For Canada to win, entrepreneurs must be unapologetically ambitious, says NEXT Canada Co-chair Anthony Lacavera.

Oct 02, 2017

For years now, the federal government has been trying to get Canadians to diversify away from our dependence on natural resources by building new kinds of companies — bigger, bolder ones that can compete internationally and win. The government promotes entrepreneurship via a tantalizing smorgasbord of federal and provincial grants, loans and tax incentives for start-ups — one of the richest sets of subsi­dies in the OECD. A new entrepreneur with a decent accountant can write down a lot of business costs and write some off alto­gether, while paying a very low tax rate overall.

On paper, it seems to be working. Canada is now the second-easiest place in the world to start a company, reports the World Bank, meaning that we trail New Zealand. And according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), nearly 17 per cent of working-age Canadians, versus about 13 per cent of Americans, either are currently engaged in setting up a company or are already owner-managers of a “baby business” that’s generating revenue and is less than three and a half years old.

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