Get Cozy (and Business-Savvy)

Last Updated: October 19, 2023

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This week we’re celebrating Small Business Week, a time to recognize and support the important role that small businesses play in our communities. 

In B.C., this role cannot be understated. Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, shared that there are over “500,000 small businesses in our province that make up 98% of businesses in B.C., meaning roughly one in 10 British Columbians are small business owners or entrepreneurs.” 

At the SBA, we know how overwhelming entrepreneurship can be—whether you’re just starting out or you’re a few years into your business venture, there is always something new to learn. This week we’ve teamed up with David Lam Management Research Library to bring you a curated list of books all about business, from inspiring stories to practical lessons that can help you take your business to the next level. 


25 Million Sparks: The Untold Story of Refugee Entrepreneurs by Andrew Leon Hanna

Discover the extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit of refugees through the inspiring journeys of innovators from Jordan's Za'atari camp. This book challenges stereotypes and highlights refugees as a source of innovation and economic growth, offering tangible ways to support their businesses and communities.

The Culture Advantage: Empowering Your People to Drive Innovation by Daniel Strode

A practical guide for anyone seeking to elevate their organization's potential, with key principles, real-world examples, and interviews with industry leaders. Strode takes readers on a journey looking at companies such as LEGO, Ping An, and many other titans of industry and small-scale start-ups. Read for valuable insights into creating a thriving organizational culture that drives innovation and success.

The Financial Times Essential Guide to Writing a Business Plan: How to Win Backing to Start Up or Grow Your Business by Vaughan Evans

A comprehensive resource that delves into the art of creating a tailored plan to secure funding and investments for your startup. With a focus on addressing the specific challenges startups face, this book offers valuable insights from the perspective of investors and covers topics like pitching your plan, navigating the world of social media marketing, and addressing sustainability concerns. Appendix includes example of business plan and alternative sources of funding. 

Reflective Goal Setting: An Applied Approach to Personal and Leadership Development by Cheryl J. Travers

This book is a game-changer for your personal and professional growth with a unique model that empowers you to set and achieve sustainable goals, enhance your soft skills, and effectively manage stress. Whether you're navigating change or seeking to enhance your leadership skills, this book is your roadmap to success. Look for cases of organizations who sought to enhance personal development of their managers and leaders and implementation of challenging goals to improve leader behavior and impact. 

Big Little Breakthroughs: How Small, Everyday Innovations Drive Oversized Results by Josh Linkner

Building a culture of innovation in companies is critically important, and this book illustrates how innovative thinking is possible for every employee and business leader. Linkner offers a fresh perspective on problem-solving and creativity through engaging stories, practical exercises, and real-world examples. It will inspire you to embrace small, incremental changes to ignite your creative spark. 

Surviving a Startup: Practical Strategies For Starting a Business, Overcoming Obstacles, and Coming Out on Top by Steven S. Hoffman

From the CEO of Founders Space, one of the world’s leading innovation hubs for entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors, comes this informative book detailing the journey of launching a venture-funded startup. Hoffman shares knowledge about the challenges faced when launching a startup, as well as strategies for raising capital, managing difficult employees, developing innovative products, and more. This guide will enable entrepreneurs to master the skills they need to follow the path of growth and success. 

Dead Fish Don't Swim Upstream: Real Life Lessons in Entrepreneurship by Jay J. Silverberg and Bruce E. McLean

Bridging the gap between business school and the realities of running a business, this book offers examples and recommendations for entrepreneurs to capitalize on opportunities or sidestep hidden challenges. The authors deliver advice based on their experience as successful entrepreneurs, guiding the reader through bite-size lessons and an added dimension that covers what gets taught in formal business education. 

Start-Ups, Pivots and Pop-Ups: How to Succeed by Creating Your Own Business by Richard Hall and Rachel Bell

This how-to guide focuses on the skills and knowledge necessary to survive and thrive when starting your entrepreneurial journey. Hall and Bell touch on customer interactions, why failures happen, and feature a number of lessons from successful entrepreneurs to demonstrate how you can start, test, and grow a business. 

Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy by Patrick Bet-David

Successful entrepreneurs and chess grandmasters have more in common than you might think! These groups both look forward in anticipation, mapping out a vision and long-term plan to advance their career. Take lessons from Bet-David as he uses his own career trajectory – from hot-tempered and insecure salesman to strategic and self-aware CEO – to illustrate the entrepreneurial journey as an accessible methodology of looking ahead to the next five moves.

Entrepreneurial Leadership: The Art of Launching New Ventures, Inspiring Others, and Running Stuff by Joel Peterson

Peterson draws on his experiences as a CFO, CEO, chairman, lead director, adjunct professor, founder, author, entrepreneur, and investor to inform this guide to entrepreneurial leadership. Peterson addresses the key traits leaders must embody to leave a lasting impact, laying out a path organized around four essential basecamps: Establishing Trust, Creating a Sense of Mission, Building a Cohesive Team, and Executing and Delivering Results.

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