Ernst & Young Gives Canadian Governor General “Supporter of Entrepreneurship” Award

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Ernst & Young (EY), the accounting firm that calls many Canadian startups clients, has been quite busy over the past few weeks recognizing various entrepreneurs all over Canada in its “Entrepreneur of the Year Awards”. Today marked another special occasion as the firm announced that current Governor General of Canada David Johnston has been named the recipient of the Supporter of Entrepreneurship award.

The 20th anniversary EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Supporter of Entrepreneurship Award recognized Johnston’s contributions to Canada’s rich entrepreneurial culture, specifically in the Waterloo region. The award was presented at EY’s Ontario Entrepreneur Of The Year gala last night.

“David Johnston has stood as an inspiration for generations of entrepreneurs,” said EY’s Colleen McMorrow. “His vision to combine scientific research and entrepreneurial zeal in the Waterloo region has helped businesses do what they do best — move the economy forward. We’re very proud to honour his leadership and commitment with this special citation.”

Last week EY named Booster Juice founder Dale Wishewan as Entrepreneur of the Year for the Prarie region, while the overall winners from each region, including Wishewan, will gather in Toronto on November 27 for the national gala. On Wednesday the Quebec winner will be announced in Montreal.

Johnston, meanwhile, “is passionate about the many ways in which educational institutions can influence Canada’s economic development”. As president of the University of Waterloo, he had a large hand in influencing research and development in the region. Under his leadership, the Perimeter Institute, the Institute for Quantum Computing, the Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology and the Research Institute for Aging were established, among other outstanding achievements. In 2011, the University renamed its state-of-the-art research park the David Johnston Research and Technology Park in recognition of his leading role in establishing the inspiring centre of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization.

“By fostering ways to bring the developments first nurtured in Waterloo to commercial markets, Johnston has helped make Canada a top country for entrepreneurship,” said McMorrow, referring to EY’s G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer, which ranked Canada as a “top 5″ country for entrepreneurship.

“In the Waterloo region, Johnston’s vision proved the power of three: governments, entrepreneurs and corporations working together foster sustainable growth,” she said. “By sharing his inspiring story, we hope to encourage all entrepreneurs to aspire to the heights he’s achieved, and to collaborate with one another, as well as with educational institutions, governments, incubators and other stakeholders to build a brighter future.”