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Ever noticed? For eons, geography was destiny in business. To succeed, you had to go where industry and capital were—like America, long dubbed the Land of Opportunity. Or, in Canada, typically Toronto. Where capital was. No more. Now opportunity is everywhere and anywhere: Montreal or Montmagny … Vancouver or Vernon! Or overseas! Technology bleeding into every sector, everywhere, means anyone, anywhere, can build a world-bettering business—and profit en route. Yes you, too! Think about it.

Decades ago, location mattered most. Think agriculture. Or the Yukon’s Klondike Gold Rush drawing throngs of 1890s Canadians and foreigners—mirroring crowds seeking California gold fortunes several decades earlier.

More recently, 1970s and 1980s business builders flocked to California’s Silicon Valley—where myriad innovative Tech firms famously blossomed in a modern, quasi-gold rush. Bankers eager to cash in followed. Sand Hill Road became the world’s venture capital (VC) epicenter. Specialty investment banks made fortunes underwriting Tech IPOs for startup Davids that became Goliaths. The nouveau riche needed lawyers, accountants and places to invest their gains—hence, other firms followed.

Like mine! In 1979, I launched my firm in Woodside, California, on Silicon Valley’s northwest edge—in my basement with nothing. No fancy office. No hifalutin degree. But it was the Land of Opportunity. All that money sloshing around meant loads of people needing help building the financial future they dreamt of—while I built a firm for me and my employees. Oodles of opportunity—vastly more than were I in Alabama, Albania or Prince Albert.

Now? Everything has changed. Financial services fully globalized. My firm has offices spanning four continents—and clients worldwide. Our home base is Dallas, Texas—one of many burgeoning US Tech-and-Finance-focused hubs.

VC funding has soared in America—more so elsewhere. Calculation methods vary, but some estimate over 90 per cent of 2011′s global VC financing was in America—half from California. But by 2023, more VC funding flowed outside America than inside. Now, with giants like Amazon funding startups, you may not even need traditional VC investment.

Ditto for Private Equity (PE) money. Most leading PE firms are fully global—unlike 10 years ago—providing capital banks never did. There is a steady staircase of financing opportunity from teensy firm to gargantuan. You have seen Canadian VC-backed startups like Ottawa’s Shopify explode into global behemoths. Expect more! The Great White North hosts over a dozen “narwhals” (Canadian startups worth C$1 billion or more, American “unicorns’” colder-climate cousins).

Ignore headlines touting 2023′s Canadian VC funding slowdown from 2021 and 2022′s insane highs. The dip is natural given those days’ wacky valuations and spending sprees. Short-term wiggles are part of any market—especially with startups. Instead, consider the hugely bullish broader picture: Despite 2023′s dip, Canada’s VC funding hit US$8.5 billion last year—nearly double the US$4.5 billion of three years earlier. Canada’s encouraging business environment helps it rank among the top five countries for startups globally—besting hubs like France and Germany.

Barriers beyond geography are falling, too. In the US, record numbers of women and minorities launched private equity firms in 2023. This year, that should top 1,000—up almost 10-fold from 10 years ago. Doors are opening fast.

Have an idea? The Internet lets you find funding from your couch. World Bank data show 93 per cent of Canadians uses the Web, edging America’s 92 per cent and easily topping the world’s 63 per cent. That is means and market! Planning and registering a company online is super simple using ISED Canada’s Web-based tools. Then? Business operations, tech support, legal advice, tax help and more can be handled remotely … and cheaper than ever. Harness it.

Then build. Let your actions better your customers’ lives. Your employees’, too. Maybe you don’t seek billions. Fine. But however you define success, anyone can do it—anywhere. Yes, roughly half of Canadian VC funding flows to Ontario—with the majority of 2023 investments in Toronto-based firms. But Canada’s large and highly educated workforce isn’t limited to it. Today’s global land of opportunity means less-assuming locales like Fredericton and Hamilton are among Canada’s top startup-friendly cities. Anyone can do it. Anywhere!

But few will. That is your opening. Profits are the payoff. Capitalism’s beauty is it is decentralized harnessing of creativity. Its mantra: You never know what succeeds until you try. Yes, you may fail: Canadian data show a third of startups fail within five years. But failure isn’t fatal. I failed for 10 years before succeeding. It is how you learn. The churn is healthy. Persistence pays.

The barriers to entry are broken. Success doesn’t require a gold pan or new address—just an Internet connection, good ideas and guts. What is stopping you?

Ken Fisher is the founder, executive chairman and co-chief investment officer of Fisher Investments.

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