2010/2011 Task Force on A National Strategy for High Growth Entrepreneurship
Shannon Wells, Terry Beech, Geordie Hungerford, Brenna Donoghue, Ali Okhowat
Advisor: Malcolm Rowe
Hyper-growth companies – like Research in Motion – have the financial scale and significance to transform Canada‘s economy. They contribute disproportionately to new job creation, GDP growth and global competitiveness. While the rate of creation of new firms in Canada is relatively high, too few ever reach the scale of a gazelle. Notably, Canada‘s high-tech companies underperform despite heavy public investment – among the highest in the OECD countries – in research and development (R&D). Why has Canada struggled to turn small R&D firms into global gazelles?
Our Action Canada task force has connected with leading entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, academics and policymakers to find the answer. Through our consultations, we have discovered that Canada is lacking in two key inputs to a successful gazelle ecosystem: technology-savvy investors and business-savvy technologists – or, in other words – smart money (the experience and connectedness of early stage financiers) and – smart management (the skills and adoption of operational systems among our R&D entrepreneurs). Our final report will recommend innovative policies to improve Canada‘s stock of these inputs and create a more favourable environment in which gazelles can thrive.