The need for Canadian ownership: What’s preventing us from becoming entrepreneurs?

What is the first thing you think of when Canadians come to mind? Hockey? Maple syrup? Well, what about when it comes to Canadian businesses? BlackBerry? Tim Horton’s?

On a global scale, many—too many—Canadian businesses either aren’t known internationally, or aren’t known internationally to be Canadian. In a fast-paced, technologically-driven world that places increasing value on entrepreneurship, Canada is neither stepping up nor being heard—at least, not nearly as much as we could be, given the circumstances. The Canadian entrepreneurial spirit is a far cry from other competition, most notably our booming neighbour to the south, the United States.

But Canada has the potential—indeed, the potential to be much more competitive than we are now. We have the resources, the ideas, and the education. So, what’s stopping us? What could be preventing Canadians from starting enterprises of their own?

To be an entrepreneur, to start an enterprise now, is to take initiative and to take something—whatever it is—into your own hands, regardless or even because of the risk involved. Often, this risk is financial—usually the greatest deterrent to starting enterprises.

But it is really not so much a gap of financing, but rather a gap of information, as this article (here) states. The truth is, the Canadian government and banking industry are fully recognizant of the need for entrepreneurs in the nation,

While environments such as Silicon Valley offer support to budding entrepreneurs by existing as a hotbed of ideas and sponsors, the culture of Canada itself is different. What with a widely dispersed population and bilingualism, Canadian business culture is much more cooperative than competitive.

Like all nations, we have our own issues and our own realities, but the problem is that we are not taking ownership of them. The problem lies within the comfort zone—one which we as Canadians find ourselves easily entrenched in.

An article by the Globe and Mail states, “While launching and running a company is never easy, entrepreneurship is critical to our economy’s well-being and to its future health. Not only do entrepreneurs spur innovation, they boost competitiveness and create important jobs from coast to coast.” (The article can be found here.)

The world has acknowledged the great need for entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs can only spur the growth of the nation. But of course, we need to realize the value that being entrepreneur can offer not only to the community, but for the individual as well.

Canada is easily more competitive than we think we are. All that’s left for us now is to find that motivation and keep working at it. As Steve Jobs, one of the most remembered entrepreneurs in the world, once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

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