The Yorkton Chamber of Commerce’s Business Dinner sold out this year, bringing the city’s business community out to see Bruce Croxon. Best known for Dragon’s Den and co-founding dating site Lavalife, Croxon spoke about what he sees as being important for business.
Through Dragon’s Den, Croxon has seen many business ideas from throughout the country, and he says that Canada’s entrepreneurial spirit is reflected through the popularity of the program.
“I firmly believe that Canadian entrepreneurs can hold their own with anyone in the world, I’ll stand by that and put my money behind it,” he says.
Croxon spent the day in Yorkton with business people before his speech in the evening, and he says he’s impressed by what he’s hearing from people in the area. “I heard about the lean times that Saskatchewan went through, Yorkton no exception, and now I’m hearing about some exceptionally good times. You can feel the energy here. People are fired up, there’s opportunity around every corner, and I feel like the other areas of the country which are not as fortunate, need to get their butts to Saskatchewan, they need people to work. That’s a good place to be coming from,” he says.
Part of the talk focused on teamwork. Croxon says that good employees who can be trusted are what keep businesses going and that it’s difficult for most people to do things on their own and succeed.
“Anyone can make money when things are great. It’s when you hit the other side of the curve and you’re grinding that you really notice who you’ve got as a partner and a person who works with you.”
While encouraged by the business environment in the area, Croxon says there are areas in need of improvement, specifically when it comes to banks and loans. “Unless you’re making three million dollars a year and have been doing it for a while, the banks aren’t really interested... My plea to the Canadian banks is to not forget where this came from in the first place, let’s get back to seeding and supporting businesses at the stage they need it most,” he says.
Croxon also used the occasion to make an impassioned defense of the CBC, saying that the public broadcaster is necessary to keep politicians in check and for people to have an impartial voice. He says Canada would suffer a major blow if broadcasting was exclusively private, as it is south of the border.