The competitive landscape facing New Brunswick has fundamentally changed over the past decade. The number of jurisdictions competing with New Brunswick for global investment, talent and ideas has broadened. In order to better compete and win in this new environment, the economic development model in New Brunswick needs to adapt.
Opportunities NB (ONB) is the province’s lead economic development organization mandated to foster the growth of local export-oriented industries, attract business investment into growth sectors and support the growth of new start-ups. It is led by a private sector board of directors made up of Canadian business leaders, including a number from New Brunswick. Government will continue to support ONB as the lead economic development agency.
The New Brunswick Jobs Board has been established to focus and co-ordinate economic development and job creation.The Jobs Board Secretariat is a small team of professionals set up to support the Jobs Board. The Secretariat will manage the implementation of the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan and support cross-departmental co-operation on economic development and the fostering of policies and programs to strengthen the conditions for growth in the years ahead.
The New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan focuses on opening New Brunswick to the world. Government will embrace the increasingly global nature of the economy and seek to attract our share of global investment, talent and new ideas. New Brunswick's entrepreneurs are key. There are thousands of them all around the province, and they are the backbone of economies from Campbellton to Woodstock, from St. George to Saint-Léonard. Using our five pillars, we will ensure government policies and programming creates the conditions for entrepreneurs to build profitable businesses. Specific areas of focus include:
- Connecting entrepreneurs to capital
This continues to be a source of concern for many entrepreneurs. If New Brunswick is to return to growth, it will take substantial new investment capital every year. There are many sources of funding, and government will do a better job of matching entrepreneurs with private sources of capital.
- Connecting entrepreneurs to community-based support services
A healthy and vibrant small business sector has access to mentors, expert advice on issues such as productivity and competitiveness as well as other support services. Many of these are already widely available, but there is a role for government to ensure broad use of these services to strengthen local economies.
- Fostering a positive environment for high-growth potential “Gazelle” start-ups
Government will build on the success of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and the province’s start-up incubation and acceleration infrastructure to attract more dynamic entrepreneurs.
- Supporting business succession planning
Thousands of business owners are heading into retirement in the coming decade or so. Government will develop a strategy to determine its appropriate role to ensure this generational transition maximizes value for the economy and sets the foundation for a stronger future.
The New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan is composed of five pillars. These pillars, however, are not intended to be silos operating in isolation from each other. Each pillar must be supported to reach our goals. Each pillar provides a framework for policies, programs and strategies to be developed and implemented. They are also the lenses which potential opportunities will be reviewed through to ensure the greatest success.