Futurpreneur Canada launches action plan for a more entrepreneurial Canada

September 18, 2014

Mapping out a new future to advance youth entrepreneurship

TORONTO – September 18, 2014 – Today, Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation) launched an action plan outlining strategies and suggesting specific roles to expand and support youth entrepreneurship across the country. Developed with broad consultation through the organization’s Action Entrepreneurship: Growing Young Enterprise initiative, the plan provides a roadmap to help more Canadian entrepreneurs flourish. “In Canada, there is an urgent need to invest in youth entrepreneurship,” said Julia Deans, CEO of Futurpreneur Canada. “Not only is youth unemployment more than double that of older age groups, but half of the entrepreneurs who head the small and medium enterprises – which make up 98 per cent of all businesses in Canada – will retire in the next decade. Now is the time to act.” Unlocking the Power of Youth Entrepreneurship: An Action Plan for Canada presents new insights on Canadian entrepreneurship in two ways:

  • Firstly, it incorporates the results of in-depth consultations by Futurpreneur Canada with more than 1,000 of Canada’s best and brightest young entrepreneurs, business and non-profit leaders, policy makers, educators and others through interviews, pan-Canada roundtables, a national survey supported by the Foundation for an Entrepreneurial Canada, and a national summit; and
  • Secondly, it recommends specific actions that each of these groups can take now to better support existing and future entrepreneurs.

A recent partnership developed between Futurpreneur Canada and MaRS Discovery District is one example of how organizations are acting on the recommendations in the Action Plan. “We are pleased to collaborate with Futurpreneur Canada to assist young entrepreneurs in accessing the financing, mentoring and resources they need to build successful businesses,” said Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District. “Entrepreneurship cannot grow and thrive in our country without all stakeholders actively working together to promote and nurture this innovative segment of our economy. We’re proud to play a role in supporting this important initiative.” Futurpreneur Canada has consolidated the recommendations from its year-long consultations into three distinct areas, each of which will increase the entrepreneurial success of youth in Canada:

The action plan contains a wide range of recommended next steps which, to boost the chances of action, are clearly assigned to the stakeholders best placed to move them forward. Some examples include:

  • Federal government to encourage sharing provincial best practices across Canada to promote financial literacy and the development of entrepreneurial skills;
  • Academic institutions to promote entrepreneurship and opportunities to work in start-ups and early-growth companies through co-op programs, internships and at campus career and job centres; and,
  • Industry associations, federations and chambers of commerce to encourage members to speak to post-secondary classes, volunteer for entrepreneur-in-residence roles, and engage young entrepreneurs in their activities.

To help advance the plan, Futurpreneur Canada has also developed Action Entrepreneurship Link, an online inventory of programs, activities and events in Canada that support youth entrepreneurship. The online resource allows organizations to demonstrate how they are advancing these recommendations from entrepreneurs and leaders across the country. “It’s important for everyone to take a part in championing young entrepreneurs by helping them build the foundations needed to ensure their success,” said Deans. “Over the next two years, we at Futurpreneur Canada will undertake the actions that entrepreneurs and leaders assigned to us. We will also work with our partners and stakeholders to prioritize and collaboratively address the other Action Entrepreneurship recommendations.” For more information, visit www.actionentrepreneurship.ca. About Futurpreneur Canada Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, or CYBF) has been fuelling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for nearly two decades (credit laura). We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of The Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. staging.futurpreneur.caFacebook: Futurpreneur Twitter: @Futurpreneur.


Media contacts: Dorenda McNeil, Counsel Public Relations (416) 961-5898 x 216 dmcneil@counselpr.ca