Course Highlights

Participants in this course will learn about the vital role a business ecosystem plays in supporting entrepreneurship and business development. Business systems, trends, and resources play a vital role in innovation and generating value. In this course, we will learn how to cultivate vibrant business systems.

  • No application process or prerequisites. Simply register online and start learning on the same day!

  • Complete at your own pace using a computer, tablet, or smartphone

  • Take up to 90 days to complete the course

  • Earn a certificate of course completion and digital badge upon successfully completing the course that can be shared on social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook; downloaded as a PDF; or even embedded in an email signature!

About this Course

The course consists of the following lessons: 

Lesson 1: Economic trends; 

Lesson 2: Clusters, ecosystems, and conditions for thriving ecosystems; 

Lesson 3: Common approaches to economic development 

Lesson 4: Developing regional ecosystems 

Lesson 5: Strengthening regional economic systems 

Review the curriculum below for more information on topics covered in this course.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the Course

    • Before we begin...

    • Welcome and Course Information

    • Course Introduction from your Instructor

  • 2

    Lesson 1: Economic Trends

    • Introduction

    • Key Terms and Concepts

    • The Canadian Economy in the past 60 years

    • What is a Business Ecosystem?

    • Decline of Economic Growth

    • Declining Purchasing Power Since the 1950's

    • Trend #1: Decline of Economic Growth

    • Trend #2: Centralization and Vertical Supply Chains

    • Trend #3: Ignoring Business Development Between Rural Areas

    • Trend #4: Challenges in Upward Mobility in Ontario

    • Trend #5: Rising Levels of Debt

    • Trend #6: Erosion of Trust

    • Lesson Summary

    • Lesson 1 Quiz

    • References

  • 3

    Lesson 2: Clusters, Ecosystems, and Conditions for Thriving Ecosystems

    • Introduction

    • Key Terms and Concepts

    • What are the Conditions Needed for Businesses to Thrive?

    • Business Clusters

    • Barriers to Entry Into an Ecosystem

    • Challenges of Micro-Enterprises and SMEs

    • Choke Points in the System

    • Lesson Summary

    • Lesson 2 Quiz

    • References

  • 4

    Lesson 3: Approaches to Economic Development

    • Introduction

    • Key Terms and Concepts

    • Superclusters

    • Taxes

    • Foreign Direct Investment

    • Trade Missions

    • The Importance of Connecting

    • Three Parts and Five Steps to Community Innovation

    • Lesson Summary

    • Lesson 3 Quiz

    • References

  • 5

    Lesson 4: Developing Regional Ecosystems (Part 1)

    • Introduction

    • Key Terms and Concepts

    • Conditions for Thriving SME Environment

    • Begin at the Beginning: What Do You Have?

    • Choke-Points in a System

    • Begin at the Beginning: Who Do You Have

    • Once You Know Who You Have, You'll Know Where to Go

    • Capital

    • To be continued...

  • 6

    Lesson 5: Developing Regional Ecosystems (Part 2)

    • Introduction

    • Barriers to Entrepreneurship

    • Begin with Trust

    • Frank Conversations About Programs to (Re)build Trust

    • Cultural Differences

    • Decline of Economic Growth

    • Challenges of Upward Mobility in Ontario

    • Decline of Economic Growth

    • Centralization and Vertical Supply Chains

    • Ignoring Business Development Between Rural Areas

    • Lesson Summary

    • Lesson 4 and 5 Quiz

    • References

  • 7

    Lesson 6: Strengthening Regional Ecosystems

    • Introduction

    • How to Reshape Clusters

    • Components of Business Environment

    • Leadership Comes First

    • Reshaping Clusters

    • Mobilizing Resources for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

    • Addressing Barriers to Market Entry

    • Creating an Open Culture

    • Lesson Summary

    • Lesson 6 Quiz

  • 8


    • You're Almost Done

    • Before you go...

Course Developer

Course Author

Renée Gendron

Renée Gendron is principle/owner of Vitae Dynamics. She extends business consultation services to SMEs to help them develop their ecosystem, develop resources, and prosper. She also extends custom workshops to develop skills, leadership, and conflict resolution abilities. She is keenly interested in larger economic processes and systems, and facilitates an online course on social entrepreneurship for Sault College.