It has been over a week since I returned home from the amazing trip to Istanbul, Turkey!!! I was honoured to be 1 in 22 entrepreneurs selected to attend the G20 Young Entrepreneur Alliance (YEA) Summit this year by Futurpreneur Canada. It was truly a great experience having made meaningful connections with entrepreneurs in Australia, the US, Mexico, China, and more. The wealth of knowledge I've taken was tremendous... before I move on to tell you more about my experience, I would like to talk a little more about the purpose the G20 YEA...
The goal of the G20 YEA is to urge the G20 Leaders to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship as a way to address the world's twin challenges of slowing growth and rising youth unemployment. The G20 YEA is a global network of young entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them. It was established to convene each year in advance of the G-20 Summit, with the aim of championing the importance of young entrepreneurs to the G20 member nations and to share examples and practices. The Alliance was officially created at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit, Toronto, Canada, 2010.
On the 9th day of September, signed in Istanbul, Turkey, the organizations that support young Entrepreneurs from the G20 countries signed the 2015 communique. The recommendations as spelled out in the communique are:
By far, the most that I took away from the G20 YEA Summit is the meaningful connections that I've made. I was able to connect with many amazing fashion-based companies including Uptown Cheapskates from the US, Mots d’Elles Media from Montreal, Guffanti Concept Showroom of Italy & MidWoman Fashion Magazine of Mexico. I also learned about Equity Crowdfunding from co-founder of Equitise, Jonny Wilkenson.
I came back from the summit with a bigger vision of what SheNative can be, with some intense and sound advice from many of the entrepreneurs I've had the privilege of meeting. I was initially intimidated by the caliber of entrepreneurs I was sharing my time with, but after I got to know many of them, I realized they are regular people with big visions - just like me. I realized that I was chosen to be there for a reason. I started to feel more comfortable and felt so inspired by the many stories of successful start-ups and innovative companies.
Connecting Entrepreneurs Around the Globe:
"I was very lucky to meet a diverse group of future movers and shakers and inspiring entrepreneurs from different parts of the globe; places such as South Africa, Australia and China, with whom I was able to exchange and share best practices with." Arielle Beaudin shares her takeaways in her follow up blog post on LORI.biz.
"Connecting with young entrepreneurs from around the world to strategize and address global economic issues promises is for me a career highlight." Winston Chan asserts from his Huffington Post article, "How G20 Leaders Can Foster Entrepreneurship".
On Sharing Best Practices:
"I wanted to spread my opinion on why entrepreneurs should truly measure business from a triple bottom line perspective: profits (to reinvest in growth), environment, and community." - Barry Hartman of 505 Junk. Read his blog about the Summit here.
On the Canadian Entrepreneur Ecosystem:
"There is a huge upside in doing business in Canada. People I met from all over the place -- Australia, China, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey -- they were all impressed. The support we have in Canada is unparalleled in the world." - Obby Khan of Shawarma Khan Restaurants in Winnipeg.
"We have an awesome ecosystem here. And although many of our businesses operate locally, having that international perspective -- whether we utilize it today or tomorrow -- I think is really important." - Luc Bohunicky of Consulti - also in Winnipeg. Read more about Obby and Luc's experience in a Winnipeg Free Press article, "Young Manitobah Entrepreneurs Talk Turkey".
On going "Glocal":
"That was the first time that I’d heard that expression; I thought it was really interesting. It means start local but go global. So it means that your next best growth market for your business is not necessarily the one next door." - Leslie Gallagher of Halifax. Read more about Leslie's experience in article, "Young Entrepreneurs Stoked by Global Event".
I would like to thank everyone who had helped me fundraise to get to Turkey. I wouldn't have had this amazing experience without your sponsorship, time, contributions on my Go Fund me page and/or attendance at the steak night fundraisers we hosted. You know who you are (there's quite a bit of you).