Smith School of Business: CORONAVIRUS: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know Right Now


Thursday April 2, 2020
9:00 am - 10:00 am


Virtual Workshop
Event Category

Running your own business is never easy—even in the best of times. The coronavirus crisis presents a whole new set of challenges. How to survive? How to maintain cash flow? How to be resilient and navigate whatever comes next? 

On April 2 at 1 pm, join Smith Business Insight and Queen’s Executive Education for a free 60-minute webinar offering entrepreneurs a unique perspective on the current situation, and advice on how to overcome the obstacles and preserve your business. Featuring seasoned entrepreneurs and experts: George Rossolatos, CEO of the Canadian Business Growth Fund; Jess Joss, CEO of Equation Angels; Stephen Smith, CEO and co-founder of First National Financial; and Elspeth Murray, CIBC Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Smith School of Business. 

About the speakers

George Rossolatos, CEO, Canadian Business Growth Fund

George Rossolatos, is the founding CEO of the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF), where he is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the fund. He has over 20 years’ experience as an investor, entrepreneur and leader. Prior to CBGF, he was CEO of Avante Logixx Inc., a partner and co-founder of TorQuest Partners Inc., an investment principal at Harrowston Inc., and a manager at Ernst & Young LLP. He holds a Commerce degree from Smith School of Business and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management with a specialty in Marketing, Entrepreneurship & Technology. He was previously recognized with the Top 40 Under 40 award, recognizing young business leaders, dedicates time to several corporate and non-for-profit boards.

Jess Joss, CEO, Equation

Jess Joss is the CEO of Equation, a joint venture that brings together three angel investment networks, Co-founder of Insiteful Solutions, and Partner in Spyder Capital Corporation. Leveraging more than 20 years of business leadership, entrepreneurial expertise and investment experience, she played a pivotal role in the realization of Equation, and its impactful investment collaboration. Equation is a strategic alliance brings together three venerable angel groups: Angel One (Burlington), Golden Triangle Angel Network or GTAN (Kitchener-Waterloo) and the Southwestern Ontario Angel Network or SWO (London). This angel network is now the largest in Ontario, and second largest in Canada. Equation provides streamlined screening, pitching and due diligence for founders who are raising equity funding. And for the 200 member investors, it creates a unique opportunity to gain early and exclusive access to the most promising companies; negotiate the best deals; and make nimble investments.

Stephen Smith, Chairman & CEO, First National Financial Corporation

Stephen Smith, a philanthropist and one of Canada’s leading financial services entrepreneurs, is the chairman, CEO co-founder of First National Financial Corporation. He has been an innovator in the development and utilization of various securitization techniques to finance mortgage assets as well as a leader in the development and application of information technology in the mortgage industry. He is also chairman of Canada Guarantee Mortgage Insurance Company, which he owns in partnership with Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan; and the chairman and co-owner of Duo Bank of Canada, formerly Walmart Canada Bank. A proud Queen’s University alumnus, in 2015, Mr. Smith donated $50-million to business education at Queen’s.

Dr. Elspeth Murray, Associate Professor & Associate Dean of MBA and Masters Programs; and Director - Centre for Business Venturing (QCED/QCBV) and CIBC Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship

Elspeth Murray has served as the Associate Dean - MBA and Masters Programs since 2012, and has been a professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Smith School of Business since 1996. She also holds the CIBC Fellowship in Entrepreneurship and founded Smith's Centre for Business Venturing. Prior to joining Smith, she worked in industry for 7 years for several firms including IBM, and Canadian Tire. As an integral part of her work in the strategy and new venture fields, Dr. Murray specializes in the management of change. In 2002, she co-authored a best-selling book, Fast Forward: Organizational Change in 100 Days, Oxford University Press, with Dr. Peter Richardson. She has recently co-developed (with Dr. David Saunders) the Analytics Climate Assessment Tool (ACAT), which is used to assess organizations' technological capacity, skill sets, and analytics culture. Current research is focused on best practices in leading and managing change to create an analytics culture.