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At the Halifax Chamber, we know small business.

We are bringing connection, information, and inspiration to this hybrid summit, on Friday, October 22nd, 2021.


This year's theme is strategy and will involve an interactive planning session where small business owners will work together with the help of industry experts to build a tangible plan to grow businesses here in Halifax.
We are living in unprecedented times and small businesses in our community are feeling the impact. We want to make sure that small businesses in Halifax are strategically aligned for growth in the coming months and equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to prepare for the new normal.  
Participants will learn from the best of the best, with industry experts in:

  • Brand development

  • Risk reduction

  • Talent acquisition

  • Diversity and inclusion

  • Leveraging global markets

  • Securing capital



Founder & CEO, Foundation Marketing

Ross Simmonds is the founder of Foundation Marketing, a content marketing agency that combines data and creativity to develop & serve ambitious brands. Foundation Marketing provides content marketing services to organizations all over the world ranging from some of the fastest-growing startups & consumer products to global Fortune 500 brands. Ross and the team at Foundation have launched marketing initiatives that reach millions of people on channels like Instagram, Slideshare Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.


In addition to running Foundation Marketing; Ross is the founder of a wide range of different businesses including Hustle & Grind, an e-commerce brand described as the voice of modern entrepreneurs. Ross has invested in a handful of startups and sits on the board of directors for a handful of non-profit organizations.


Over the years, Ross has been published or featured in publications such as Forbes, Venture Beat, Huffington Post, Mashable, BET, CBC and more. He was named in Mashable as one of the top Snapchat marketers in the world and writes regularly about marketing on his own blog.



CEO, Symplicity Designs

Matt Symes has a unique ability to bring clarity to chaos. He sees a path forward, helps businesses focus on what they do best, then finds even better ways to do it.


Matt is willing to say what others won’t and lean into conflict to get the best out of everyone in the room. He focuses on the realities facing businesses, even when they’re uncomfortable, and offers practical advice and tools for improvement. He cuts through the clutter to teach participants how to see the gaps, address the conflicts, and make their day-to-day operations tangibly better.

Business leaders in every sector turn to Matt for training and advice on how to scale up and navigate forward. He delivers clarity and relentlessly pushes clients to think bigger and achieve way more than they thought was possible.


Under Matt’s leadership, Symplicity Designs has supported 400+ companies and non-profit organizations through growth and crisis management over the past eight years.



President & CEO, BDC

Ms. Hudon brings a deep business background and a clear vision for an inclusive economy to support growth for Canadian entrepreneurs. She is a champion of diversity, gender equality and the green economy, leading BDC’s 2,500-person team.


From 2017 to 2021, Ms. Hudon was Ambassador of Canada to France and Monaco. She has also served as the Personal Representative of the Prime Minister of Canada for the Francophonie. Previously, she was President and CEO of Sun Life Financial Quebec and Senior Vice President of Sun Life Financial Canada. Ms. Hudon has also held seats on several boards of directors including those of Hydro-Québec, Groupe Marcelle, Holt Renfrew and the Canada Council for the Arts. She is the co-founder of The A Effect.


Ms. Hudon has received a medal from the National Assembly of Québec for her commitment to the cause of women’s ambition, the Queen Elizabeth II

Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contribution to culture in Canada, and was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law by Concordia University in 2017.