UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Assessing the keys and barriers to success in the value-added wood product manufacturing sector : a multiple-case study analysis of small and medium-sized enterprises Grace, Philip Gerald


Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the value-added forest products sector play an important role, both socially and economically, in forest dependent communities across Canada, yet the long-touted potential of the sector has not been attained. An assessment of the success factors as well as the barriers to success for SMEs operating in the value-added forest products sector is a key step in ensuring that firms operating in the sector, as well as policy makers at various levels of government are better informed. This will allow the firms in the sector to leverage their strengths and address their weaknesses in order to have a strong contingent of successful value-added forest product SMEs vital to sustaining community wealth. The study is conducted through an in-depth examination of four SMEs in the value-added wood products sector in British Columbia. The four cases represent different types of businesses with varying levels of performance. The results of the study indicate that management skills, access to skilled labour, access to fibre supply, and access to financial capital are fundamental success factors. The entrepreneurs and industry experts involved in the study suggest that for British Columbia’s value-added forest products sector to prosper, the development of management skills and skilled labour requires greater attention. Consequently, increases in the level of investment in skilled labour training and management skill development options that are easily accessible to entrepreneurs in rural communities, in conjunction with the provision of timber at a scale and means that is more suited to small and medium-sized value-added firms were suggested as means to reduce barriers to success faced by SMEs in the value-added sector.

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