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CORONAVIRUS: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know Right Now

The coronavirus crisis presents a whole new set of challenges for business owners

Running your own business is never easy—even in the best of times. The coronavirus crisis presents a whole new set of challenges. How to survive? How to maintain cash flow? How to be resilient and navigate whatever comes next? 

This free 60-minute webinar offers entrepreneurs a unique perspective on the current situation, and advice on how to overcome the obstacles and preserve your business. Featuring seasoned entrepreneurs and experts: George Rossolatos, CEO of the Canadian Business Growth Fund; Jess Joss, CEO of Equation Angels; Stephen Smith, CEO and co-founder of First National Financial; and Elspeth Murray, CIBC Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Smith School of Business. 

Participants will learn:

• How to make sense of the current business climate

• How to pivot your business in the coming weeks and months

• Ideas for cash-flow management

• How the current crisis is affecting funding for businesses

• How to maintain a positive outlook

• Useful lessons from past economic crashes 

• Advice to make it through and be ready for recovery 

Session Participants

George Rossolatos

CEO, Canadian Business Growth Fund

George Rossolatos, is the founding CEO of the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF), where he is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the fund. He has over 20 years’ experience as an investor, entrepreneur and leader. Prior to CBGF, he was CEO of Avante Logixx Inc., a partner and co-founder of TorQuest Partners Inc., an investment principal at Harrowston Inc., and a manager at Ernst & Young LLP. He holds a Commerce degree from Smith School of Business and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management with a specialty in Marketing, Entrepreneurship & Technology. He was previously recognized with the Top 40 Under 40 award, recognizing young business leaders, dedicates time to several corporate and non-for-profit boards.

Jess Joss

CEO, Equation (on sabbatical)

Jess Joss is the CEO of Equation (on sabbatical), a joint venture that brings together three angel investment networks, Co-founder of Insiteful Solutions, and Partner in Spyder Capital Corporation. Leveraging more than 20 years of business leadership, entrepreneurial expertise and investment experience, she played a pivotal role in the realization of Equation, and its impactful investment collaboration. Equation is a strategic alliance brings together three venerable angel groups: Angel One (Burlington), Golden Triangle Angel Network or GTAN (Kitchener-Waterloo) and the Southwestern Ontario Angel Network or SWO (London). This angel network is now the largest in Ontario, and second largest in Canada. Equation provides streamlined screening, pitching and due diligence for founders who are raising equity funding. And for the 200 member investors, it creates a unique opportunity to gain early and exclusive access to the most promising companies; negotiate the best deals; and make nimble investments.

Stephen Smith

Chairman & CEO, First National Financial Corporation

Stephen Smith, a philanthropist and one of Canada’s leading financial services entrepreneurs, is the chairman, CEO co-founder of First National Financial Corporation. He has been an innovator in the development and utilization of various securitization techniques to finance mortgage assets as well as a leader in the development and application of information technology in the mortgage industry. He is also chairman of Canada Guarantee Mortgage Insurance Company, which he owns in partnership with Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan; and the chairman and co-owner of Duo Bank of Canada, formerly Walmart Canada Bank. A proud Queen’s University alumnus, in 2015, Mr. Smith donated $50-million to business education at Queen’s.

Dr. Elspeth Murray

Associate Professor, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Social Impact & CIBC Fellow in Entrepreneurship

Elspeth Murray is an Associate Professor, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Social Impact & CIBC Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Smith School of Business with expertise in strategy, the management of change and entrepreneurship. She is the co-author of the bestselling book Fast Forward: Organizational Change in 100 Days, with Peter Richardson. She advises a number of tech companies and is working on a number of digital transformation projects focused on creating an analytics culture. Prior to joining Smith, she worked for several firms including IBM and Canadian Tire.