New perspectives to old problems?


New city, new job, and already a lot of learnings. My first few weeks at Market Gravity have gone by quickly, and already with a lot of excitement. I had worked in management consulting for several years, but I was eager to see what it would be like to join a boutique innovation firm… initial thoughts included lots of Post-it notes…

I am currently working on the D5 project, a collaboration between Market Gravity and Deloitte, to discover the five biggest challenges small and medium sized businesses in Canada are facing, and the 5 things banks can do to help them. A thought provoking topic, but how do we do this? The answer was simple, get out and talk to the people you are solving for. 

In the last week, we have spoken to 30+ business owners & startups, growth coaches, and tech hubs across Canada. There doesn’t appear to be a secret sauce or recipe to uncovering insights, but rather a genuine conversation with the business owners/founders. We are focused on gaining a full perspective of their background, career, motivations, overall lifestyle, and what challenges they have faced. As a result of these conversations, we have uncovered raw insights that we will be sharing in the upcoming weeks.

It is no surprise that small businesses in Canada face many challenges to scale and grow, and banks have an opportunity to help make their lives easier.  Despite the range of industries and diverse groups of people that we have spoken with, there are common problems and little available solutions to help. A few common insights that have stood out to me include:

-      Entrepreneurs feel alone, and isolated in their journey. They struggle to find advice and people to learn from for key business functions such as finance, marketing, or sales

-      The bank experience is inconsistent for small and medium businesses across the country, across different banks, and even within the same bank   

-      Within the startup world, time is of the essence. Founders are spending a great deal of time obtaining funding from VC’s and angel investors, resulting in a loss of momentum to their business and/or product

We still have work to do to shape and translate our insights into solutions that are meaningful for entrepreneurs. Next steps would be to evaluate industry disruptions, design and build several prototypes, and test them with entrepreneurs. I am most excited to see how the testing phase will go, and what feedback entrepreneurs provide on the solutions.

Stay tuned, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions as we move forward! Follow our journey on our microsite where we will continue to post and share our findings:







Asma Haji