G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit Challenges World Leaders to Recognize that Young Entrepreneurs have the Power to Lead in the Post-Recovery Economy

June 22, 2010

Participants agree to recommendations that would help give young entrepreneurs around the world the tools to succeed

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA (June 22, 2010) – The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, the Honourable John P. Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Catherine Swift, Chairwoman, President and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Vivian Prokop, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and Chair of the G20 Youth Entrepreneur Summit today presided over the signing of a communiqué that requests the members of the G20 pledge their support for youth entrepreneurship around the globe.

From June 20th to 22nd entrepreneurs, academics, government officials and youth entrepreneurship organizations from G20 nations met in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to discuss how to harness the potential of young entrepreneurs worldwide.  Hosted by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit is recognized by the Canadian government as an official G20 event.

After two days of discussions with and presentations from young entrepreneurial leaders from around the globe, a communiqué identifying five key policy issues was developed and signed by the presidents of the delegations attending from G20 countries.

“Young entrepreneurs are driving economic recovery and will play a pivotal role in ensuring robust and sustainable growth in developed and developing economies alike,” says Vivian Prokop, chief executive officer of CYBF and chair of the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit. “Over the past two days, we have both highlighted five key issues for attention by the G20 Leaders this week and laid the foundation for a new global alliance of entrepreneurial organizations to provide a powerful voice for young business owners around the world.”

The communiqué calls upon the governments of the G20 countries to both recognize that young entrepreneurs have the power to change their lives, their communities, their cultures and their countries and to support for the following five points:

Regulation and taxation – Founding a business is a daunting challenge for entrepreneurs in every country, but doubly so for young people.  Complex regulations and administrative procedures, together with excessive taxation, can discourage young people from taking even the first step towards becoming an entrepreneur.  Governments should reduce red tape and enact tax measures that will encourage young people to invest in new businesses and will help these businesses to grow.

Access to funding – Young entrepreneurs have great difficulty in gaining access to traditional sources of financing.  Because they tend to have little experience and few assets, banks and other financial institutions tend to see them as too risky. And because they are starting from scratch, they are too small to be of interest to most angel investors and venture capitalists.  Governments therefore should support alternative mechanisms and institutions that enable young entrepreneurs to access the capital they need.

Coordinated support – Young entrepreneurs do get help from a range of non-governmental organizations, private-sector initiatives, educational institutions and government agencies, but in many countries the resulting web of support is inefficient and inconsistent. Governments should encourage greater collaboration and cooperation among organizations across the public, private and non-profit sectors, both within our countries and across international boundaries.

Education and training – Our education systems have an essential role in enabling young entrepreneurs to acquire the knowledge and skills that they will need to succeed.  Governments should encourage entrepreneurial education in our schools, colleges and universities and through nontraditional, community-based means.

Entrepreneurship culture – While entrepreneurship has transformed countless lives in all our countries, young people are often not aware of entrepreneurship as a possible career option.  This is particularly the case with young women and those from marginalized groups.  Some cultures also view business failure as shameful and not as a learning milestone that shapes and improves later entrepreneurial ventures. Examples of entrepreneurs who have overcome these and other challenges are powerful teachers and we encourage our governments to find ways to share these positive examples with young entrepreneurs.

After the official signing, the communiqué was handed over to the Honourable John P. Manley and the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, to be formally submitted to the G20 Business Summit (B20), which will take place in Toronto on June 25th-26th.

“Every giant global enterprise today owes its existence to somebody who had a bright idea and the will to succeed,” says David Stewart-Patterson, vice chair of CYBF and executive vice president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.   “Today’s communiqué provides an important focus for the B20’s discussion of entrepreneurship and for the strategic advice it has been asked to provide to G20 Finance Ministers and Leaders.”


About The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF)
Canada’s Entrepreneur Gateway

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is the ‘go to’ place for youth entrepreneurship. As a national charity, we are dedicated to growing our nation’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character not collateral, when providing youth, age 18-34, with pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring, to help them launch and sustain a successful entrepreneurial business. www.cybf.ca.

About the CYBF G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) will host the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit in Toronto, Canada, from June 20 to 22. The Summit will bring together more than 200 young entrepreneurs (aged 18 to 40) and leaders of entrepreneurial organizations from G20 countries to exchange ideas and establish international networks and partnerships that will help drive sustainable global economic growth. The Summit has been recognized by the Canadian federal government as part of the G20 consultative process and its recommendations are planned to be the focus for a discussion of entrepreneurship at the G20 Business Summit (B20) on June 25 and 26, 2010.

The Young Entrepreneur Summit will be webcast at www.cybf-g20.com.

For more information, please contact:
Lori Paris, Manager, Communications
Canadian Youth Business Foundation
Tel: (416) 408-2923 ext. 2120
E-mail: lparis@cybf.ca

Miguel Pacheco, Consultant
Hill & Knowlton Canada
Tel: (416) 413-4694
E-mail: miguel.pacheco@hillandknowlton.ca