According to Milner (2015), Canada got slightly higher marks in the latest report card on global innovation, a C grade, being position nine among 16 peer industrial nations. The improvement could be attributed to the introduction of a new gauge structured to measure entrepreneurial ambition, in which the country garnered high marks. Additionally, the country had also made a significant gain in venture capital investment, rising to a grade B in 2013 from a D in 2009. Notably, Milner (2015) asserts that a healthier startup and entrepreneurial setting may be materializing in Canada. Evidently, a new class of determined risk-takers is emerging, and it has the potential to create great wealth for the country (Balsillie, 2015). All it needs is an ecosystem where it can flourish.
As Grant (2014) records, Canadian entrepreneurs are capitalizing on good networking opportunities, the advent of social media, easy access to capital, and global markets accessibility. In particular, entrepreneurs are accessing capital through small business loans, crowd funding evidenced by the rapid growth of Kickstarter, venture markets, and government start-up funds. Moreover, Grant (2014) asserts that a cultural shift attributable to the presence of many role models and the introduction of entrepreneurship in learning institutions could be playing a role in this growth. Notably, the numbers are soaring high as early-stage entrepreneurship rates are now higher in the country than other G7 nations, and at par with the United States.
Nevertheless, the state continues to lag behind on critical policies necessary for the innovation economy such as patents and business spending on research and development. In particular, Canada fails to address the ownership of entrepreneurs ideas, which is the basis for their successful commercialization (Balsillie, 2015). Similarly, public research and development expenditures have also reduced in the recent years while labor productivity rated a C grade. Canadas weak innovation hurts its capacity to compete effectively in the global market because it limits the reduction on the countrys heavy reliance on resource exports. Moreover, it creates risks to high standards of living.
To conclude, non-existent homegrown research expenditure, complacency, the longtime reliance on natural resources, and strong risk aversion hinder Canadas efforts to become more innovative. However, this will only change if Canada builds a proper infrastructure to help entrepreneurs succeed on the global platform, where the real money is generated. In particular, by developing a country-specific private and public structure designed to capture wealth from ideas.
Balsillie, J. (2015). Canadians can innovate, but were not equipped to win. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 16 July 2017, from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/balsillie-learns-canadian-innovators-not-equipped-for-global-competition/article24346408/Grant, T. (2014). The new, younger face of startups. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 16 July 2017, from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-growth/day-to-day/the-new-face-of-startups/article17889346/Milner, B. (2015). Canada remains an innovation laggard, Conference Board says. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 16 July 2017, from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/canada-gets-a-c-on-innovation-report-card/article26203455/
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