Province to help tech company grow workforce
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/12/2019 (1268 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
One of the talking points members of the Pallister government are repeating often these days is the goal to see the province create 40,000 jobs over the course of the next four years.
Some economists are already saying that is going to take more than a casual interest in economic development by the province.
But when casting about for the most likely hot spots for those jobs to be created, Bold Commerce is likely one of the most hopeful prospects.
The e-commerce company has become the largest app developer for Shopify, the successful Canadian e-commerce platform, and now has about 90,000 retailers around the world using its products.
To that end, the province announced on Monday that it will be supporting Bold to the tune of $144,100 to help support current and new employees with training and resources to bring new people on board.
Bold has consistently been among the country’s fastest-growing technology companies for the past five years — it already has about 350 employees in Winnipeg — and so it knows a thing or two about how to rapidly on-board new hires.
Stefan Maynard, chief brand officer and co-founder of Bold Commerce, said the company is planning on hiring about 400 people over the next 21/2 years — about 20 per month — which is a lot to manage along with all the other business development issues that have to be paid attention to.
“This funding from the province will help us be able to spend the time developing training programs and hiring dedicated trainers,” he said. “When you are growing at this kind of speed, capacity and funding are always an issue. This support will allow us to take the time and actually develop a plan that works around it. It will ensure that we are keeping training and (staff) development top of mind and that it is a priority when there are so many other things we are trying to do.”
Bold’s application for financial support from the province for training — one of the only ways the province is able to support individual companies — is for 85 people during the next 12 months. It will help the company to formalize some of its training regime.
“Bold Commerce is a thriving company that has recognized the need to stay competitive by adding staff and boosting the skills of its existing employees,” said Manitoba Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler. “A skilled workforce is essential for continued growth and to remain competitive on a global scale. Like Bold Commerce, our government is confident in the future of our province and our people, and we appreciate its reinvestment in Manitoba.”
Bold is looking to fill positions up and down the skills and experience spectrum. It has gone on international recruiting mission primarily to fill more senior positions, but Maynard said they are looking to grow virtually all of its teams.
While Bold Commerce has grown up developing apps exclusively for Shopify customers, it is now working at adapting its products so they can easily be used on other e-commerce platforms.
Shopify was originally designed to allow smaller-scale retailers to have a robust, easy-to-use platform. By branching out to other e-commerce platforms, Bold’s products are now being targeted at much larger retailers, which creates a whole new kind of sales channel and marketing requirements that Bold has not experienced in the past.
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.