At Futurpreneur Canada, we’re proud to be part of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (YEA), an international group of leading entrepreneurship organizations across the G20 countries. The Alliance represents over 500,000 young entrepreneurs, and together we work to help shape, mould, develop and refine the strategies needed to promote and strengthen entrepreneurship globally.

As G20 YEA Sherpa for Canada, I am proud of Canada’s robust start-up ecosystem and I jumped at the opportunity to ensure we hosted the G20 YEA member organizations in Canada for our annual leadership meeting. Over three days this January, my international colleagues experienced Canada’s entrepreneurial energy first-hand, including meeting some of the over 12,000 young entrepreneurs supported through Futurpreneur’s Start-up Program, and joining thousands of entrepreneurs at the 2019 Expo Entrepreneur Conference.

The entrepreneurial leaders also met with Jonathan Fried, Canada’s Personal Representative of the Prime Minister to the G20, to discuss how best to keep entrepreneurship on the radar of G20 decision-makers this year.  As an Alliance, we are no stranger to advocacy, and for years we have issued communiqués to G20 leaders that are based upon the credibility and input of thousands of young entrepreneurs, as well as the expertise of our knowledge partners Accenture, EY and the G20/G8 Research Group.

There is no question that young entrepreneurs will play a key role in advancing the G20’s goals of strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth. In alignment with this year’s G20 Japan priorities, the G20 YEA is focused more than ever on promoting the considerable potential of entrepreneurship to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including through the promotion of free trade and entrepreneur-friendly immigration policies and the development of financing and digital infrastructure to foster inclusive entrepreneurship.

But before Trudeau and other world leaders touch down in Osaka, Japan for the G20 Summit, the G20 YEA Summit will convene entrepreneurs from across the G20 in Fukuoka, Japan from May 15-17. Of the 600+ entrepreneurs expected in Fukuoka, Futurpreneur Canada is proud to be leading a diverse group of over 40 of our nation’s best and brightest young entrepreneurs to the Summit to represent Canada.

To land a spot on the delegation, these impressive Canadian entrepreneurs – including nearly 40% women entrepreneurs – overcame a rigorous selection process to demonstrate their passion to influence entrepreneurship policy. They will flex their ambassadorship kills both in Japan and at home in Canada by engaging in policy discussions with stakeholders, government and media.

The young entrepreneurs selected are also leading growing businesses with an interest in developing their business prospects in Japan and other global markets. And to help them along their journey, we are proud to be partnering with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and others to deliver a two-day pre-itinerary in Fukuoka that will connect them with the local organizations, resources, information and B2B opportunities they need to pursue their business goals in Japan.

We are lucky that Canada and Japan enjoy a strong and robust economic relationship. Japan is Canada’s forth largest export market and with the recently signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TransPacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement, our Canadian entrepreneurs have more preferential access to the Japanese market than ever before. They will also be touching down in Fukuoka, an Economic Special Zone for start-ups in Japan that boasts business-friendly regulatory and tax systems, and a variety of free services for foreign entrepreneurs looking to set up shop in the city. It’s no surprise that Fukuoka has the highest business formation rate among the 21 biggest cities in Japan – and our Canadian delegates can’t wait to experience it.

Our global economy is more deeply interconnected and digitalized than ever before. As a country, we will be in good shape if we continue to nurture the potential of our young entrepreneurs to collaborate across borders, and to develop and deliver the solutions the future world of work needs.

Written by Fiona Wilson, Manager of Government Relations, Futurpreneur Canada & Canadian Sherpa, G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (G20 YEA)

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