Our client was a public sector government Ministry in Ontario. Ontario had made tremendous strides in building a regional level world-class network to support entrepreneurs and firms. However, the entrepreneurship landscape was constantly changing, and client needs and priorities were evolving over time. Accordingly, there was a need to challenge the status quo and seek out ways to further improve the network of business support offices.
The Ministry therefore launched a strategic review to examine what adjustments could be made to its regional entrepreneurship support network, with the objectives of: enhancing collaboration between organizations, addressing mandate overlap, addressing gaps in programs and services, and implementing a continuous improvement process including a multi-stakeholder decision-making process.
Schroeder & Schroeder was commissioned to ensure that Ontario’s innovation and entrepreneurship network, and its programs and services, remained world-class. To do so, Schroeder & Schroeder needed to examine how to:
- Strengthen the suite of programs and services currently being offered;
- Streamline client access to programs and services through improved provincial and regional-level coordination; and
- Ensure partners and stakeholders are collaborating in new ways and creating new synergies to strengthen the network and Ontario’s regional ecosystems.
The main challenges we faced on this project included:
- Addressing and reconciling the potential and in part conflicting priorities and focus areas of a variety of providers within a specific region
- Founding a common language and framework to have meaningful conversations and outcomes
To address the requirements above, our consultants performed the following tasks:
- Analyzed regional self-assessments – assisted and facilitated in the self-assessments of the various players in a region to further understand the current entrepreneurship ecosystem, the entrepreneurship challenges of today and how to enhance regional collaboration.
- Summarized key findings and brainstormed ideas – assisted in identifying the challenges and opportunities in a region based on information gathered from the regional self-assessment and analyzed how other regions were proposing to address similar challenges.
- Developed regional collaboration and action plans – helped regions prioritize the key barriers preventing their region for realizing their vision, and helped to translate the ideas into Ecosystem Outcomes and Client Outcomes, with a clear focus on clear, practical outcomes for the regional ecosystem.
- Revised and implemented new plans – helped to provide input into the revision of programs and their implementation.
Through the strategic review conducted, Schroeder & Schroeder was able to help:
- Improve the performance of various regional networks to maximize the economic impact of the Ministry’s programs.
- Streamline and improve client access to available regional resources.
- Strengthen regional collaboration among innovation and entrepreneurial partners to better coordinate resources at the regional level.
- Align Ontario’s regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems with global best practices.
- Explore new opportunities to leverage support from the private sector.
- Address any weaknesses in the suite of the Ministry’s programs and services to ensure the needs of clients in today’s innovation and entrepreneurship landscape were being met.
At the conclusion of the project all the objectives had been achieved, and the client was highly satisfied with the deliverables and the value added by Schroeder & Schroeder Inc.