Harper jumps on Startup Canada bandwagon

Startup Canada champion Victoria Lennox can check one more item off her campaign wish list today after winning federal government support and a letter of endorsement from the Prime Minister.

Lennox, the co-founder of the non-profit organization running a cross-Canada tour boosting entrepreneurship, had previously called upon Stephen Harper to show the campaign more support. U.S. President Barack Obama has taken centre stage to promote a Startup America initiative as he dives headfirst into a re-election campaign. But the Conservatives were quiet when Startup Canada held its launch event and first town halls in Atlantic Canada in March.

Now they’re making noise. A national launch event being held in Ottawa tonight will feature Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and other MPs. Also featured in a discussion panel will be entrepreneurial figures such as Harley Finkelstein, the chief platform officer of Shopify, and Sarah Prevette, founder and CEO of Sprouter.

“I commend the founders of Startup Canada and the organizers of this inspired nationwide campaign,” a letter from the desk of the Prime Minister reads. “I wish you tremendous success as you promote a stronger entrepreneurial culture in Canada.”

About 2.7 million Canadians were self-employed in 2010, according to Statistics Canada. Lennox’s campaign is intended to help support that community.

“Startup Canada welcomes the federal government’s support,” Lennox says in a press release. “The support and enthusiasm we’ve received from our partners, sponsors, volunteers, and event participants has been very inspiring and demonstrates the need for a collective national strategy.”

The entrepreneurial tour de force will head out east again after tonight, for a town hall in PEI on May 7, and then some events in New Brunswick.

IT World Canada is a media partner of Startup Canada. Watch for Grant Buckler’s report on the launch event coming soon on ITBusiness.ca.

The Startup Canada tour hits Sydney, N.S.

Brian JacksonBrian Jackson is the Associate Editor at ITBusiness.ca. E-mail him at bjackson@itbusiness.ca, follow him on Twitter, connect on , read his blog, and check out the IT Business Facebook Page.
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