It’s NOT All About You, It’s About the Company You Keep


Books written by friends are always the most interesting and Michelle Bailey shares her most valuable business ideas in her new book - It's NOT all about you, it's about the company you keep.

What a great title and Michelle's book seems to be channeling other great experts. Just last week, I was fortunate enough to host an event with Warren Buffett's team who buy companies in Canada. They are part of MiTek. They sold the majority of their company to Warren Buffett and have grown their business tremendously ever since. It helped to have the Berkshire Hathaway name but it was more than that. Exactly as Michelle has written, it is about the people you have around you.
Interesting enough, David Simpson, the professor from Ivey who ran the event commented on MiTek and their obvious positive attitude. He would agree with Michele Bailey too, as he said, "I tell my MBA students, surround your self with great people. Make sure they make the room light up when they walk in, not light up when they walk out."

So get inspired and get Michelle's book - here are the details:
Oakville’s 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year has packed her first book with learnings from her challenging journey on her quest to achieve meaningful success as an entrepreneur and business owner.
Michele Bailey, President and CEO of Oakville-based Blazing THE Agency, has now authored her first book:  It’s NOT All About You, It’s About the Company You Keep
Michele’s story inspires all who hear it, because it is told from the heart and is of a journey filled with challenges, heartaches and celebrations.  From the brink of disaster to the thriving business enterprise Blazing THE Agency is today, Michele openly and willingly shares her secrets to success and the mistakes that have made her wise.
Topics range from Building Amazing Teams, Cultivating a Strong Support Network, Leadership, Strategic Client and Supplier Relationships, to Attracting and Retaining Talent.  And while budding entrepreneurs will find the information and stories within the book to be particularly relevant, business professionals of all levels will find valuable lessons and nuggets of expert advice in every chapter.
 In a world where employee turnover is high and talented resources are not easy to retain, how is it that Blazing manages to keep its Team members for such a long time and so highly motivated?  Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 
 My job every day is to make sure I provide the energy, vitality and support
 my team needs to excel in their jobs,” states Michele.
 The book, containing the Workbook, will be available at www.blazingtheagency.com for $24.99 and electronically for $19.99 as of April 26, 2013.  In keeping with Michele’s strong belief in “paying it forward” and in the spirit of “giving back”, a percentage of every book sold will benefit The OakvilleHospitalFoundationaswellas Partners for Haitian Children (PHC) – a signature charity supported by the company.


To continue the conversation CONTACT:  martine.d@blazingtheagency.com

About Blazing THE Agency….
Blazing THE Agency is an Integrated Marketing Communications firm that through its 18 years in business has delivered results oriented programs in the areas of Trade and Consumer Promotions, Branding and Strategic Corporate Communications, as well as Business to Business Marketing. Blazing’s has achieved excellence by providing our clients with a full range of services -  strategic planning, brand development, traditional and digital web design, video production and mobile campaigns which has allowed us to take ownership of the entire project life cycle delivering on the brand and business objectives of our clients across North America.
About the author Michele Bailey….
Founder, President and CEO of Blazing Design Inc., Michele is also an engaging, dynamic professional speaker, able to address a wide variety of topics. Michele’s experiences in negotiating a solid financial footing, making sound investment decisions, creating and mining a strong business network, maintaining a talented employee base and managing ongoing positive forward momentum are the keys to her success.
Michele’s accomplishments and credentials are many…
  • Founding member of Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) in Canada
(www.womenpresidentsorg.com)
       Member of WEConnect Canada and its first Women-Certified Business in Canada
(www.WEconnectcanada.org)
       Winner of Oakville’s 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, selected by the Oakville
Awards for Business Excellence
       2012 Winner of The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference
100  Award – Entrepreneurial Category, for contributions to the economic
empowerment of women (www.tiaw.org)
       Chair of the Marketing Committee for The Oakville Hospital Foundation (OHF), whose mandate is to support not only the existing Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital but to contribute to the required millions needed to equip the new regional hospital now under construction in Oakville, Ontario (www.haltonhealthcare.com)

Are you looking for an equity partner? Terry Didus at Heenan Blaikie has good news.

A report from Heenan Blaikie which is well worth reading.

Optimism In Canada’s Private Equity & Venture Capital Markets
Heenan Blaikie,Terry Didus, 16 April 2013


The federal government recently announced that it would be injecting $400 million into the venture capital sector in Canada in 2013. To Canada's private equity and venture capital community, this comes as welcome news and serves as a call to action for an industry that has certainly gone through some dark days in recent years. Yet, based on the activity in the last 24 months in the private equity and venture capital markets, there may yet be room for optimism.


Private Equity


Almost $4.5 billion in private equity deals were done in Canada in 2012, representing more than 110 transactions – a 25% increase over Canada's best year in 2008. In part, the number of transactions, particularly in Quebec, reflects a generational transfer of ownership among the baby boomers. As well, these numbers are reflective of a large number of going-private transactions, where many companies (that had no business going public anyway) are simply giving up on the market or find they can't live with the required level of compliance and regulation.


Venture Capital


Another telling statistic is that venture capital funds raised almost $1 billion in 2011 and $1.8 billion in 2012, and more than $400 million was actually disbursed (70% more in 2012 than the previous year). As for the $2.8 billion raised in 2011 and 2012, these are venture capital funds that will have to be invested, mostly in Quebec, over the next five years. Of the total funds raised across Canada last year, Quebec funds captured a 52% share, or $924 million. Bottom line – venture capital fundraising is at its highest level in a decade.


The Federal Government's Venture Capital Action Plan


Lastly, in January 2013, the federal government of Canada, in a studied and planned effort to provide support to Canada's underexploited knowledge-based economy, announced that it would deploy $400 million over the next seven to ten years to bolster the presence in Canada of a strong and mature venture capital private sector. This is more good news for Canadian start-ups and Canadian venture capital funds and national funds of funds, as well as foreign funds seeking to enter the Canadian market as co-investors. These funds will not be managed by the feds; instead, this program will be pushed down through the existing funds of funds network in Quebec.


The government's plan is in response to historically less-than-stellar returns for venture capital investors in Canada resulting from a lack of investor confidence, the unwillingness of large institutional investors to take a chance on early-stage companies, and a lack of venture capital funds and experienced fund managers in Canada who are able to lead successful venture capital funds. The government hopes to overcome this systemic problem with a long-term view of improving Canada's economic competitiveness by increasing private sector investment and decision-making in emerging Canadian companies with high-growth potential. Based on the experience of growing knowledge economies, such as Boston, New York and Silicon Valley, this program underscores the importance of a sustainable private sector venture capital sector, as well as recognizing other factors, such as technology transfer offices, linkages to foreign investment pools and the availability of mentors for inexperienced venture capital firms to build local expertise.


In order to do this, the government has committed this $400 million to support the creation or growth of private sector, large-scale venture capital funds in Canada. The $400 million will be allocated three ways:


(i) $250 million to establish new, large private sector-led funds of funds in partnership with institutional and corporate strategic investors, as well as interested provinces;
(ii) up to $100 million to recapitalize existing large private sector-led funds of funds; and,
(iii) up to $50 million to be invested in a handful of existing high-performing venture capital funds in Canada.


The fact that the lion's share of the funds will go to both new funds of funds (which should be up and running within the year) or existing funds of funds represents a big opportunity for foreign institutional investors seeking to enter the Canadian market and invest in Canadian high-growth companies in a significant way. With a minimum investment requirement of $10 million, potential investors for the new and existing national funds of funds are large foreign or domestic institutional investors, such as banks, pension funds, corporations, SWFs, insurance companies and interested provinces (the participating provincial governments will contribute capital on the same terms as the capital from the government of Canada).


Each of the national funds of funds must be managed by an experienced private sector general partner with a substantial presence in Canada. Eligibility for the underlying venture capital fund managers also depends on a substantial presence in Canada and a commitment to invest one-third of their total capital in Canadian-domiciled firms. The incentive structure for private sector investors will be the same in both the new and existing funds of funds. In each case, the government will privilege funds of funds capitalized between $200 million and $300 million, and making market-based private sector investments focused on maximizing returns.


Interested investors will have the opportunity to examine a draft term sheet from the government outlining:


(i) the key parameters of the funds of funds;
(ii) the funds' investment orientation; and,
(iii) the selection of private sector general partners.


Somewhat surprisingly, this program has not yet received significant media attention. The reason may be due in part to the fact that, at this point, the exact size and sectorial focus, if any, of these national funds of funds are undetermined. The decisions the government makes will depend on discussions with private sector investors and which investment strategies and conditions maximize participation from institutional and corporate strategic investors.