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Why do we all know Mark Zuckerberg but can’t name our Canadian entrepreneurs?

DCMTL figure dans le Financial Post!


Denise Deveau | September 29, 2016

A recent panel discussion with Canada’s top business and tech talent hosted by DMZ (Digital Media Zone) at Ryerson University in Toronto tackled this question: “Why do we all know Mark Zuckerberg but we can’t name our Canadian Entrepreneurs?”

The discussion set the tone for the launch of a new advisory council dedicated to increasing visibility of Canadian entrepreneurs and to developing new approaches to fuel the success of the country’s innovators. The council is made up of 18 leading business and tech minds from across Canada, including former Dragons’ Den star Bruce Croxon, partner at Round 13 Capital and co-founder of Lavalife; John Albright, managing partner at Relay Ventures; and Anthony Lacavera, founder and chairman of Globalive Capital.

The discussion revolved around a survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of DMZ that explored questions such as: why Canadians lack the confidence to start their own business; is entrepreneurship really the path to happiness it’s perceived to be; and how favourable/unfavourable is the Canadian landscape to entrepreneurs.

Among other things, the results revealed a lack of knowledge by Canadians of home grown entrepreneurs as well as lack of confidence in founding a business:

  • When asked to name up to five high-profile entrepreneurs, one in three Canadian couldn’t name any. Another 34 per cent could only name one.
  • Some 55 per cent of respondents revealed they do not have the confidence in themselves to start a new business
  • Three in four believe “Canada is a good place to start a business right now,” despite the sluggish economy of the past decade.
  • Entrepreneurs have the best prospects for a happy and successful career, according to 43 per cent of Canadians, compared with tradespeople (24 per cent), teachers (17 per cent), and lawyers (11 per cent)For more findings from the survey click here.To learn more about the DMZ’s advisory council, please click here.Last chance to have a say in which Montreal startup wins a year of free office space
    A startup contest to give away a year of free office space in Montreal’s District Central (DCMTL) is getting help from the public to narrow down the field. Sept. 30 is the last day to have your say by voting for the best startup pitch video. The Top 10 move on to pitch their companies to a panel of judges from Montreal’s business community. The winner will be announced Oct. 20.DCMTL Startup Lab was created to help incubate and invest in the next generation of breakout leaders and startups, while giving the Central District neighbourhood in Montreal bigger space on the startup map.

    To view the videos and cast your vote go to:

    If Canadians love local businesses, why aren’t they shopping at them?

    Consumers may say they love shopping locally, but a study from Yellow Pages shows their spending actions tell another story. The survey found that 82 per cent of Canadians indicated that contributing to the local economy is the top advantage of shopping at local businesses and 88 per cent agree those businesses play an important role in their neighbourhood and 66 per cent said they would prefer to shop locally.

    But on the other hand, more Canadians shop at large retail establishments versus small at least once a week, with 64 per cent reporting they spent more than $100 at large retailers in the past month compared to 40 per cent making the same spend at small businesses.

    Canadian retailers’ recent jumping on the bandwagon of U.S. shopping holidays is also bad for small business. Canadians aware of Black Friday (39 per cent) and Cyber Monday (45 per cent) acknowledge their negative impact yet 39 per cent say they will spend money at the big box stores on Black Friday.

    No surprise, price was cited by 67 per cent of respondents as the main deterrent to shopping locally. When prices are equal, consumers will choose to shop at local businesses — but even a discrepancy of 5 per cent will decrease their willingness by as much as 33 per cent.

    The study conducted by The Harris Poll is part of Yellow Pages’ annual Shop The Neighbourhood Campaign, in which more than 12,500 businesses and one million Canadians participate. The campaign has resulted in $155 million being invested back into the Canadian economy, by encouraging Canadians to support small businesses year-round.

    Cost savings are the main reason co-working space is on the rise but there are more benefits than that

    Sharing office space has evolved considerably in the past five years, said Shawn Gilligan, senior analyst at Colliers International in Toronto. Options now include everything from traditional, shared office services offered by Regus or Workplace One to incubators such MaRS and WeWork. “Sometimes they can be industry based such as spaces for artists or tech companies,” he says.

    And while cost savings might be an important driver in considering a co-working space, there are plenty of ways businesses can benefit:

    Location “A lot of co-working space offices are in great locations in residential neighbourhoods with lots of surrounding amenities,” Gilligan said. “They can also put you much closer to your customers.”

    Amenities “That’s a big plus because they can directly affect the amount of capital you have to spend on other things,” he noted. Locations provide superior quality perks such as quality internet services, 24/7 access, health and dental plans, patio space, and in some cases, professional development courses and events.

    Flexibility Users can purchase a virtual or individual desk and expand if needed. Or established companies can use co-working spaces to expand in another city, while maintaining their home base.

    Community “One of the hot topics for a lot of office companies is encouraging those water-cooler moments,” Gilligan noted. “One of the great things about a co-working space is that you have a mix of large, medium and small companies across many different departments. It’s a huge benefit, especially for entrepreneurs, because they can always find someone to ask for advice.”

    Avoiding the vacancy challenge “If you’re looking for Class A or B office space downtown or mid-town in cities such as Toronto, the vacancy rate is at 2 per cent,” he said. “In the time it takes a tenant to find a downtown or mid-town space, they could be in a shared space and get on with their business.”



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