Canadian Entrepreneurs Seek More Support Despite Positive G20 Rank

January 10, 2014 Ben Myers

EY-G20-Canada

Despite generally positive scores in many areas, entrepreneurs in Canada are seeking more support from government and corporations, according to the G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer 2013 from Ernst & Young.

“The cost of starting a business in the country is among the lowest in the G20, while entrepreneurs spend fewer hours on their tax affairs than their peers in most other nations, enjoy lower labor costs and benefit from better access to funding. As a result, levels of new business activity and start-ups are well above the G20 average.”

The positives, however, are tempered by some critical feedback from entrepreneurs, who say that access to funding and mentors could be improved.

Generally, Canada performs well when compared to the other members of the G20 in the areas examined by the report:

  1. Access to funding [Canada – 4th]
  2. Entrepreneurship culture [Canada – 3rd]
  3. Tax and regulation [Canada – 2nd ]
  4. Education and training [Canada – 9th]
  5. Coordinated support [Canada – 16th]

“Having been offered an encouraging environment in other respects, entrepreneurs in [Canada] look for greater levels of support.”

The coordinated support section is where the concerns are voiced about funding and mentors. Ernst & Young is quick to note the following:

“One explanation for this pessimism may be the higher expectations of entrepreneurs in Canada. It’s important to note, however, that other countries which rank low in this particular pillar, tend to rank highly in the other pillars. It may be that having been offered an encouraging environment in other respects, entrepreneurs in these nations look for greater levels of support and assistance across the board.”

Essentially, Canadian entrepreneurs are simply looking for more support in order to help them get to the next level. Crucially, the report says that more government start-up programs and mentorship programs are desired by entrepreneurs.

“In fact, 44% believe government start-up and other programs are the top initiative that could most improve the long-term growth of entrepreneurship in this country,” the report states.

Picking the right incubator or accelerator

Marcus Daniels, Managing Director at privately funded Toronto-based startup accelerator Extreme Startups agreed that quality mentorship and the right incubator or accelerator environment are difficult to find in Canada, particularly mentors that can advise on the practicality of the venture itself.

“There’s a lot of these types of environments where people are going in there and just paying for desk space, and they’re working on a project, and no mentor or coach is having the honest conversation,” he said.

When asked to evaluate how corporations are contributing to the success of entrepreneurs, Daniels said that corporations are sufficiently contributing at both the awareness and support phases.

“If I had to evaluate how our corporations are doing overall, I would say they’re doing a pretty good job based on different levels,” he said, referencing awareness at the university level and for-profit accelerators. “There’s a more than adequate foundation in place.”

Finding the right mentor and support

Daniels said that the frustration with both mentors and corporate support could be linked, as entrepreneurs wrestle with selling to corporations while having little past experience doing so – an area in which quality mentors could be helpful.

“I’ve never seen so many events and [so much] support, it’s actually gotten to the point where in this city, every second night there is something going on.”

“A lot of young entrepreneurs going into accelerators, most of them have limited professional experience – they’ve never worked in a corporate environment,” he said. “If you’ve never done that, how do you actually sell a product into a corporate environment? So there’s that level of coaching and support, which I think [is] a key part of what I think their role should be, but I think at the same time, it’s really easy to point fingers and say corporate should be doing more.”

Canada ranks 9th out of 20 in the Entrepreneurship Barometer for education and training. The report said the entrepreneurs are looking for more business and university incubators, as well as greater access to entrepreneur clubs and associations.

In terms of education and training, Daniels said that universities in Canada should be doing a better job of preparing entrepreneurs for practical skills like pitching and finances, but there is an abundance of opportunities for entrepreneurs to learn about incubators and accelerators already.

“I’ve never seen so many events and [so much] support, it’s actually gotten to the point where in this city, every second night there is something going on.”

Overall, Daniels echoes the positive sentiment of the report.

“There’s very few better places to build digital products than in Ontario,” he said.

Read and download the entire EY G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer 2013.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Previous Article
Comment on Canadian Entrepreneurs Seek More Support Despite Positive G20 Rank by Entrepreneur3

Check out www.ownerswanted.ca. It's a campaign the Canadian Youth Business Foundation...

Next Article
Announcing The Extreme Startups Acceleration Zone at Dx3 2014
Announcing The Extreme Startups Acceleration Zone at Dx3 2014

Posted in Canadian EntrepreneursDx3 BeatEditor's PicksTORONTO, ON – Jan....

Get the latest Dx3 news delivered to your inbox!

Sign Up