INSPIRE Takes Place October 1 at Science World

Small Business BC is delighted to announce the 9th Annual INSPIRE event featuring an evening of networking, celebration and education, that will take place on October 1, 2019 at Vancouver’s iconic Science World. Come and join us to launch the 2020 Small Business BC Awards alongside 400 of BC’s leading entrepreneurs and CEOs, small and medium-sized business owners, government representatives and industry influencers.

The 9th Annual INSPIRE will feature complimentary drinks, canapés, networking, and an interactive panel session as we gather to recognize the important contributions of small businesses to our local economy and our local communities.

Making an Impact: Small Business’ Leadership Role in Climate Action

According to a new poll by Insights West, Canadians view climate change as the top issue facing the world today. This has driven interest in sustainable, eco-friendly products and services, with companies frequently being evaluated based on environmental impact. With over 66% of global customers willing to pay more for sustainable goods (with the percentage increasing yearly), adopting green practices and focusing on innovation is good for business, offering new opportunities in industries that were non-existent only a decade ago.

This year’s INSPIRE will address the positive impact businesses and entrepreneurs can have on climate change. Encompassing networking, inspiration and a lively panel discussion, we’ll tackle how starting a sustainable business, or adapting new green technologies and operations, has allowed for increased business success and profitability. Looking for inspiration before the big night? Check out Clean BC’s Resources for Small Business. This valuable resource contains links and information on programs and incentives to help make your business more green friendly.


Registration and Networking: 5:30pm – 7:15pm

Join fellow entrepreneurs and business leaders for complimentary drinks and canapés in the stunning surroundings of Science World.

Opening Message: 7:20pm – 7:30pm

Panel Discussion: 7:30pm – 8:30pm

Hear from a selection of local business leaders as they discuss the dual goals of remaining profitable while helping to fight the progression of climate change.


Gerry Egan, VP of Maintenance – Harbour Air

Harbour Air became North America’s first fully carbon neutral airline in 2007. They are one of the founding members of Project Green YVR, a Vancouver Airport Authority initiative to help Sea Island businesses reduce their waste, water and energy use. They also recently announced plans to become the world’s first airline to run an all-electric fleet of planes.

Emily Pearson, Manager of Energy and Environment – Vancity

Vancity is one of Vancouver’s business leaders on the topic of sustainability. They do not invest capital or assets into oil, gas or coal companies. They also do not provide investment banking services to facilitate access to capital for those companies. They have operated as a carbon neutral business since 2008.

Ellen Walker-Matthews, VP Destination & Industry Development – Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association 

In November 2017, the Thompson Okanagan Region was officially certified as the first destination in the Americas to have successfully achieved the Sustainable Tourism Destination accreditation from Biosphere International and the Responsible Tourism Institute. This certification is just the beginning for TOTA, with next steps including an annual action plan and audit to continue growing as a sustainable tourism destination. Find out more about Ellen and TOTA.

Brianne Miller, Owner – Nada Grocery

Nada Grocery, located on Vancouver’s East Broadway Street, is Vancouver’s first zero waste market. Their store offers an alternative to the heavily packaged goods on offer at other retailers, as they pursue a vision of a food system free of excess and waste. Their mission? To cultivate a better world by inspiring people to change the way they shop for groceries. Find out more about Brianne and Nada.

Christine VanDerwill, Partnerships and Communications Manager – Climate Smart 

Climate Smart helps businesses and non-profits learn how to measure and reduce their carbon footprints. Their unique training program incorporates classroom learning, web-based software, and one-on-one support. Rather than hiring a consultant, clients are equipped with the tools and knowledge to tackle greenhouse gas management in-house.

Closing Remarks: 8:30pm – 8:40pm

Networking: 8:45pm – 9:45pm



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