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Fuelling High-Tech Startups: Building the Capacity of MSMEs through Technology and Innovation

Published on March 23, 2018

A study of entrepreneurs under the age of 30 in Canada and in Indonesia, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The goal of the study is to learn more about what can be done to help young entrepreneurs succeed. How can we tap into the power of the global startup community and strengthen entrepreneurial bonds across the Pacific and APEC region?

The biggest obstacle for these young Canadian entrepreneurs is finding enough cash to start, sustain, and grow their ventures. For some, these financial concerns are strong enough to turn them away from their entrepreneurial dreams.
Like their Canadian counterparts, entrepreneurs from Indonesia, the Philippines, Peru, and Vietnam appreciate the opportunity to innovate.
Respondents feel that a rich web resource could help build partnerships across the Pacific. There is particular interest in online networking and entrepreneur matching and ID services.

Entrepreneurial success has never been easy. Startup failure estimates range from 60 to 79 percent. Yet, when lightning strikes — when new products and services meet the demands of eager consumers—entrepreneurs can change their own lives, the innovation profile of their countries, and the course of history. 

The hours, the status quo, the doubters, the wrong turns— are all elements of the entrepreneurial lifestyle and can take a toll on those in the field. But it’s a lifestyle that can advantage innovative, energetic young people. As technology links distant countries, high-growth venture opportunities open up to people who might otherwise face limited work options — women, racial minorities, the economically disadvantaged.

Additionally, entrepreneurship has the potential to be a viable alternative to youth unemployment in the region. Global unemployment for young people between the ages of 15 to 24 is said to be around 71 million. The International Labour Organization estimates that halving this youth unemployment could add more than US$2.2 trillion to global gross domestic product (GDP).

Conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Newton, Dr. Jonathan Berkowitz, Alexandra Mann, and Charlie Shi, this research report is one of three published for the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership around the theme of technology and innovation, with a focus on Vietnam and other APEC economies. 

“There is currently a strong group of young, diverse entrepreneurs that are fighting for resources, capital financing, and presence in the market.”