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10 Actions for Governments to Promote Entrepreneurship

Mark Marich

What is going on in Canada?

A couple of weeks ago, we pointed out a recent Forbes study that ranked Canada as the ‘best country for business.’ Apparently Forbes weren’t the only ones impressed with the US neighbors to the north as another study emerged last week with Canada on top.

"The Power of Many: Realizing the socioeconomic potential of entrepreneurs in the 21st century" found Canada to have the “most entrepreneurial ecosystem of all the G20 countries.” The study, prepared for the upcoming G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit, points to a number of indicators to back up its assertion: a protective and fluid environment for entrepreneurs; the quality of education available; and, the lack of comparable taxes and regulatory burdens.

Perhaps more importantly to the rest of the world, however, the study outlines 10 recommended actions for G20 governments to promote entrepreneurship:

Shaping fertile ecosystems:

  • Build strong local bases anchored in regional development initiatives, encouraging entrepreneurs, local authorities, large companies, public and private education systems, to devise and implement synergetic strategies that build on a common ambition, sense of purpose and talent pool.
  • Leverage a relevant talent pool through a better alignment between the skills requirement of the local economic fabric and the education offering (primary and secondary education, vocational training, higher education, lifelong training).
  • Foster collaboration among key actors through appropriate incentives by entrusting universities with the mission of applied industrial research, promoting the exchange of talents among academia, research and business or encouraging cooperation between established and entrepreneurial companies.
  • Provide enabling infrastructures, especially by fostering public/private schemes to develop common local infrastructures (R&D centers, transportation, voice and data communication, etc.).
  • Ensure a stable, simple and conducive regulatory environment at a regional / supranational level to give undistorted access to larger markets while providing the opportunity to achieve critical size quickly.
  • Offer targeted tax incentives to promote business creation and development as well as innovation.

Financing entrepreneurship from inception to critical size:

  • Ensure the availability of financing for each stage of enterprise development and support the development of domestic or regional equity markets dedicated to high-potential SMEs, in order to support the growth of entrepreneurial ventures and break the ‘glass ceiling’ that hinders their development.
  • Develop specific solutions for high risk / low qualified entrepreneur profiles to help fight poverty, long-term unemployment and social divides in both emerging and mature economies.

Promoting an entrepreneurial culture:

  • Foster the development of targeted educational programs, on a national or international level, to boost the attractiveness of entrepreneurship and endow the population with the entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Support proactive promotion of entrepreneurship through associations, TV entrepreneurial contests, and global entrepreneurial business-plan competitions.
  • The report, authored by McKinsey & Company, is based on an analysis of more than 200 initiatives that are aimed at supporting and fostering entrepreneurship by governments, national agencies, local public-sector players, professional organizations, companies and foundations.

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