Better government support for youth entrepreneurs can help us get through the Coronavirus crisis

Now’s the time to foster as much innovation as possible

Why It Matters

Job losses in the 15 to 24 age category have totalled almost 400,000, and the youth unemployment rate is the highest it’s been this century. At the same time, history shows us that in times of crisis, as we’re in now, youth innovation flourishes. To best position Canadian society for post-pandemic recovery, we need better governmental support for youth entrepreneurs.

Ryan Kelly was running his startup Ascend Application, a social enterprise focused on making websites more accessible to people with disabilities, when the COVID-19 outbreak started. 

He quickly realized the crisis would make simple tasks like grocery shopping or running errands inaccessible to people who were vulnerable to the virus. Given his technical background, he felt compelled to create something that could help. He developed the Atrium app to help people at high risk of contracting COVID-19 get groceries and other supplies through a volunteer matching app. 

The pandemic will leave no organization or individual untouched. When it comes to youth, we know that new realities of education, career options, and opportunities will not be distributed equally. And while energy from community and for government support to date remains on


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