As Canadians, we can sometimes be our own worst critics. Yes, we’re smaller in population than other countries and we are right next door to the world’s largest superpower, but recent data suggests those launching a startup here may have made a great choice.
Alberta’s Centre for Innovation Studies (CIS), in partnership with London’s Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, published a study which ranked Canada as second only to the U.S. in terms of entrepreneurial activity, and on par with Australia, whose population size and other economic factors are more comparable to ours. Even better, the study said that startups in Canada have a track record for turning into sustainable companies, with 9.4 percent lasting more than three and a half years.
"The Canadian environment and culture for entrepreneurship is healthy. Entrepreneurship is seen as a good career for which opportunities exist within the capacities of a large segment of the population," the report says.
Dig into the statistics a little deeper, however, and you’ll find a few insights that may be helpful for founders trying to determine where they should be focusing their energies:
12.7%: The overall rate of entrepreneurship within Canada’s population. Though there’s always room to grow, this suggests that those with a good business idea shouldn’t necessary decamp to Silicon Valley in search of success. Instead, use cloud-based technologies and mobile apps to be as competitive in your home and native land as you would be elsewhere.
No. 1: Canada’s rank among the G7 in terms of female entrepreneurship. This is further proof that startups don’t need to be considered the domain of young white men. Instead, founders should explore mentorship opportunities to nurture and attract the next generation of talent, which may be more diverse than they expect.
45-64: The peak age range for entrepreneurs in Canada. In other words, it’s not all people in their late teens or early 20s who are creating the Next Big Thing. Seasoned business people with a strong knowledge of sales and marketing can use technology to help them turn their startup ideas into something valuable. And it’s not just a consumer play; the CIS report also said the business-to-business sector in Canada was attracting a higher volume of startup activity.
Perhaps the most important things in the CIS report weren’t quantitative but qualitative. The researchers said Canadians tend to be highly supportive of individual success achieved through personal effort, self-sufficiency, creativity and innovation. In other words, people here have what it takes to not only become entrepreneurs, but thriving business leaders.
For more information on how to get your new venture off the ground, visit Salesforce for Startups.