Strengthening Youth Entrepreneurship in Canada: Report

A New Framework Launches for Small Business Month

How often do we think about the people who own the shops, services and restaurants we frequent?

Small Business Month is an excellent time to celebrate intrepid entrepreneurs and their contribution to the vitality of our communities and economy.

“Young people are an important part of the entrepreneurship landscape.”

Organizations across the country are helping youth to learn about entrepreneurship, develop skills and launch new businesses.

Our clients at Openly discovered through a recent evaluation project that experience and exposure to entrepreneurship education can have a transformative impact on the lives of young people.

Lisa Watson, Openly’s Co-Founder, shares the background on this new report on strengthening youth entrepreneurship here in Canada:

Being an entrepreneur requires significant tolerance for risk, along with the right supports – professional, social and financial – over the long term. This can pose particular challenges for youth – and especially for youth living with low income. Education and training needs to be tailored to young people’s needs to help them to overcome barriers.

We jumped when an anonymous donor asked Openly to evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of their support for Canadian entrepreneurship programs. They also wanted to share the findings and best practices with others working in Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Through this work with the donor and grantees, we developed a new Youth Entrepreneurship Development Framework that can be used as a tool for program design, evaluation and strategy. We also identified a set of directions to strengthen programs and the national entrepreneurship ecosystem. You can access the full report on our website.


Now Creative Group is proud to have designed the report and the visual framework.

“The most effective programs emphasize network development, hands-on experience as well as mentorships and coaching. Outcomes include personal development and business skills that help youth to take the next steps in their entrepreneurial journey.”

The full report is available complimentary online now:

Download the Report

Openly wants to know: What is your contribution to Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem? How do these findings and the new framework resonate in your work?

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