The EY G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer 2013: Canada

Coordinated support

Pillar ranking: 16

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There is room for more support from the Government.

This pillar is the one area where Canada scores poorly, based on a survey of local entrepreneurs on this issue. One explanation for this pessimism may be the higher expectations of entrepreneurs in Canada. It’s important to note, however, that other countries which rank low in this particular pillar, tend to rank highly in the other pillars. It may be that having been offered an encouraging environment in other respects, entrepreneurs in these nations look for greater levels of support and assistance across the board.

Nevertheless, Canada scores poorly on several measures. Its results are below average on mentorship (echoing a complaint seen in the education pillar), the provision of incubators by business and universities, and the availability of networks such as entrepreneur clubs and associations. Corporate and non-Government mentors are particularly difficult to find. This explains why Canada’s entrepreneurs are calling for more Government start-up programs and better access to business incubators and mentoring programs.

EY - 21% of entrepreneurs surveyed from Canada think access to business incubators has deteriorated over the past three years

So far, the Canadian Government has been slow to address these issues. In 2011, Industry Canada produced a landmark report on Canadian entrepreneurship commissioned by the Government.1

Many of its central recommendations have been adopted, but the call for an Industrial Research and Innovation Council, which would be the centerpiece of the federal Government’s efforts to help entrepreneurs bring their innovative ideas to the marketplace and grow their companies into internationally successful businesses, has not been heeded.

All this serves to limit entrepreneurial progress on the ground, says Enovec’s Scott Walton. “We interact with a lot of universities across Canada and in the US, Germany, France, India, and there is a lot of vital intellectual property there waiting for entrepreneurs to come partner with it. The problem is that the ideas are there but there is not money to facilitate actually trying them out.”

EY - Entrepreneurs’ views on top initiatives and organizations that could most improve the long-term growth of entrepreneurship

1. Industry Canada, Innovation Canada: A Call to Action (Industry Canada Expert Panel Report, 2011).