Futurpreneur Canada heads to Buenos Aires next week for the 2018 G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (YEA) Summit. Supporting international opportunities for Canada’s young entrepreneurs, we have invited a group of rising small business owners from across the nation to attend as part of the official 2018 Canadian delegation.

In anticipation of the global event, we spoke to delegates Ray Del Cojo of Futurpreneur-supported business Lightenco and Faaria Wali of StreetTeams.ca to find out what they’re hoping to take away from the Summit.

What are you most looking forward to at the G20 YEA Summit?

Ray: Entrepreneurship requires a lot of effort and courage. Following a dream when you have no certainty that it will work, risking precious time and effort, and a constant questioning of oneself if we are following the right path. How can we contribute to feed the upward spiral that encourages entrepreneurs to pursue their quest? There are several answers to this question, but being part of the G20 YEA Summit is definitely a powerful one.

Being able to put together recommendations to the leaders of the G20 countries on how they could implement regulations and programs to support entrepreneurship and how to create programs to influence/educate the population to promote entrepreneurship is an opportunity that motivates me a lot. Even more when the recommendations will come from entrepreneurs from these 20 different countries, sharing good practices, advantages and disadvantages of entrepreneurship in their fields.

Faaria: As young entrepreneurs of 2018, we’re so used to messages and emails and planned meetings. The excitement of face-to-face conversations with like-minded and enthusiastic entrepreneurs is what I’m looking forward to most at the G20 YEA Summit. I’m particularly looking forward to meeting other female founders and hearing about their experiences as women in business in their home countries.

The 2018 Summit’s focus this year on the educational needs of present and future entrepreneurs, as well as the business opportunities in the education technology space is a relevant and growing topic within our entrepreneurial community. Educational needs are more necessary than ever before and a network like the YEA are the best people to bring together to make recommendations that can actually make a difference when put into practice.

What are you hoping to take away from this event?

Ray: If the process for selecting the entrepreneurs from each country is close to Futurpreneur’s one, I believe we will be among the most interesting entrepreneurs from each participating country. I really look forward to meeting as many people as I can and have my ears and mind open to embrace every idea that these brilliant people come up with. Every country has advantages for different business areas that are not so evident for Canadian entrepreneurs, because of geographical characteristics or cultural differences, but listening to different ways that people abroad has implemented to thrive in their business is always a positive thing for our own enterprises and the local and national economy. I hope that after discussing with several entrepreneurs, I will come back to Canada with new perspectives and ideas on how to overcome our challenges and/or improve our advantages as entrepreneurs.

Faaria: Being part of the G20 YEA Summit is a proud moment to be able to represent my country on the world stage while working towards promoting and advancing Entrepreneurship, a field I am most passionate about. I’m hoping to take away from this event, a global perspective about the role small businesses and startups play in each of our country’s’ economies and education systems. It will also be very interesting to visit with the entrepreneurial community in Argentina and learn more about their resources and tech hubs.

How will an opportunity like this help you and your business in your entrepreneurial journey?

Ray: There are several aspects that I believe can be mentioned, the first one is the obvious opportunity to develop business relationships with potential customers that all these entrepreneurs represent. But if we go beyond this, being able to develop relationships with people that share the same entrepreneurial spirit with you may open opportunities to settle an extension of our company in their countries. We have a service/product that has had certain success in Canada, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be the case in different parts of the world if you have a local partner that has that local knowledge of how to make things work in their home country, adapted to their cultural and geographical variables. This is a two-way road, the services/products they offer may be of interest to Canadian individuals, offering us an opportunity to expand (or diversify) our service/product portfolio.

Faaria: Being able to share best practices for business, networking and learning from all of our fellow delegates will be my takeaway to help me grow my business and startup and can only better my entrepreneurial journey. I hope to develop relationships not only for business but friendships as well. It takes one entrepreneur to just get it and understand another. My plans for the Summit are to jump out of my comfort zone, to ask questions and participate, share the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, and take advice from the experts we meet along the way.

We hope to share more about our post-summit experience and how well received our communique will be to world leaders.

Futurpreneur Canada and our G20 YEA Summit Delegates will be in Buenos Aires, Argentina from September 17-22. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to get all the live updates from the event!

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