Charles Scott has provided on-going project coordination and program delivery, including:
Business Retention and Expansion. (2001 – 2012)
Housed within the municipal economic development office in Prince George (Initiatives Prince George, or IPG), the central focus was on assisting local firms to expand. This involved an analysis of best practices for Business Retention and Expansion programs in North America; mapping local clusters; interviewing local firms to understand the opportunities and challenges that they faced; interviewing large firms in key sectors external to the community (mining, oil & gas, utilities, logistics) to determine their needs; and piloting the initial program.
Charles managed all aspects of the project for IPG. During its initial phase (2001 – 2007), he assisted local firms to expand their business in the oil & gas industry. This entailed marketing the opportunity to local businesses, greatly expanding the network of firms engaged in market development, and promoting the capacity to decision-makers in the oil & gas sectors of North-East British Columbia and Alberta. In a more comprehensive expansion in 2012, he determined the appropriate research methodology; promoted the initiative to external sectors, local firms and stakeholders; interviewed local firms; interviewed procurement specialists in large firms headquartered outside Prince George; prepared a response plan; implemented the pilot phase of that plan; and prepared all aspects of the report to the initiative’s funders.
Key outcomes included:
- Developing links with large external firms in key target areas (mining, oil & gas, utilities, logistics) that connected local firms more effectively to their procurement decision-makers;
- Presenting local capabilities in ways that met the needs of external buyers, and formed the basis for a regional database of suppliers that currently covers Northern BC;
- Forming the basis for a local trade show that drew participation from established external firms in all target areas to meet with local capacity; and
- The long-term addition of a key component in the municipal economic development strategy for the city of Prince George, BC.
Export Prince George.(2002 – 2007)
A joint venture of the municipal economic development office (IPG) and Community Futures (CF of Fraser Fort George), this project augmented export capacity in small and medium enterprises. Charles managed all aspects of the initiative, secured funding from senior governments, and solicited local support among community partners (National Research Council, Chambers of Commerce, etc.).
Key outcomes included:
- Working with Vancouver-based trade partners to arrange delegations of trading houses to visit Northern BC. Starting in the fall of 2003, over $1 million in new sales came from this source by 2007.
- Coordination and logistical support for numerous trade missions to foreign countries, seeking new market opportunities.
- Six Northern BC firms joining a provincial consortium, and the formation of the NRSG consortium, as small firms pool resources to jointly develop new opportunities (both foreign and domestic).
- During his tenure (2002-2007), firms generated in excess of $12.5 million in incremental export business from opportunities that Export PG helped them develop.
Value-Added Assessment and Action Planning. (1999-2000)
While at the CF of Fraser Fort George, Charles developed a pilot project with Forest Renewal BC to support the growth of value-added forestry firms in the region. He developed a funding proposal, recruited skilled professionals to work with firms, identified and recruited firms to receive the service, handled inquiries from firms, administered the program, reported to FRBC, and undertook all aspects of project management during the pilot phase.
Key outcomes included:
- Awarding of 30 contracts during the 15-month pilot phase, involving over $300,000 in provincial support. This assistance allowed the firms to achieve and sustain over $6 million in new sales annually.
- Strong endorsement by firms of the quality of the program, and the service provided.
- Based on the solid results of the pilot phase, this project was expanded to full provincial coverage and a full-time manager recruited.
In response to growing pressure for skilled labour, IPG, CF of Fraser Fort George and the City of Prince George contracted with Charles to recruit businesses to an initiative. The goal is to ensure that firms are participating centrally within an effort to recruit skilled labour from under-employed immigrants in major cities, so as to help local firms capture opportunities that they would otherwise be unable to secure.
In this initiative, Charles worked with the Inter-Cultural Committee of the City of Prince George (a group of public and not-for-profit service providers with mandates related to immigrant skills training and settlement) and federal departments to create a funding proposal. He researched best-practice examples of immigrant recruitment from communities across Canada, prepared a promotional presentation, recruited firms to the steering committee, and liaised with service providers in the community.
Key outcomes included:
- Successful expansion of the community participation to include agencies and groups not previously connected to the initiative, and the gaining of their active participation in the design of a strategy to address skills shortages.
- Recruitment of adequate levels of businesses to the steering committee, which the partners deemed to be critical in order to ensure that the solution created met the needs of employers.
Business formation and expansion.
Charles has assisted entrepreneurs and managers to enhance their success in various ways.
As a Project Manager at Initiatives Prince George, he worked with local suppliers and large externally-controlled firms in target markets to facilitate local procurement. He identified prospects in target markets, promoted local solutions to those prospects, and enhanced their market entry strategies for these sectors.
As the Manager of Export Prince George, he worked with firms on market entry strategies for foreign countries, including assistance with logistics issues, understanding market structure, locating prospects, and assessing potential foreign partners. He also worked with firms entering or forming consortia.
As an Account Manager at GE Capital, his focus was on managing strategic customer relationships, sales and due diligence in the financing of commercial equipment for forestry, oil & gas and mining. The customer profile was typically medium and large firms, though small business remained a significant segment.
As a Business Analyst at the CFDC of Fraser Fort George, he provided business counselling, business planning, cash flow forecasting and financial analysis for firms, as well as doing due diligence as the senior lender of a commercial debt portfolio. He assisted firms in a range of business sectors, from advanced technology and manufacturing to retail and transport.