2011: Year of the Entrepreneur January 31, 2011 RICCentre By Bryan Watson Last week, at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), the Year of the Entrepreneur was announced by the Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance) and the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), CYBF and CFIB. This is a year to celebrate Canada’s entrepreneurial talent and all that entrepreneurs bring to our economy. Highlighted was the expectation that it will be Canada’s entrepreneurs who will, to a large extent, be responsible for our further economic recovery and future growth. As leaders in small business in Canada, CYBF and CFIB recognize that the country’s future depends on the continuing contributions of entrepreneurs. Small- to medium-sized businesses account for 98 per cent of all businesses across Canada, and with more than 19 per cent of owners planning to exit their business within the next five years, the Year of the Entrepreneur is a prime opportunity for Canada’s frontrunners to create entrepreneurial initiatives that will help move Canada into more prosperous times. CFIB president Catherine Swift says, “The success of the small- and medium-sized business sector has contributed greatly to the economic and social success of Canada. As CFIB celebrates 40 years of defending small businesses, designating 2011 as the ‘Year of the Entrepreneur’ is definitely an occasion we should all be proud of.” “Through this designation, the Federal Government has shone a bright light directly on entrepreneurship – demonstrating that our collaborative efforts to build a more entrepreneurial Canada are paying off,” says Vivian Prokop, CEO of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. “This year, we will build upon this momentum to show the world that Canada is propelling economic recovery and growth through entrepreneurship.” The official announcement was made at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), a space where creative young entrepreneurs gather to innovate, collaborate and market their services and products. The announcement was followed by a tour of the facility, including an opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs from CFIB, CYBF and the DMZ as well as a pre-budget roundtable discussion with Ministers Menzies and Moore. It is often said that we, as Canadians, do not celebrate our entrepreneurial successes enough. This is true of the Angel community as well. As such I want to challenge our entrepreneurial and Angel communities to take this year as an opportunity to stand up, thump their chests, and declare their successes this year, be they financings, companies securing new world class customers, or exits! Reposted from National Angel Capital Organization Throughout his career, both in Canada and the UK, Bryan J. Watson has been a champion of entrepreneurship as a vector for the commercialization of advanced technologies. Upon his return to Canada in 2004, Bryan established his venture development consulting practice to help emerging-growth companies overcome the barriers to success they face in the Canadian commercialization ecosystem. Visit Bryan’s blog and the National Angel Capital Organization. The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.