Toronto youth, business and education leaders think outside the box to boost Canada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

January 22, 2014

Toronto youth, business and education leaders think outside the box to boost Canada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

How will entrepreneurs harness the “silver tsunami”? Is failing the new work experience?
Is Canada’s “swagger” (or lack thereof) holding entrepreneurship back?

Toronto, Ontario (Marketwired – January 22, 2014): These and other provocative challenges were posed today, as more than 120 dynamic young entrepreneurs, business, education, non-profit, policy and community leaders braved subzero temperatures to discuss the future of youth entrepreneurship in Canada.

The Action Entrepreneurship: Growing Young Enterprise roundtable series, hosted by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), is tapping into the bold ideas and collaborative spirit of young businesspeople and those who support them during a 10-city tour focused on identifying the best opportunities to expand youth entrepreneurship in Canada. The roundtables will culminate in a national summit in May and a cohesive plan of action to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“There are lots of resources out there to help young Canadian entrepreneurs succeed –from awareness-raising and cheerleading, to teaching and training, funding, networking, policy-making and purchasing,” said Julia Deans, CEO, CYBF. “Today’s conversations surfaced some terrific ideas to significantly expand youth entrepreneurship and we’re excited to continue the discussion across Canada.”

Additional highlights from today’s Toronto roundtable included:

  • The Honourable Minister Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, shared priorities from the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy.
  • Results of the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor study, the world’s largest study of entrepreneurship—unveiled for the first time in Canada—reported that entrepreneurs are among the happiest people in the world in terms of job fulfillment, and that Canada tops the global charts when it comes to the number of 18-34-year-olds actively planning or in the early stages of a new business.

“Today’s high school students are required to do volunteer hours to graduate. What if we gave them the option to use these hours instead for exploring entrepreneurship and business building?” asked Kyle Ardill, Synergy Wellness Attitude Training, citing his favourite idea tabled today. “There would be much higher interest and engagement in the program and students would graduate with a better understanding of entrepreneurship as a career.”

Many others engaged online as commentary from the roundtable was shared and discussed via social media (@CYBFCanada / #AECanada).

More information about the Action Entrepreneurship: Growing Young Entrepreneurs initiative and its roundtables can be found at:


About the 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. We look at character, not collateral, when providing youth aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, low-interest financing of up to $15,000, and industry-leading mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses. CYBF’s co-financing partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada, leverages CYBF’s application process to provide up to $30,000 in additional support for CYBF entrepreneurs.

Established in 1996, CYBF has been recognized as a global leader in advancing youth entrepreneurship. CYBF 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.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Nicolee Tattersall
Manager, Media Relations
(416) 408-2923, ext. 2208
(647) 405-2923 

Susan E. Wright
The Hillbrooke Group
(519) 703-2020