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20 Entrepreneurs Return to Canada after Representing their Country at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit in Turkey

Futurpreneur | September 29, 2015

The G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit brings together some of the world’s best and brightest young entrepreneurs for three days of networking with over 400 entrepreneurs from the G20 nations, giving them the opportunity to develop international networks and contacts to help them grow their businesses, and the chance to engage the G20 leaders and policymakers in the cause of youth entrepreneurship.

Futurpreneur Canada and a panel of judges, selected 20 young entrepreneurs to represent Canada at this year’s G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit held in Istanbul, Turkey. Together the group developed global policies to support entrepreneurship and SME development and measures to address youth employment. The developed policies will be presented to The G20 leaders in November through a communique, which can be read here.

Humeyra Ayshé Karsli of Atlantic Trade Bridge in Montreal shared her thoughts on the communique and the discussions that were had over the course of the three days in Turkey: “Along with young entrepreneurs from the G20 countries, we all agree that youth entrepreneurship is a dynamic and sustainable solution to youth unemployment and by creating and encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship, it will help create of jobs, build strong communities and create positive social change. I am proud that our recommendations of the G20 YEA will be shared with the G20 Leaders’ in November and I sincerely hope business leaders, governments and youth all across the world will join forces for a better and brighter future.”

In addition to  the development of global policies, the 20 entrepreneurs that represented Canada had the opportunity to connect with entrepreneurs and business leaders from around the globe. Leslie Gallagher of WorkLocal.jobs in Halifax, shared what that experience was like for her:

“In November of 2014, I quit my job to become a full-time entrepreneur. With an English degree, little work experience, and only an idea, I credit my early success to learning how to build and leverage a strong network of people who go out of their way to help each other. In Atlantic Canada, this has not proved hard to find, and I’ve been able to build a reputation for myself in the business and start-up community in less than a year. Network is everything.

It was only when I started shaking hands in Istanbul (population 14 million) from Halifax (population 400,000), that I realized my business cards don’t have “Canada” on the address line, or the country code before the phone number—I had never considered doing business outside of my hometown.

As entrepreneurs we are encouraged to “think big”, and the G20 YEA Summit not only made me think bigger, but gave me the tools and contacts to achieve bigger things.

In 3 days, I made contacts in countries across the world that were eager to introduce my business into new markets. I quickly realized that international growth is not necessarily more difficult than domestic growth. This made the strategy of starting local but growing global—or “Glocal”, as one of the panels put it—come to life.

The G20 YEA Summit accelerated the growth of my business, introduced me to like-minded peer mentors across the world with different perspectives, and elevated my business mindset and network of supportive follow entrepreneurs to a global level. It was an unforgettable experience.”

Barry Hartman of 505-Junk in Vancouver explained that the Summit was more than just a Summit. “It was an eye-opening, thought-provoking involvement of 400 young entrepreneurs from around the world sharing the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats of their growing enterprises. I left the G20 YEA Summit with lifelong business relationships, friendships, new knowledge, and a more broad vision for expansion with 505-Junk. Our voices were heard and I look forward to witnessing the progression of youth entrepreneurship on a global scale.” You can read Barry’s full recap here. 

The G20 YEA Summit provided the 20 entrepreneurs with an experience that not only will impact their business, but also with international connections that will last well beyond the three days in Turkey. Luc Bohunicky of Consultica in Winnipeg blogged about the lessons he learned at the Summit here, and the delegation will continue to spread their new wealth of knowledge they gained now that they have returned home.