Entrepreneurs around the globe urge G20 leaders to put youth entrepreneurship at the forefront of job creation, innovation and economic growth

June 17, 2013

<i> G20 YEA Alliance Summit delegates in Russia </i>

June 17, 2013, Moscow, Russia – As G20 leaders prepare for their 2013 Russian Summit, 18 Canadians were among more than 400 young entrepreneurs from G20 countries calling on them to promote youth entrepreneurship as a powerful response to some of the most significant challenges faced by today’s global economy.

The G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, a network of young entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them, held its fourth annual Summit in Moscow from June 15-17.

Eighteen Canadians brought the voice of fellow young entrepreneurs to the Summit discussions and to additional meetings with International Trade Minister Ed Fast, Canadian Ambassador, John Sloan, and members of the Russian-Canadian business community. The names of the Canadian delegates from coast-to-coast and their comments on the Summit experience follows.

The Alliance’s communiqué highlights opportunities for government and business to harness the potential of young entrepreneurs to create jobs, economic growth and competiveness, and to spur innovation and social change.

Supported by the Summit deliberations and in-depth research reports from two of the world’s leading management consulting companies – Accenture and Ernst & Young – the Summit communiqué calls on Canadians and other G20 leaders to collectively seize upon four opportunities to expand youth entrepreneurship:

  1. Increase access to finance and financial products and services for start-ups;
  2. Ensure that labour, immigration and other regulations and laws are transparent, easily understood, and support rather than hinder entrepreneurs
  3. Invest in educational and other programs to equip young people with knowledge and skills they can use to build businesses and create innovation, growth and prosperity; and
  4. Provide the digital infrastructure and services that young entrepreneurs need to access government services and to build local and international networks.

Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of most economies. In Canada, they represent 98 per cent of all businesses, 30 per cent of the GDP and 48 per cent of employment. The Canadian delegates at the G20 Youth Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit, led by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), return committed to working with all levels of government to help ensure that young entrepreneurs and their businesses can play their role in ensuring Canadian prosperity in the 21st century.

“In Canada, the youth unemployment crisis, combined with skills shortages and the imminent retirement of the majority of our small business owners, is among our greatest economic challenges,” said Olivier Letard, a Québec-based international entrepreneur, Co-President of the G20 Youth Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Canadian delegation, and CYBF Board member. “Youth entrepreneurs address these and other economic challenges by starting and taking over businesses, creating jobs and revenues and robust, sustainable growth.”  

“We look forward to working with the Canadian delegates and other business, government and academic partners to ensure that we do everything possible to help young entrepreneurs and ensure Canada’s leadership in job creation, innovation, growth and prosperity,” said Julia Deans, Chief Executive Officer, CYBF, and Co-President of the G20 Youth Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Canadian delegation.

Two key reports were unveiled at the Summit providing the latest survey data on the state of entrepreneurship around the globe and recommendations for G20 governments to support entrepreneurs:

  • Accenture released Entrepreneurial Innovation: how to unleash a key source of growth and jobs in the G20 countries, commissioned by the G20 Youth Entrepreneurship Alliance; and.
  • Ernst & Young presented Avoiding a lost generation, a white paper that analyzes the challenges and issues facing young entrepreneurs around the world.

For more information about the G20 YEA Summit, communiqué and research reports, please visit http://g20yeasummit.com.


G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (G20 YEA)
The G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance is a collective of leading entrepreneurially-minded organizations representing the G20 countries which seek to promote youth entrepreneurship as a powerful driver of economic renewal, job creation, innovation and social change. The Alliance was founded as a movement to engage the G20 leaders in the cause of youth entrepreneurship, share information across borders, affect positive change and create a global network of young entrepreneur advocates, while building a collaborative entrepreneurial environment worldwide. For more information, visit www.g20yea.com.

G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit, Russia
The G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit in Moscow, Russia, is a gathering of young entrepreneurs aged 18-40 and entrepreneurship-focused organizations from the G20 countries. Hosted by The Centre for Entrepreneurship, it provides valuable input to government leaders to assist in driving sustainable global economic growth, exchange ideas and to foster international partnerships and collaboration. The G20 YEA Summit is an official program of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance. For more information, visit www.g20yeasummit.com. www.cfe.ru.en.

Canadian Youth Business Foundation
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time. CYBF looks at character, not collateral, when providing youth aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses. CYBF has been recognized as a global leader in advancing youth entrepreneurship, is a founding member of the global G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance), the Canadian member of the Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian Host of Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 18-24, 2013). Visit www.cybf.ca.

For more information, contact:
Lesley Wilmot
Director, Marketing & Communications
Canadian Youth Business Foundation
416-408-2923 x 2203
G20 YEA Canadian Delegation and selected quotes

  • Armen Bakirtzian – Avenir Medical Inc. (avenirmedical.com) – Waterloo, ON

“The G20 YEA Summit continues to impress me year after year. I have had the privilege to attend three Summits, and I am a better entrepreneur because of it. Our movement is a global one and our voice is being heard across the 20 most powerful countries on earth. Entrepreneurs have a lot to contribute to improving global economics and solving difficult issues. The G20 YEA Summit is a great forum to collaborate and plan how to make the next wave of young entrepreneurs even more empowered and uninhibited.”

  • Winston Chan – Dr. Winston Chan Chiropractic Wellness Center (drwinstonchan.ca) – Montreal, QC

“Young entrepreneurs are agents of change in the Canadian economy. That’s why I’m looking forward to communicating the recommendations of this G20 YEA Summit with representatives of the provincial and federal governments over the next few months.”

  • Frank Collins – DangerDynamite! Multimedia (dangerdynamite.com) – Saskatoon, SK

“Entrepreneurship is about passion and creative thinking. If you have those two elements, the rest of the pieces fall into place. The G20 YEA Summit is an exciting opportunity to observe a global community working to ensure those pieces fall into place as effectively as possible.”

  • Alexandre Dumont – Gazon Synthétique – Québec Inc. (gsquebec.com) – Québec City, QC 

“The G20 YEA Summit strengthens the links to the international Canada with all the entrepreneurs and governments of the 20 most powerful countries in the world. A gathering success story of economic statistics and entrepreneurial passion in order to make better decisions to contribute to economic development. The G20 YEA Summit allows me to position my company, GSQ, internationally and seek a governmental power. An essential and strategic event for the survival of my business.”

  • Cedric Jeannot – I Think Security Ltd.(ithinksecurity.com) – Waterloo, ON

“The G20 YEA Summit is this year is again a phenomenal event. Entrepreneurs from the G20 countries are changing the economy by focusing on innovation and execution. This year’s Summit clearly outlined that we, the entrepreneurs, are all about connections and helping each other. From all corners of the world, we work with each other to grow businesses globally and bring prosperity in our own communities.”

  • Arjun Kumar – Kela Medical Inc, (kelamedical.com) – Whitby, ON

“Attending my third G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Summit really opens your eyes to the different takes and approaches to entrepreneurship based on the country. Each one of the Summits is equally inspiring and while we create a communiqué to ensure all young entrepreneurs around the world have strong support when launching a business, the one thing that is already universal is that young entrepreneurs are the most passionate bunch of individuals regardless of the part of the world they are from.”

  • Hugo Levasseur – Deltasco Solutions Inc. (deltasco.com) – Westmount, QC

“I arrived in Moscow as a Montreal entrepreneur member of an all-star Canadian Youth Business Foundation-led Canadian delegation. I am leaving Moscow as a global entrepreneur member of a global community of entrepreneurs ready to tackle the challenges we face as partners and peers. The G20 YEA Summit has exposed me to highly influential and relevant speakers from the global entrepreneur community. It has given me access to an immense community of passionate, talented and driven entrepreneurs. Finally, it has granted me the opportunity to be heard and share my concerns regarding core issues affecting our community. I will take all that I have received here in Moscow and will share all of it with my local community in Montreal!”

  • Derek Major – Eligeo CRM Inc. (eligeo.com) – Calgary, AB

“I was extremely excited to be part of the G20 YEA Summit this year in Moscow. This event really highlights the issues that are of great importance to young entrepreneurs across the world. It has been an incredible way to generate excitement and to come away with a renewed energy and focus when heading back to our own countries. I am really looking forward to sharing the stories we shared in Moscow with the rest of Canada.”

  • Barbara McLean-Stollery – Executive Airways Grooming Services (executiveairwaysgrooming.com) – Calgary, AB

”The G20 YEA Summit has inspired me to do great things. The powerful messages I am receiving will be brought back to Canada to encourage a movement of support for entrepreneurship. I have been encouraged to think globally but to act locally to enable a culture of entrepreneurship.”

  • Louis P. J. Parent – ChronoMetriq Inc (chronometriq.ca) – Montréal, QC

“The G20 YEA Summit is more than a business forum; it’s a formidable opportunity to not only network with outstanding individuals and really move your business forward, but also to connect on a personal level with other young entrepreneurs who go through the same challenges. What I bring home are both a clear message on how to improve Canada’s young entrepreneurship landscape and also exciting contacts for potential partnerships.”

  • Daniel Rodic – Loose Button Inc. (loosebutton.com) – Toronto, ON

“The Summit has helped expand my network across the globe and has introduced me to a whole new realm of opportunities to pursue. There is a lot to be learned from entrepreneurs across the world, and the Summit is the most efficient and effective way to meet and learn from all of them.”

  • Mike Schmidt – MFive Labs Inc. (getlistn.com) – Montreal, QC

“Young entrepreneurs represent a shift in economic thinking. The G20 summit gives these individuals an opportunity to voice issues that can fundamentally improve economies around the world.”

  • Scott Walton – Enovex (enovexcorp.com) – St. John, NB

“Entrepreneurship is the fuel needed to shift an economy forward. The G20 YEA Summits are meant to understand how we can stimulate as much entrepreneurship as possible, openly and globally. Each delegation is passionate and driven to improve the cultural, political and financial conditions of starting a business.”

  • Roman Yusfin – BI on the Fly Inc. – Richmond Hill, ON

“I’d like to share one of the key messages of this year’s G20 YEA Summit in Moscow for future entrepreneurs to take this ‘leap,’ to take this risk and start something, start anything. In this year’s amazing and inspiring lineup of global business leaders, one of the main points was that failure is a way to success. Most successful entrepreneurs took the risk, had their failures, learned from them and continued with renewed energy and newly gained experience turning a failure into an intellectual asset.”

Additional delegates include:

  • Zafer Dallal Bashi – Enventech Inc. – Saskatoon, SK
  • Melinda Jacobs – Social Innovation Research Group – Fredericton, NB (Currently residing in Taipei)
  • Donny Ouyang – Rayku Corp., (rayku.com) – Toronto, ON
  • Lisa von Sturmer – Growing City (growingcity.com) – Vancouver, BC