Regional priorities that emerged fromStartup Canada’stown hall meetings across the country in the summer of 2012:
Atlantic Canada: Empowering young entrepreneurs
The significant focus was on increasing awareness of entrepreneurship as a career option. Ideas included summer entrepreneurship camps, small business internship programs, entrepreneurs in residence in high schools and co-ordination of entrepreneur support activities on college and university campuses.
Quebec: Creating entrepreneurial communities
Ideas included “mash-up” networking events to connect tech entrepreneurs with start-ups from other fields, such as culture, design and marketing, developing a provincewide mentorship program and a network of student entrepreneurship clubs connecting local support communities.
Ontario: Celebrating entrepreneurs
The focus was on giving entrepreneurship a higher profile. Ideas included developing national mainstream media attention, such as a “heritage moments” video campaign; and having entrepreneurs recognized on coins, stamps and in special exhibits in museums, libraries and malls.
Manitoba: Creating creative spaces
Ideas included developing a business incubator and co-working space for entrepreneurs in Winnipeg and pop-up shops to revitalize commercial spaces downtown.
Saskatchewan: Breaking down silos
A significant concern was the need to bring together the fragmented entrepreneurial community. Ideas included networking opportunities and online forums.
Alberta: Global connectivity
A concern that local startups will need to look outside the borders for significant growth. Ideas included creating an online resource with information on global markets, development of links to funding by foreign capital and a fund for entrepreneurs to attend international trade shows.
British Columbia: Follow the entrepreneur
The province has many successful entrepreneurs who could provide valuable advice to startups. Suggestions included establishing entrepreneur advisory councils, a central virtual marketplace for entrepreneurs to exchange services to accelerate growth and entrepreneur shadowing programs for policy makers to better understand the experience of growing a business.