Prescriptions for the revolution

Written by Ian Portsmouth

Since its launch in 1982 as The Magazine That’s All About Small Business, this publication has changed its name (twice), its ownership (three times) and its look (three facelifts in the past five years alone). What hasn’t changed is PROFIT‘s intense focus on providing information that can help your business grow, and its advocacy of the entrepreneurial cause.

This 25th anniversary issue of PROFIT is no exception. As you leaf through this issue, you’ll find the timely solutions and insights that Canadian entrepreneurs have come to expect from us. You’ll also experience our continuing celebration of the critical role you play in making the world a better place. I hope more people will join the party over PROFIT‘s next 25 years.

Although they’ve long been a positive source of economic, social and environmental change, Canadian entrepreneurs still don’t attract all the respect and admiration they deserve. Why? Perhaps the risk-tolerant, do-it-yourself spirit of entrepreneurship is at odds with the Canadian ethos of peace, order and good government, which favours centralized solutions from big companies and even bigger government.

Whatever the cause, we need a more enlightened perception of entrepreneurship to permeate the social fabric if Canada is to remain one of the world’s strongest economies, if not become one of the most influential countries as well. Because there are no better ambassadors of entrepreneurship than successful entrepreneurs themselves, here’s how Canada can further the cause:

Make it easier for all entrepreneurs to start and build businesses. A graduated tax scheme—whereby, for instance, the tax rate is lower for younger businesses—could help enterprises survive the treacherous startup phase.

Cut red tape around private investing in small businesses, thus helping entrepreneurs raise growth capital from friends, family and business contacts. Similarly, regulators should consider the viability of online peer-to-peer lending networks (e.g.,, which already operate in the U.S. and U.K.

Offer more tax breaks for angel investors, the people who get complex businesses started. Plus, governments could offer financial incentives for angels to band together, syndicate investments and share experiences, best practices and contacts.

Break down interprovincial trade barriers and reduce regulation and red tape: the Canadian Federation of Independent Business claims Canadian businesses spend $33 billion a year complying with regulations.

Demistify business ownership, dispel the misconceptions about it and make it a career option earlier in people’s lives by incorporating mandatory entrepreneurship education in our high schools. Teach the business basics and show students how entrepreneurs make a difference in people’s lives.

As it has over the past 25 years, PROFIT will do its part by promoting, facilitating and inspiring entrepreneurship. Presently, we’re in the formative stages of a couple of powerful initiatives: one that will facilitate peer-to-peer mentoring between business owners, and another that will establish a new standard for entrepreneurial excellence in Canada.

After all, PROFIT‘s business is your business. So let’s keep the revolution rolling.

I invite your feedback on anything you see in PROFIT. Please send your comments to me at

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