For ROSEANNE LEONARD, Managing Director at the NL Association of Community Business Development Corporations (CBDC), her job offers a front-row seat to the new emerging entrepreneurial class in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. In this province, big ideas aren’t limited to the big city, this Memorial BComm grad contends, and she and her colleagues are there to offer the financial support, technical advice and occasional hand-holding needed for a new business owner to find their way through the free market wilderness. It can all be a bit overwhelming for the newcomer, but Roseanne has total confidence in her organization’s abilities, and the results so far make it hard to argue with her. Her success stories range from the small to the big, the individual to the already-established company. She’s seen teenagers going into the wedding cake business, an environmentally sustainable snowboard company make it big, and a major corporation’s expansion to Marystown bringing in a massive influx of employment.
Pretty impressive, and certainly inspirational. For Leonard, the reward come from helping her clients kick-start smaller communities’ economies through private entrepreneurship. “Capitalism works,” she says flatly—and the CBDCs are there to help the people who want to work that capitalism.