Sophia Leong, Director of the Telfer Executive MBA program, represented the Telfer School at Startup Canada Day on the Hill on November 21, 2013. The theme of Startup Canada Day on the Hill - Entrepreneurship Empowers Everyone – was amplified by the line-up of prominent speakers at yesterday’s event. This event was hosted in partnership with Minister of State for Small Business, the Honorable Maxime Bernier, and drew closed to 800 attendees throughout the day. The day started with Sir Terry Matthews and punctuated throughout the event with discussions on all aspects of entrepreneurship by leaders from three main pillars of entrepreneurship – government, industries and academia.  The evening culminated with lessons from Brett Wilson, one of the dragons from the CBC’s hit series ‘Dragons’ Den’. Three words unified the ideas throughout an intense day of activities - movement, collaboration, and culture.

“Entrepreneurship needs to be a movement”, and reinforced by Telfer Executive MBA Director Sophia Leong during the afternoon panel. She emphasized a call to action, “Let’s stop just talking and let’s start doing”. 

Entrepreneurship needs collaboration. The focus of Startup Canada is to bring together all innovative activities and innovative hubs to collaborate on an unified platform with a focus on creating an effective entrepreneurial ecosystems where entrepreneurial activities are well supported and promoted by the three main pillars of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship needs to be a culture. Start Up Canada is a step in the right direction for getting the movement started.  In order to promote the culture, conversations on entrepreneurship needs to start at a young age.  Children need to be empowered with an entrepreneurial mindsets at school and around dinner tables.  Furthermore, children need to see entrepreneurship as a viable ‘occupation’ as they grow into young adults.