Startup Canada Launches National Action Plan

3-part plan seeks to connect entrepreneurs from coast to coast

Written by Kim Hart Macneill

Two months after finishing its cross-country entrepreneurship tour, Startup Canada is ready to share its findings and plans for the future with the entrepreneurial community.

The Ottawa-based grassroots, entrepreneur-led, non-profit launched its new website named Startup Canada Blueprints on Nov. 27. The website is the culmination of the organization’s six-month, 40-city tour to share the stories and discuss the challenges facing Canadian entrepreneurs.

“Startup Canada’s planning phase has received unprecedented support from entrepreneurs, sponsors and business-development organizations across the country,” states co-founder and CEO Victoria Lennox in a press release. “We intend to sustain this momentum and create a stronger entrepreneurial economy, to create better jobs and increased prosperity for all Canadians.”

To sustain the momentum built by the tour, the organization has developed a three-part national action plan. The plan, says Adam Chowaniec, founding chairman of Startup Canada, “is built on what we heard from entrepreneurs across the country. We’ve included their words and ideas at the top of every chapter.”

The first part of the plan, Startup Canada Connect, will be a free, online resource for Canadian entrepreneurs, set to launch in May 2013. Second, Startup Canada Communities will build on the success of the summer tour by launching a 10-city pilot program. Local entrepreneurs will be named community champions in each city and tasked to gather community stakeholders and encourage the development of local and national networks. The final part of the plan, Startup Canada Campaign, will leverage mainstream and social media, as well as key institutions, to tell entrepreneurs’ stories and promote the key role that entrepreneurs play in the Canadian economy.

“We would really like to see entrepreneurs review the action plan and endorse it across their networks to reach as many people as possible,” says Chowaniec. Additionally, he hopes entrepreneurs will support the volunteer-run organization’s attempt to raise $100,000 by Dec. 31 through crowdfunding website Indiegogo. The fundraiser is already accepting donations, but will officially launch on Dec. 4 in Waterloo, Ontario.

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