Maybe Mick Jagger and the boys had it right in the 80s when they asked us to “Start Me Up”. As economies around the world search for the booster cables to electrify an upswing in job creation, they might well take these lyrics to heart.
Thomas Friedman wrote an excellent editorial in last weekend’s New York Times. In it, he discusses how the powers at be might have been wiser to shed monies to startups rather than trying to bail out the ailing dinosaurs of the old economy. Mr. Friedman claims that the quality jobs of the future will come from the new, bolder, more innovative and creative companies that are being wrought at this very instant.
While Canada has wheathered the recession well in comparison to its counterparts, we cannot rest on these laurels but must continue to find and support the new enterprises that will take us into the 21st century and create the jobs that will sustain our economy. It is quite disturbing that Dalton McQuinty allowed Samsung to be our wind turbine provider instead of looking to build a new Made in Canada solution.
Also, where are the Canadian companies in the new transportation economy? Everywhere in the world new and smaller companies are proposing zero-emission solutions to automobiles. Croatia recently showed a prototype for a new electric car called the Dok-Ing XD. Canada is quite a large country with an industrial base and yet we have not shown any even remotely encouraging prototypes in this new market sector.
There has always been a lack of visionary, risk-taking entrepreneurship in Canada and as a result the manufacturing sector has year by year shrunk, shedding an ever growing number of jobs. In its wake we are left with volumes of manufacturing capacity. Perhaps what is needed is a new breed of manager, leaders who see that by using innovation, creativity and design we can harness these old manufacturing facilities and start churning out the products of the future.
Canada needs to start some startups lest we end up finishing last at the finish line, if we even get there.