Okanagan School of Business

Indigenous female business student studying outdoors at a wooden table.

Centre for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Research

Vision Statement

The Centre exists to encourage and support new Okanagan School of Business faculty researchers to engage in applied research, to expand their knowledge base, and to make a significant contribution to economic and social development in the BC Southern Interior. As part of the Okanagan College School of Business, the Centre will be a vibrant hub of researchers that support innovation and development of communities in the BC Southern Interior. It seeks to foster an improved learning environment for our students and faculty, while contributing to the well-being of our community.

Mission Statement

The Centre (CSBER) is an interdisciplinary institute for the study of small business and entrepreneurship that benefits the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Its research mission emphasizes the economic, environmental and social impacts of both small business and entrepreneurship at all stages of development. Its secondary mission is to encourage professors at early stages in their academic careers to engage in research in the fields of small business and entrepreneurship.

Scope of Research

Research in this cluster is carried out in key areas. The researchers identified with each area (identified below) are the main points of contact for that research area, They are also prepared to provide advice and guidance to Okanagan school of Business faculty interested in conducting research in that area.

Professor Lee Cartier P.Ag.

Lee Cartier’s research interests are in rural entrepreneurship and the economics of industry development. The focus of this research is on Industry cluster and value chain analysis, business Innovation, and the role of the entrepreneur in Industry strategy. In the Okanagan region, Lee has conducted extensive research into the agricultural products cluster, and is a recognized expert in both the B.C. Grape and Wine industry, and the Tree Fruit industry.

Contact Lee Cartier

Rural entrepreneurship and the economics of industry competitiveness

• Industry cluster and value chain analysis
• Industry strategy
• Business Innovation

Dr. Sheilagh Seaton

Sheilagh Seaton’s current research with the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence is focused on assisting non-profit organizations in the Central Okanagan achieve more sustainable operations.

Sheilagh is one of two faculty researchers leading this four-year project engaging student researchers in exploring the challenges encountered by non-profit organizations and developing relevant workshop curriculum. In addition, Sheilagh has worked with an international development organization in Africa to improve lives of the vulnerable children by improving access to education. Other research undertaken by Sheilagh has focused on community and economic development using sophisticated marketing tools to help small businesses scale-up.

Shei Seaton

Social service non-profit sector sustainability

• Strategy in not-for-profit organizations
• Governance in not-for-profit organizations
• Operational, human resources, and financial sustainability

Kyleen Myrah, Ed.D., CPA CMA

Dr. Myrah’s research interests are in social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility. Her focus is on double and triple bottom line organizations in the nonprofit, for-profit and social enterprise arena.

Through case studies, Dr. Myrah’s research investigates strategy, models and best practices of organizations who are achieving sustainable social change. Dr. Myrah is also a Faculty Researcher with the Scotiabank Centre for Non-profit Excellence at. Her role is to guide student research into the factors which improve long term competitiveness and sustainability in the nonprofit sector. Dr. Myrah’s investigation into nonprofit sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise and social business is complemented by her teaching in these subject areas and her Director and committee work in the social services sector.

Social Entrepreneurship

• Corporate Social Responsibility
• Models of ‘for-profit’ social entrepreneurship

What we do:

  • We provide an interface between academic research efforts and the community by acting as a conduit of rural research information and by facilitating community involvement in rural development. We use the concept of regional identity, rather than narrow definitions based on population numbers or geographic boundaries, to define a rural community. Rural communities become the unit of analysis and are able to differentiate themselves from other regions, thereby achieving competitive advantage in a national or even global context.
  • We promote, facilitate, coordinate, initiate and conduct multi-disciplinary academic and applied research on issues facing the BC Southern Interior.
  • We establish linkages with similar research institutions and research networks.
  • We communicate the results of our research throughout the Okanagan College community.

Values Statement

The Centre for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Research:

  • Embraces diversity and equality of individuals
  • Encourages fairness and integrity, respect and trust
  • Focuses on ethical and social responsibility
  • Stimulates creative thinking and innovation
  • Centres on researcher and student successes and achievements
  • Encourages personal standards of achievement
  • Inspires engaging and meaningful experiences
  • Strives for accessibility and achievement for all research stakeholders