A focus on education is critical for nurturing entrepreneurship in Canada

EY urges G20 governments to support a job-creating culture

TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - Entrepreneurs generate jobs, support local communities and build prosperous societies, but Canada could be doing more to leverage their job-creating potential. According to a recent EY report, From classroom to boardroom: creating a culture for high impact entrepreneurship, governments must support future generations of youth entrepreneurs with targeted education policies.

"Canadian youth are entrepreneurial, talented and driven – but they need the right support," says Colleen McMorrow, EY Partner and Canadian Strategic Growth Markets Leader.

McMorrow, who is also EY's Entrepreneur Of The Year national program director, notes that Canada's brightest entrepreneurs are saying the same thing.

"We've been interviewing our EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award finalists on our signature 'yellow carpet' at the galas across the country this fall," she says. "When we ask them what they think we can do in Canada to better support entrepreneurship as a career choice, they unanimously agree – supporting education is paramount."

Canada is already implementing strategies to help entrepreneurs—and that's a good thing. According to EY's G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer, Canada scores well on a number of entrepreneurship success pillars, including tax and regulation, access to funding and entrepreneurial culture. The report also notes that a strong entrepreneurial culture is related to other dimensions of this ecosystem and plays a big role in accelerating entrepreneurial activity. Canada has a head start, but a stronger focus on education will help supercharge the system.

"Entrepreneurship education needs to start at the elementary school level and continue through secondary and post-secondary education," says McMorrow. "Canada needs to place more emphasis on experiential learning and entrepreneurship training in schools, as well as extracurricular programs. In the long-term, this is what will help build an entrepreneurial mindset and convert innovative ideas into job-creating businesses."

EY's From classroom to boardroom: creating a culture for high impact entrepreneurship report outlines six policy recommendations – and highlights Canada as an example in the following:

  1. Create a G20 multilateral entrepreneurs startup visa. The Canadian Government's Start-Up Visa Program for immigrant entrepreneurs, launched in 2013, is an example.
  2. Encourage international networking. The report notes the Canadian Trade Commissioner Services that offers the Business Women in International Trade (BWIT) Program as an example.
  3. Focus on 'quality' entrepreneurship and 'quality' employment. Futurpreneur Canada's integrated service offering for aspiring business owners aged 18–39 is an example.

For the complete list of recommendations, read the full report here: From classroom to boardroom: creating a culture for high impact entrepreneurship.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca. Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

SOURCE ERNST & YOUNG

For further information: Sasha Anopina, sasha.anopina@ca.ey.com, 416 943 2637; Julie Fournier, julie.fournier@ca.ey.com, 514 874 4308; Leigh Kjekstad, leigh.kjekstad@ca.ey.com, 604 648 3807

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