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Media Release

New Program Will Help Canadian Businesses Break Through Glass Ceiling of Growth

The Toronto Region Board of Trade’s World Trade Centre launches Growth Development Program.

TORONTO, May 25, 2022 – Today, the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s World Trade CentreToronto launched its Growth Development Program (GDP), an initiative designed to support established, high-growth and high-potential Toronto businesses overcome barriers to growth and bolster their scale-up strategy.

Small and medium-sized businesses in Toronto continue to face major growth impediments as we emerge from the pandemic. Only 0.1 per cent of small businesses grow to be mid-sized, and only 2

per cent of mid-sized firms become large.

“As we enter a new and uncertain order of global business, fueled by the pandemic and major geopolitical events, small and medium-sized firms are being confronted with even greater obstacles to their growth trajectory,” said Leigh Smout, President, World Trade Centre-Toronto. “The Growth Development Program will support Canadian businesses to embrace this new business era with our highly practical interactive workshops and mentorship, led by Canada’s top scale-up business experts. There is no other way for a Canadian SME to get access to this calibre of development support.”

“Small and medium-sized businesses form the bedrock of Toronto’s economy, however many of them still face challenges as a result of the global pandemic,” Scotiabank Senior Vice President Jason Charlebois said. “At Scotiabank, we recognize the full potential of the City’s entrepreneurs and we’re proud to be working with the Toronto Region Board of Trade to provide the advice and resources business owners need to achieve their goals, while also ensuring necessary support is dedicated to Toronto’s underrepresented groups.”

Many successful businesses hit a glass ceiling of growth after reaching revenues of approximately $5M per year. The practical and curated workshops of Growth Development Program (GDP) are designed to assist Canadian entrepreneurs in developing a strategic growth plan and getting started on the path to scaling their business.

Through GDP, the World Trade Centre-Toronto will strengthen Canada’s scale-up ecosystem, bolster sectors of the economy that are critical to the country’s growth and drive investments in technologies that will spur business growth and resiliency. This will be accomplished all while ensuring that underrepresented groups in our economy are included.

The Growth Development Program (GDP) offers Toronto businesses hands-on workshops and mentorship sessions led by leading experts and advisory services. Companies will graduate with a professionally vetted Strategic Growth Plan as well as gain access to a dynamic professional community through World Trade Centre-Toronto’s peer-to-peer network. The program is supported by partners such as Scotiabank, who are invested in helping businesses reach their full potential. 

The program’s inaugural cohort will run through May and June at the Board of Trade’s office this spring. The agenda for its cohort includes: 

  • Developing Your Growth Mindset
  • Maximizing Operational Efficiency
  • Optimizing Financial Management and Funding
  • Enhancing Leadership Skills to Gear-Up for Growth 

For an enrolment fee of just $1495, participating companies will receive at least $40,000 worth of growth resources and mentoring for their business. To learn more about the Growth Development Program, visit

About Toronto Region Board of Trade

The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.

Media Contact

Andrew Perez, Media Relations Manager