Passing the torch

Head of the (entrepreneurial) class
Saint John business mogul wins national entrepreneurship honour

Gerry Pond

Gerry Pond

DURING A 45-YEAR CAREER in the information and communications technology sector, Saint John entrepreneur Gerry Pond received numerous accolades. Yet he admits being named the recipient of the first-ever Business Development Bank of Canada Entrepreneur Champion award in March was a big deal to him. “When you compete across the country and get to be the winner, it means a lot,” says Pond. “We need more awards like this coming to Atlantic Canada.”

Pond also thinks Atlantic Canada needs more young entrepreneurs, and he’s passionate about developing them. That’s a big reason why the BDC chose Pond as the first recipient of the award, which it says recognizes a Canadian entrepreneur who has created and grown many successful businesses while significantly contributing to the “prosperity of the Canadian entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

With an aging population and many young people moving away to take jobs in Western Canada, Pond says the region needs to develop young entrepreneurs to create employment opportunities in Atlantic Canada. So what advice entrepreneurs looking to launch a business in Atlantic Canada? Here are three things he says are critical to being a super successful entrepreneur:

Confidence is king
“The biggest thing I see in this region is all the stories are about what we can’t do. Entrepreneurs need to be encouraged to be self-confident and solve problems – because it’s been taken out of them.”

Go big or go home
“Atlantic Canada is only a small percentage of the Canadian market. Go after billiondollar markets, but you have to be working in multiple countries to get that number.”

Chase that capital
“Don’t be dissuaded by the news that there is no capital out there. There is capital for good people with good ideas.”

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