Over A Third Of Canadians Admit They Can’t Identify A Single Canadian Entrepreneur: Thomas GSEA Foundation

Legacy Canadian Entrepreneur Gives $1.5 Million In Funding To National Competition To Create And Celebrate The Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs


TORONTO, ONFebruary, 2022 – With two years of COVID-19 taking down thousands of small businesses and start-ups, there has never been a more difficult time to be a young Canadian Entrepreneur.

Taking bold action to support the next generation of Canadian Entrepreneurs, in support of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Canada Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), the Thomas GSEA Foundation has created a major, annual $100,000 national purse for Canadian students who own or operate a business while enrolled in post-secondary education.  In addition to the monetary prize is the invaluable exposure and access to mentors, student entrepreneur communities, investor groups, and much more that will help these students successfully grow their businesses.

Are Canada and Canadians supporting entrepreneurs enough?

The Thomas GSEA Foundation also conducted a fresh survey of 1000 random Canadians to get a current pulse check on how Canadians are (or aren’t) supporting their entrepreneurs.

Key Findings of the survey:

Below are the survey results conducted by The THOMAS GSEA FOUNDATION 

1) Canadian entrepreneurs are surprisingly unknown

Over a third of Canadians (38.8%) admitted that they can’t identify a single Canadian entrepreneur. When asked to name a Canadian entrepreneur, 5.1% simply said ‘they don’t know.’

A total of 33.6% of Canadians incorrectly identified non-Canadian entrepreneurs such as Larry Elison (Oracle) and Sergey Brin (Google) as Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs.

2) Almost half of Canadians believe that the most innovative entrepreneurs are not from Canada

In total, 45% of Canadians selected other countries such as Japan, USA and China when asked which countries they believe have the most innovative entrepreneurs.

3) Canadians may not be supporting Canadian entrepreneurs with their wallets

Although an encouraging 54.3% of Canadians say that they make an effort to support Canadian entrepreneurs while shopping, 28.4% of Canadians admit that ‘they are not sure what things they buy are Canadian’ and 17.3% flat out said ‘no’, they don’t support Canadian entrepreneurs.

4) Canadians admit we aren’t doing enough for our entrepreneurs

Only 18.1% of Canadians think the Canadian Government is doing enough to support our entrepreneurs.

18.1% of Canadians also don’t think Canadians’ ‘celebrate and encourage entrepreneurs as much as we should.’

“In the middle of a pandemic and at a time when so many young entrepreneurs are discouraged from starting a business, we need to step up and show our support in tangible ways,” said Peter H. Thomas, EO Chairman Emeritus. “I strongly believe that entrepreneurship is the blood flow of an economy. An entrepreneur’s skills, tenacity, and ability to transform a problem into an opportunity for societal betterment is key to the advancement and enhancement of our world. We need to support the next wave of these entrepreneurs–the ones who will solve big and little problems for our generation and the ones that follow.”

What are we doing about it?

Peter Thomas, a legacy Canadian entrepreneur, Founding EO Member & Chairman Emeritus, through the Thomas GSEA Foundation, has committed $1.5 Million to Canada’s GSEA Program.

Each year, top finalists from EO Canada’s GSEA National Competition also advance to represent Canada at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards Global Finals.

This Spring’s EO Canada GSEA Awards

Are you a post-secondary student interested in participating in the National Qualifier Competition in May 2022? Register now to be notified when applications open for this year’s GSEA Awards!

A call to join the cause

A committee of outstanding volunteers runs EO Canada’s GSEA program, but they cannot do it alone. Support is needed by anyone who wishes to contribute time, services, or financial support to make the program and Canadian student entrepreneurs’ lives richer.  Help us help the next generation of entrepreneurs.

About the Thomas GSEA Foundation

The role of the Thomas GSEA Foundation is to fund and collaborate with Canada’s GSEA Committee to create one of the best GSEA programs in the world. Their mission is to revolutionize what’s possible for students across Canada who identify as entrepreneurs, creating pathways and opportunities for advanced learning, mentorship, and access to key resources to support their business endeavours and increase the likelihood of their successes.

About GSEA

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university. Nominees compete against their peers from around the world in a series of local and national competitions in hopes of qualifying for the GSEA Finals. Along with prizes for the best student entrepreneurs, GSEA also uniquely recognizes additional winners whose businesses offer exceptional contributions to society.

GSEA was founded in 1998 at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University in Missouri, United States. Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) took over the running of the program in 2006 and the programme has expanded from three participating countries to over 56.



SOURCEThomas GSEA Foundation


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