From our co-founder Barry Hartman:
The G20 Young Entrepreneur Alliance Summit took place in Istanbul, Turkey last week and I was honoured to be one of 23 Canadian delegates selected by Futurpreneur to represent our country. The purpose of the G20 YEA Summit aims to ensure that the importance of young entrepreneurs, which was endorsed by the Australian G20 Presidency in 2014 and highlighted again by the Turkish G20 Presidency in 2015, will retain its significance for the global economic environment as a key driver for job creation, innovation, and sustainable development.
Purpose of attending the G20 YEA Summit
My purpose for attending the Summit might not have been the same as other delegates, however, I wanted to spread my opinion on why entrepreneurs should truly measure business from a triple bottom line perspective: profits (to reinvest in growth), environment, and community. Young entrepreneurs are put in a leadership role at an early age. It is important that their foundation is built on doing the right thing by reinvesting in the communities that they operate in while ensuring that their business models are improving rather than harming local environments. It is equally important for governments and financial institutions to recognize these entrepreneurs and support them through various programs.
Results of the G20 YEA Summit
Warning: the following paragraph has a bit of “business literature”. If that’s not for you, please proceed to the photographs below! Canadian delegate Winston Chan summarized in his Huffington Post article how G20 Leaders can foster youth entrepreneurship in their respective countries. The Canadian delegation worked hard with Futurpreneur to pinpoint recommendations that will be shared at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey this November. These recommendations, accompanied by detailed support, include:
– Support specific educational and skills measures to encourage entrepreneurship
– Initiate development of G20-wide entrepreneur visa program
– Adopt policies that address taxation and funding issues for entrepreneurs and high impact SMEs
– Develop digital infrastructure and services as a foundation for future growth and innovation
– Focus on legal certainty and transparency
– Support research to better understand how to promote entrepreneurial culture and the ecosystems that support it
– Encourage collaboration between large corporations and entrepreneurs
It is important that the G20 Leaders not only highlight the recommendations provided but implement action plans to make them happen.
Global networking and developing business relationships
Arguably the most valuable component to the G20 YEA Summit was the opportunity to network with 600 delegates on a global level, and build meaningful relationships with the 23 delegates from across Canada. In short, the Canadians I met were a very intelligent group of entrepreneurs that seemed to collectively share the value of “fun.” Yes, it was a business trip… but you can’t fly 23 Canadians to Istanbul and not expect them to have some fun! Because pictures are worth a thousand words, here are a few photos that show off the lighter side of the adventure.
These amazing people all started companies with very modest backgrounds ranging from recruiting services that help employ people (PM Search Partners), to startup hubs that help launch entrepreneurs (Launch Academy), to platforms that empower female entrepreneurs (Lori.biz). My roommate for the week at the Wyndham Grand Levent in Istanbul, Obby Khan, was a former CFL player prior to opening several successful restaurants in Winnipeg that currently employ more than 70 people.
On the other side of a challenge lies a great opportunity
All of these people, and many more, have built their businesses and professional reputation by being hard-working, charismatic leaders that can envision opportunity from a mile away. When Futurpreneur announced that I was selected as a delegate, the thought crossed my mind that coming up with $4,000 within the next month for the G20 Summit costs, flights, and accommodation would be a challenge. However, like any challenge, the opportunity is always on the other side of the fence-sitting pretty. With the help of local businesses, lifelong supporters, clients, friends, and family, I was able to fundraise 99.7% of the total business-related costs to make this opportunity happen. I believe Canada was well-represented globally by a diverse group of energetic, young entrepreneurs looking to make meaningful change for future generations.
Thank you to everyone for your support!
I would like to thank (in no particular order) my business partner Scott and our employees for their incredible support, my parents, girlfriend, friends and family, our clients, Michael Gokturk from Payfirma, Vancity Tsawwassen, and every other believer in this journey that helped make this happen.