On 23 March Victoria Lennox, Cofounder and CEO of Startup Canada, a non-profit entrepreneurial movement in Canada, gave a webinar called Why Canada?, in which she explained some reasons why entrepreneurs should think of starting a business there. Her speech was one of the promotional activities organised by Go South! Consulting Inc., a Vancouver-based company creating business opportunities in different markets of Latin America, to promote LatAm Startup Conference, which will be held on 9-10 July in Toronto. We have outlined the most important points of the speech.
Lennox claims that there are 3 main reasons why Canada is an excellent place for startup business. First of all, the country has a well-developed ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs. There are many incubators, accelerators, universities and a lot of investment in startup business. According to Startup Genome's Startup Ecosystem Report 2013, 3 out of 20 top places in the world to start a business are in Canada. It is Toronto, Vancouver and Waterloo.
Secondly, Canada has been ranked by the UNDP and the World Economic Forum as one of the easiest countries to start a business. To illustrate this, Lennox provides a few examples. She says that it is possible to start a business in Canada in less than 30 minutes. Also, the costs are low, especially, in the ICT sector. The bureaucracy has been simplified a lot and there are many procedures that you can deal with online.
Thirdly, the Canadian government invests a lot in startup projects. There are many tax incentives for investment in startups. For instance, in British Columbia there are angel tax credits as well as many others.
Moreover, Lennox provides some other reasons why entrepreneurs should think of setting up a business in Canada. In her opinion, operating a business is much easier thanks to public funds and the help of non-profit organisations. In addition, the country has excellent global connectivity: there is a mix of cultures and thus it is very easy to access international markets via local diasporas. Another reason worth attention is the fact that Canada has developed both strong volunteer culture and entrepreneurship culture. As a result, the Canadian society is civic-minded and involved in various enterprise projects. Furthermore, the country can offer talented and skilled workers. It is one of the highest-educated populations in the world. There is a well-developed education system: universities and colleges aim to prepare graduates whose skills are relevant to market needs. Finally, Lennox completes her list by focusing on the quality of life in Canada. She makes a point that thanks to a good demographic and geographic spread, the country has a lot of space to develop various entrepreneurial projects.