. Still there are old industries to be resurrected and new ways for bringing those under threat into new or expanded supply chains.

As the pandemic linger and continue to flip  economic and social norms practitioners and researchers in trade, business, research, policy and international development must engage and work more closely together for driving rapid adaption, understanding of trends and helping countries to leverage and seize diaspora capital and pathways to new markets.

Economic development clusters, producers of geographical indications (GIs) and creative industry service providers must meet to discuss and plan the way forward.

This session aims to translate high level briefings to actions, policy and strategy directions for Chambers of Commerce and their members ― both established and diaspora entities (various diasporas and chambers).

Participants will be able to share challenges and opportunities with experts; as well as learn from experts.  The Roundtable will explore and discuss novel solutions and best practices for keeping sustainable trade, and safe supplies flowing in addition to leveraging diasporas, home and cultural knowledge for diaspora and domestic market economic recovery and growth.

Practitioners in international trade, development and businesses will create their network map and agree novel ways of working together and harvesting best and emergent practices for business and driving international trade while building stronger resilient organizations.

Industry focus: Climate finance, agri-business and foods, high value manufacturing, crafts, fashion, fragrance, healthcare, the creative industries, development consulting, and education

On the agenda, participants will discuss:

Tour of Chamber Economic Impacts and recovery: The impact of COVID-19 on diaspora and established chambers of commerce and their members. What are some new and proposed business models for stronger businesses during and post the coronavirus crisis challenging period and develop robust post-crisis business models?

Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Technology Adaption: It is clear that technology and its adaption saves human lives as well as businesses. But creating awareness on what and how for SMEs is often at a cost that widens the chasm of access and inequalities.  How can Chambers and development organizations work together to make facilitate awareness creation, reskilling and adaption?  What resources exist for reducing the barriers of access and cost of adaption?

Diaspora Capital, Economic Development Clusters & Sustainable Development: COVID-19 have left us little choice other than to build trust, collaborate and cooperate.   Finding local and global solutions requires that we meet, connect and risk it together for profit and growth.

How can industry clusters, chambers and development professionals  collaborate, facilitate capacity building and investment flow for driving innovation that contributes to long-term viability, sustainability and harmonious societies?

Dates and Times

Times are listed as EST [New York, Toronto, Jamaica] the Eastern Caribbean is now one hour ahead of North America and Jamaica

Monday November 16, 2020 – 2:00 – 3:35  PM EST

Tuesday, November 17, 2020  | 10:00 – 11:45  AM EST

Wednesday, November 18, 2020   –  1:00 PM EST – 2:45  PM EST

Friday, November 20, 2020   –  10:00 AM EST – 11:45  AM EST

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Brought you by Magate Wildhorse Inc., New York in partnership with Magate Wildhorse Ltd, Toronto, The Community of Practice of Caribbean Immigrant Entrepreneurs (The CoP), Caribbean Diaspora Professional Business Association (CDPBA, and the Pan African Chamber of Commerce.

Copyright © 2020 by Meegan Scott, Magate Wildhorse Ltd .(Toronto), Magate Wildhorse Inc.,(New York). All rights reserved.

The Case for Urgent Corona Virus & Infectious Disease Related Labour Law Review

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The Marathoner – Meegan Scott

I have learnt that organizations classified as essential services that also operate non-essential branches are in breach of guidelines related to social distancing and employee safety. They insist that administrative and other workers who carry out non-essential work that can be done from home operate from their offices. In some cases, staff must interact with clients who owing to the precarity of their financial and living circumstances are most likely to find themselves trapped in situations which inhibit their ability to effectively practice social distancing.

At the same time corporate offices are closed, and senior members of such organizations are working from the safety of their homes and reducing the risk to their families and loved ones. They represent the privileged who can travel in a private car, stockpile food supplies and other essentials for ensuring they are protected. Still, they call upon staff, the pawns further down the organizational chart to risk their lives and families in order to “do good”, the commuters who are without protective clothing. From their ivory towers senior management drive the burden on the health care system, risk to their staff and economic recovery.

This kind of recklessness is happening even in “mission driven” organizations that claim to exist to spread love and to transform human society (faith-based organizations included).

The management and boards of such organizations have forgotten their responsibilities related to ensuring organizational continuity, warding off reputational risks to their organizations and exposure to costly legal battles and lawsuits.

They have failed to drive authenticity and make the desired and articulated cultures and values of their organizations something that is lived.

When this reckless endangerment of life and human capital occur in the heat of the COVID 19 crisis it is high time to put legislative measures in place for protecting the less powerful, the vulnerable and all workers for that matter.

Can an organization with a board and management team that is too lazy to explore virtual options for strategy and technology update, for continuing key operations, for putting measures in place to protect staff other than their executive team be described as functional?

Effective leadership is intended to help both profit driven and mission driven organizations to bring about desired positive change, provide relevant and novel solutions as well as to respond to changes in their environment.

That includes unplanned changes that threaten human life and business continuity.

The current context:

By Tuesday March 31, 2020 New York State recorded 75,795 COVID 19 cases and 1,550 deaths. Next door in Toronto 793 cases and 11 deaths have been reported. We are aware that airborne transmission and transmission by droplet are also characteristic of the virus that causes COVID 19.

New York State is still not out of the woods from the danger of depleted COVID related hospital supplies. The virus is on track to claim as many as 240, 000 lives in the US. On March 16, 2020 Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of The World health Organization (WHO) told the world that “we have not seen an urgent enough escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing, which is the backbone of the response”.

We have seen the consequence of tardiness on the part of governments to take proactive containment measures in an effort to stay economic downturn. But we have also seen those governments scramble to come to grips with the need to slow down in order to ensure those very economies do not collapse by the time the corona virus can be contained. I wouldn’t dare to say until a vaccine is developed, though I am hoping for one soon.

WHO has led by sending home its own staff to work virtually.

SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) or the Corona Virus only require small quantities of liquid for droplet transmission. This occurs mainly through protective reflex actions such as sneezing or coughing. It is also spread by contact such as touching contaminated hands, the face or surfaces. We have been informed that the virus can live on such surfaces for as long as seventy-two (72) hours. The US’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported that Ribonucleic acid (RNA) from the virus that causes COVID 19 persisted on the Diamond Princess ship for 17 days after passengers left.

What else do organizational leaders need to know in order to be moved to save lives?

Where is the love and care for staff? How do you ask them to love, care and make a change in their communities when they do not matter?

Presented here is a perfect case of organizational risk from sick culture, poor governance and lack of strategy planning.

Governments must act to put legislative measures in place for protecting staff against organizations who put them at risk with the same urgency they do in wavering procedures that could delay the fight against the spread of COVID 19. The police must be instructed to refuse any letter claiming staff are essential service workers that fail to state the nature of those essential duties.

The MarathonerAbout the author: Meegan Scott, B.Sc. Hons, MBA, ATM-B, CL, PMP., is Jamaica-born Strategic Management Consultant, at Magate Wildhorse Consulting in Toronto & New York.  This is a syndicated column and article.                                                                            The Marathoner


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Should Seeding Winners or Economic Inclusiveness be the Focus of Clusters?

Credit: TCI Network Source:

Credit: TCI Network

By Meegan Scott

Toronto, October 21, 2018 ― The 21st ‘TCI Network Global Conference’, the “leading global clusters event for government, business, and academic leaders” was held in Toronto October 16-18.

Event host, The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity (ICP), and presenting organization, The Competitiveness Institute Network (TCI), made Toronto and Canada proud by delivering on the promise to explore thoughts, perspectives, best practices, and facilitate new connections in relation to clusters as vehicles for economic development and inclusive prosperity.

“Clusters are geographic concentrations of industries related by knowledge, skills, input, demand, and or other linkages” (The Journal of Economic Geography). Through co-location, shared learning, synergies, partnerships, and access to shared resources, clusters are designed to drive productivity, innovation, the formation of new businesses, and job creation.

However, the meeting of minds between, industry, academia, economics, and the social sector concluded with a challenge to the definition of clusters and their roles.  At the heart of the debate was the question of “what constitute a cluster in terms of― business mix and geographic location”.  And even more controversial was the debate surrounding whether “inclusiveness” should be a priority focus or an outcome for clusters. According to Margaret Campbell of the ICP, that institution has “advocated for the development of strong clusters in the province of Ontario as a medium through which to accelerate closing the prosperity gap between the province and its peer jurisdictions”.

That vision includes linking human capital and small businesses in inner city communities to more lucrative industry clusters.  But the traditional role of clusters was to seed and accelerate the growth of ambitious companies destined to win. Finding the middle ground between supporting born to win and finding the ambitious but weak and helping them to win was a challenge for the major stakeholders and leaders of the cluster sector.

Ifor Ffowcs-Williams led a powerful workshop on “Clusters and internationalization”, a session attended by Indera Sagewan of Trinidad and Tobago, the only Caribbean delegate in attendance at the event. Latin America and Europe, as well as global leaders in clustering were well represented among the 37 countries and 340 delegates in attendance. The Caribbean missed out on an opportunity that delivered 11 Greater Toronto area, cluster immersion experiences, and global matchmaking sessions with more than 70 participants.

For Indera the biggest take-away came from Conference Keynote Roger Martin, (Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the Rotman School of Management, and #1 Management thinker according to Thinkers50).  Her take-away― “Corporate Strategy is about choice: making the best choice.”  Mr. Martin shared an example of good and bad strategy “If the opposite of your strategy is stupid on its face it is not a good strategy―examples: a strategy aims at “maximizing customer strategy” the opposite would be “minimizing customer strategy” which is stupid.  He further pointed out that “the only thing important in strategy is what you do, not what you say”.

One of the inclusiveness strategies presented had to do with bringing businesses from one country eco-system to strengthen them for driving growth in addition, to sending businesses to the source eco-system.  Given, expected volatility and limited capacity of businesses (large and small) to bear the risks that is expected with advances in the adoption of Artificial Intelligence and robotics much of the global community is looking to clusters for additional capacity and for absorbing shock. The CARICOM Caribbean would be wise to partner with Latin America, Europe, and Canada for accelerating its current cluster development process.

“Absolutely yes!”, was Indera’s response to the suggestion above, she feels “cluster collaboration” was a missing link when comes to the CARICOM Caribbean and opportunities for accelerating business growth, competitiveness, and internationalization.

She noted that the term cluster is used loosely and incorrectly even among regional institutions with a mandate to promote business competitiveness”.  According to Indera, there is a need to “conduct cluster mapping exercises to identify those that are ready for expansion and growth”.  She believes the mapping should not be a purely top down process, but should include “bottom up involvement for identifying value chains, key players, institutional support and markets― so that gaps can be filled for driving growth”.

Indera, hopes to see policy level actions for cluster development as public and private partnerships, and incentive driven cluster development instead of fragmented development, driven by private sector entities”.

Finally, Ms. Sagewan is of the view that there is a need to develop regional clusters and supporting strategies for maximizing return to the Region. She believes “if economic development clusters are to drive growth and development in the region, there must be country specializations, competition, and collaboration among countries”.

Delegates at the conference were delighted to make the unexpected connections they did, as well as the possibilities for partnerships and collaborations they made, whether they attended the matchmaking events or not. There were plenty of opportunities for interaction and opening the conversation for future collaboration.

Photo Credit: Jenna Muirhead Source:

Photo Credit: Jenna Muirhead

Delegates from Latin America were expecting more opportunities to experience the workings and impacts of Industrial clusters in Canada, an area in which Canada is behind.  Canada past the flag to Belgium who will host next year’s Conference in Flanders.

About the author: Meegan Scott, B.Sc. Hons, MBA, ATM-B, CL, PMP., is Jamaica-born Strategic Management Consultant, at Magate Wildhorse Ltd in Toronto. This is a syndicated article.


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Countdown to GEW 2017: Focused for Growth — What Do We Have in Store for You?

Of Special Interest to the Caribbean Canadian and Canadian Startup

In less than four days Canadians will join more than 160 countries round the world to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). This year GEW will be observed from November 13-19.

Each year millions of individuals benefit from GEW activities, among them are startups, more seasoned entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs and individuals who support entrepreneurs.

This year GEW celebrates its 10th anniversary, Canada and the Caribbean are a buzz with activities for promoting, advocating and supporting entrepreneurs, the spirit of innovation and job creators.

Magate Wildhorse, the Caribbean Camera, Windies Restaurant in Scarborough and our event partners from Canada and the Caribbean will provide learning, growth and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs in Canada and the Caribbean. The theme of those events is Focused for Growth.

We have been fortunate and honoured to have high-quality and expert presenters agree to partner with us for delivering the planned events free of charge to you. We’ll tell you who they are for each day’s event below.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 — Windies Restaurant, Scarborough

Focus for Growth —the Entrepreneur, a presentation by interview with Calgary based event partner Valerie MacLeod, Global Partner of the Haines Centre for Strategic Management and MaxImpact. And Dr. Marcia Brandon of Global Entrepreneur Network Caribbean.

Valerie MacLeod reducedValerie is a well-known industry expert, Business Coach and Strategic Facilitator. Dr. Marcia Brandon is an expert in youth entrepreneurship and the Acting Managing Director for Global Entrepreneurship Network Caribbean. Valerie and Marcia will share of their wealth of knowledge with the audience through the presentation of an interview and action session.

Participants will be able to submit questions for the presenters following the session. This session will focus on the entrepreneur, mindset and other attributes needed to succeed in business. It will also address the DNA of the Canadian and Caribbean Entrepreneur.

Meegan Scott of Magate Wildhorse will lead the participatory session Focus for Growth—the Organization. Meegan is an experienced strategy planner who have served in business incubation in the Caribbean. One lucky small business will win a Pepper Pot Strategy Execution Session to be delivered on the 16th.Meegan prof

Session three will be a presentation on Small Business Income Risk and Protection. This session will be delivered by a Toronto based financial industry expert.

Thursday, November 16th — Windies Restaurant, Scarborough

Pepper Pot Strategy Execution Session

Watch this space for updates there might be another surprise event for you at this location on the 16th.

Online 5:30 – 6:30 PM

Fintech: Access to Finance & Alternative Financing.  A free webinar to be delivered by Telly Onu of Quintessence Consulting in St. Kitts. It aims to inform non-tech as well as tech entities headed by entrepreneurs who have difficulty securing funding about alternative solutions and how to access them.

TellyadjMs. Onu is an expert in entrepreneur capacity building, business acceleration and financing SMEs. She is currently a Fellow at the Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance. The webinar will be held on November 16th details are available on the GEW web site, Magate Wildhorse Facebook Page and Eventbrite.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The series of events will come to a close on the Saturday the18th with The Grand Finale — Eye to Eye Virtual B2B Networking. The eye to eye event aims to connect entrepreneurs looking for partners, services and service delivery partners who can be their bridges into new markets. Consultants who are entrepreneurs will be interested in this global event.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017 —Voices from the Caribbean and Canada

The Camera Caribbean has dedicated space in this week’s issue of the Paper for bringing the voices from the Caribbean together with those from Canada to share how they will celebrate and the impact of GEW for them. Their messages will be shared in the Views on News column.

Special thanks on behalf of The Caribbean Camera and Magate Wildhorse to those who contributed to making the shared voices a reality.

It is important for young Caribbean Canadian entrepreneurs to understand and connect with the roots of their culture of entrepreneurship as well as for Canadian entrepreneurs to understand the DNA of Canadian entrepreneurship so they can come to getter to deliver great solutions.Marcia Brandon

Voices from the Caribbean and the session entitled Focused for Growth—the Entrepreneur will provide opportunities to learn and share. The term young entrepreneurs is used in reference to any entrepreneur who is in the early days of their career journey as an entrepreneur regardless of their age. We therefore welcome those entrepreneurs who are 40 and over who are starting a business as the next step in their career journey.

Register for an Event on Eventbrite, GEW Web site or Magate Wildhorse on Facebook.

The Caribbean culture and heritage of entrepreneurship is still to come into its own in Canada.  It must be exposed, promoted and supported in order to stimulate the growth of entrepreneurial Caribbean Canadian businesses by both youths, newcomers and the more established Caribbean Canadians.

We could call it getting multicultural with the wholesome and rich Canadian and Caribbean traditions of enterprise, entrepreneurship and supporting business.

 We look forward to seeing you in Scarborough as well as online!

Stay connected @magatewildhorse. Find out more at:The Caribbean Camera

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