Entrepreneurship is growing in Canada. Is that good? Blog #30

14 June, 2022

Entrepreneurship is growing in Canada. Is that good?

Entrepreneurship is a measure of economic dynamism. Over the last ten years the percentage of the population involved in entrepreneurship in Canada has increased by over 50%, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. In 2021 about 20% of the adult population was involved in planning or starting up a business.

The graph below shows the evolution in Canada since 2013 using the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) database.

TEA (Total early stage entrepreneurship activity) is a combination of two numbers – nascent entrepreneurs, those actively starting up a business and owner managers of a business less than 3.5 years old.

EB (established businesses) are owner managers of a company more than 3.5 year old.

In both cases the numbers refer to the percentage of the adult population (age 18+) engaged.

The TEA rate has crept steadily upwards since 2013, with a dip in 2020 due to COVID, while the EB rate has remained fairly constant.

Statistics Canada data confirms that the number of firms, adjusted for population growth, has remained roughly constant since 2014.

Is this just a Canadian phenomenon?  If you look at the GEM data for several other countries you see exactly the same phenomenon. TEA has risen significantly from 2013 to 2021 – in the UK (by 80%), in France (by 70%), in Germany (by 40%) and in the US (by 30%), that compares with the rise in Canada of 70%.  So this is certainly not a uniquely Canadian situation.

The EB rate in the other countries has also remained fairly constant over the same period.

So what is going on?  The real answer is that at this point we don’t know for sure. There would appear to be several possibilities at least1:

  • More people are involved in each new startup. Might this be because startups are becoming more complex requiring more diversity of skills?
  • There may be more hybrid entrepreneurs – people who work for a large company and work to develop opportunities either for their employer or for themselves.
  • More business consolidations are happening early in the life cycle.

 

Does it matter?  The negatives.

The larger question is: does this really matter?  The hard facts are that from an economy wide perspective, large businesses are much more productive than small business. In Canada 2.4 million people (15.1% of the labour force) work for large companies, and produce 48.1% of the GDP, while 13.7 million people (84.9% of the labour force) work for small and medium sized companies and produce 51.9% of GDP. So, a person working in a large company, on average, produces 5 times as much GDP as a person working in a small or medium sized company.

Do we put too much effort into encouraging entrepreneurs?  Well-known American author Scott Shane thinks so – one of his papers is entitled ”Why encouraging entrepreneurship is bad public policy”. Shane argues that the typical start-up is not innovative, creates few jobs, and generates little wealth.

If entrepreneurship is such a good thing, then why is Canada a laggard in innovation and R&D spending?  [See Blogs 24 and 29]

 

Does it matter?  The positives

However, it has been well established that entrepreneurs and other outsiders are a main vehicle for introducing radical new technologies to the marketplace.  Just think why Tesla is the leader in electric cars rather than GM or Toyota. The current rise in tech startups in Canada is likely a manifestation of this.

Several large sectors of the Canadian economy, such as retail, construction and healthcare, rely on small and medium sized firms, and they make a significant contribution to the overall economy and provide valuable employment.

Also, in a period of economic turbulence, such as we seem to be entering now, having entrepreneurial skills is a valuable attribute, whether in a large company or a startup. The key role of the entrepreneur is to identify opportunities, and then generate the enthusiasm, vision and plans needed to create a successful venture.

 

Conclusion

Although most startups don’t generate much wealth, innovation or jobs, nevertheless some of them do, and this is a key driver of economic growth.

  1. Shane, S. Why encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs is bad public policy. Small Bus Econ 33, 141–149 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-009-9215-5
  2. I am indebted to Marc Duhamel and Étienne St-Jean for helpful discussion on this.

The world’s biggest report on Entrepreneurship is just out – Blog #23

14, February 2022

The world’s biggest report on Entrepreneurship is just out. Here is how Canada stocks up.

The largest study of entrepreneurship in the world just issued its annual report. Here’s how Canada stacks up.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is the largest study of entrepreneurship in the world and in 2021 covered 47 countries. It has been around since 1999 and has a well-tested and validated methodology. It is unique in that it looks at entrepreneurship from the viewpoint of the entrepreneur rather than the business as most reports on entrepreneurship. Canada does very well in these reports. Some highlights:

TEA. The total entrepreneurship activity (TEA) is a measure of what percentage of the adult population is involved in starting up a new business or running one less than 3½ years old. By this measure Canada ranks #1 among rich countries, with 20.1 % of the adult population involved.

Total Early stage Entrepreneurship Activity (TEA)

 

Source: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor

Established business ownership (EBO). In Canada 8.2% of the adult population is involved in running an established business (one more than 3½ years old). This is middle of the pack compared with the 19 rich countries in the study, and is fairly stable in Canada. It is interesting to compare the TEA with EB rates. The TEA rate is more than twice as high as the EB rate, and that implies that more than half of new startups will fail.  This is consistent with Statistics Canada data showing that sixty three percent of new firms survived five years, and 43% survived for ten years.  It illustrates how risky startups are.

Finding opportunity in COVID. More Canadians (77%) say they see opportunities arising from COVID-19 that they wish to pursue than in any other country in the study. This is a very significant sign of optimism that bodes well for the recovery.

Motivation.  Canadian entrepreneurs are motivated by three main factors in almost equal measure:

  • To make a difference in the world (70.4%)
  • To build great wealth (68.4%)
  • To earn a living (70.7%)

A lesser motivation is to continue a family tradition (50%)

Gender mix. Historically in most countries male entrepreneurs have outnumbered female entrepreneurs by quite a wide margin. In Canada the rate of female entrepreneurship has usually been in the range of 65%-85% of the male rate. In 2021 the ratio was at the low end of that range, at 65%. The ratio for ownership of existing businesses (in business more than 3½ years) was 68%.  For comparison, in the US, the female rate for TEA was 85% of the male rate and 75% for EBO.  However, the actual TEA rate in Canada was much higher than in the US (20.1 vs. 16.5) so there were actually more female entrepreneurs in Canada as a percentage of the population than in the US (15.8% in Canada and 15.2% in the US).

Entrepreneurial Employee activity (EEA). Innovation and entrepreneurship also takes place in large companies and GEM measures that activity too. In 2021, the entrepreneurial employee rate in Canada was 4.7 % of the adult population. That is middle of the pack among 19 rich countries, slightly ahead of the US (at 4.5%) and well behind Switzerland (7.1%). The significance of the EEA is that it can be regarded as a rough measure of productivity, as it is a measure of change or improvement activity in  a large company.

Export Sales. Entrepreneurs in Canada rank very highly for export sales. About 29% of all early stage businesses plan to have 25% or more of their sales coming from outside the country. By this metric Canada ranks # 2 globally.  As a rule entrepreneurs in large countries have most of their sales domestically as their home market is so large.

What kind of businesses? According to the GEM data most startups in Canada are involved with consumer services, with a smaller proportion involved in business services.  This is typical of almost all GEM countries. In Canada about 52% of startups focus on consumer services and about 25% on business services.

Conclusion.  This report paints a very positive picture of entrepreneurship in Canada. But bear in mind that this report is about early stage entrepreneurship. It does not deal with scale up, an area where Canada is not so strong.

Peter Josty

The full report can be found at www.Gemconsortium.org

This Blog originally appeared at www.thecis.ca

 


Entrepreneurship in Alberta – Definite signs of the poor economic situation in Alberta. – Blog #19

21, January 2019 – Blog #19

 Entrepreneurship in Alberta – Definite signs of the poor economic situation in Alberta

Alberta again has the highest rate of entrepreneurship in Canada, confirming what we have seen for the last five years. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report on Entrepreneurship in Alberta shows that 19.6% of Albertans aged 18-64 are involved in starting a business. This is higher than the rate for Canada as a whole (18.8%) and higher than all other innovation driven economies including the US, Australia and Israel.  Although Alberta has a slightly higher rate of established businesses than Canada as a whole (7.5% vs 6.2%) it is lower than the US or Australia.

Alberta also has a lower rate of intrapreneurship than the Canadian average, 5.7% compared with 6.6%, similar to last years findings. This factor can be linked to a firm’s innovation and productivity strategies.

Who are these entrepreneurs? They are highly educated, with most having a university or college education, many with graduate degrees. The rate of entrepreneurship rises steadily with the amount of education, peaking in those with some post graduate experience. Their ages vary, with entrepreneurship rates peaking in the 25-34 and 55-64 age group.  The entrepreneurship rate in the 55-64 age group is two and a half times the Canadian average, and supports a narrative of older workers losing their jobs in the weak economy.
For Established Businesses, the rate increases steadily with age, as expected, but Alberta has a surprisingly high rate in the 18-24 age group.
The rate of women’s entrepreneurship is almost 90% of the male rate, one of the highest ratios in the world. It is much higher than the Canadian average of 66%.

What do they do?  Alberta has a very different startup industry profile than Canada. GEM puts businesses into four categories – extractive (oil and gas, mining and agriculture); transformative (manufacturing), business services and consumer services. Alberta has two and a half as many extractive businesses, twice as many transformative business, roughly similar business services, and far fewer consumer oriented businesses than Canada as a whole.

Why do they do it?  Most entrepreneurs say they started their business to purse an opportunity, although 23% do so out of necessity, because they had no other economic opportunities. The necessity rate is 50% greater than the Canadian average, and this may reflect poor economic conditions in Alberta. It is worth noting that in 2014 (when the economy was much stronger), the necessity entrepreneurship rate in Alberta was only 8%.

Size and Growth. Startups in Alberta are much smaller than the Canadian average. One third of all Alberta startups have no employees, compared with 22% in Canada. And only 6.7% have 20+ employees, compared with 12.9% for Canada as a whole. However, almost a quarter of Alberta startups plan to have 20 employees in five years’ time.

How innovative are they?  40% of Alberta startups say they have no novelty in their products or services, the highest rate in Canada. This would indicate a low level of innovativeness. This is corroborated by the metric that over 60% of Alberta startups use older technology, also the highest rate in Canada.  However, 12% of Alberta startups say they have no competitors, the highest rate in Canada. So it looks as if there are a few very innovative startups among an overall pool of low innovations.

How supportive is the ecosystem?  GEM measures ecosystem performance by polling 36 experts in nine separate areas of expertise. By these measures, Alberta is similar to Canada as a whole, except performance is a little lower in most measures. Alberta is equal to or better than Canada in 4 of the 9 measures used in the report.

What constraints do they face? According to the Expert opinion, the main constraints facing Alberta entrepreneurs are:

  • Financial support;
  • Government Programs and policies;
  • Capacity for entrepreneurship.

GEM is the oldest and largest study of entrepreneurship in the world, covering 60+ countries every year.

The report contains the following recommendations:

  1. Continue to highlight opportunities for entrepreneurs in the province and develop tactics to mediate fears in future training initiatives.
  2. Consider ways to increase Employee Entrepreneurship?Intrapreneurship within Alberta.
  3. Aim to close the gender gap completely and investigate further why Alberta is more successful in this area than elsewhere across Canada.
  4. Provide support for burgeoning entrepreneurs with high growth expectations within the province in order to optimize their impact.
  5. Follow expert advice and look for improvements in Government Policies, Finance, and Education. 

The full report is available at GEM Alberta 2017 Report.

Peter Josty

p.josty@thecis.ca
403-249-0191
www.thecis.ca

 


Women’s Entrepreneurship in Alberta World-beaters – Blog #18

8, January 2019 – Blog #18

Women’s Entrepreneurship in Alberta – World-beaters

Alberta has the highest rate of women’s entrepreneurship in Canada. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Alberta shows that 15.5% of Alberta women aged 18-64 are involved in starting a business. This is higher than the rate for Canada as a whole (13.3%) and higher than all other innovation driven economies including the US, Australia and the UK.

Who are these entrepreneurs? They are highly educated, with most having a university or college education, many with graduate degrees. Their ages vary, with entrepreneurship rates peaking in the 18-34 and 55+ age categories.

What do they do?  Most (almost 70%) of their businesses are service based, evenly split between business services and consumer services. The next largest category (at 19%) is “extractive” businesses, such as mining, oil, and gas and agriculture, and the balance is manufacturing. This profile is quite different from that of Canada as a whole, where consumer services is by far the largest sector (at 41%) and extractive businesses are half the Alberta rate.  The top six sectors are government/education/health; agriculture; professional services; manufacturing; retail; and finance/insurance/real estate.

Why do they do it?  Most women entrepreneurs state that their business is to purse an opportunity, although 25% do so out of necessity. The necessity rate is almost twice the Canadian average. The report also provides detailed information on motivation. The main reasons women start a business are independence, a positive work environment, a flexible schedule, and the ability to work from home.

What impact do they have?  Most women led businesses are smaller than businesses led by men. Over one quarter of women entrepreneurs operate as solo entrepreneurs with no employees. 7% of women led businesses have created more than 20 jobs. This compares with 10% of businesses led by men. In terms of future job growth, 17% of women led enterprises expect to create 20 or more jobs in the next five years.

How innovative are they?  About 30% of women led businesses in Alberta claim to have a new product, process or new market, compared with 33% of businesses led by men. Both of these numbers are lower than the Canadian average.

Do they export?  26% of women led businesses in Alberta export, compared with about 30% for businesses led by men. Both of these numbers are lower than the Canadian average. Canada as a whole ranks highly by this measure, being #3 globally for exporting.

How satisfied are the entrepreneurs? Most women entrepreneurs in Alberta say they are satisfied with their work. The highest ratings for satisfaction are related to having decision making autonomy over how work is accomplished, and doing work that is personally meaningful. The lowest ratings for satisfaction relate the level of work stress, the growth trajectory of the business, levels of income and work related stress.

What challenges do they face? Women entrepreneurs face a number of challenges in Alberta, despite their overall very positive situation.  Many women entrepreneurs report dissatisfaction with the annual growth rate of their businesses, and the degree of innovativeness.  Although there are a number of programs aimed at growth oriented women entrepreneurs in Alberta, it would appear that more needs to be done.  A quarter or women entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs because they have to be, not because they want to be (i.e. necessity based entrepreneurs).  This suggests that other factors are involved, such as a weak labour market, difficulty accessing training, or problems finding flexible job opportunities. Women entrepreneurs are underrepresented in lucrative, innovation sectors such as knowledge intensive business services and scientific and technological sectors.

As report author Karen Hughes notes, in recent years Canada has become increasingly recognized as a leader in women’s entrepreneurship.  This report provides plenty of evidence to support that conclusion.

The full report is available at  THECIS GEM 2018

 

Peter Josty

p.josty@thecis.ca
403-249-0191
www.thecis.ca

 


Youth Entrepreneurship in Canada Blog #17

19, November 2018 – Blog #17

Youth Entrepreneurship in Canada.

Highly educated entrepreneurs see it as a good career choice.

The recently released Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report on Youth Entrepreneurship shows that youth entrepreneurship is alive and well in Canada. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is the largest study of entrepreneurship in the world.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Canadian Youth see entrepreneurship as good career choice and associate it with high status. Over 60% of Canadian youth saw entrepreneurship as a good career choice, and having high status, and three quarters saw it as having high status. Most also saw it portrayed positively in the media.
  • They feel confident that they have the skills and experience needed to start a business. More than half felt they had the skills and experience need to start  a business, although around 40% expressed a fear of failure. However this is about 10% less than expressed by the 18-64 age group. However, we found in other GEM reports than the experts are quite skeptical of these views.
  • They want greater independence. There has been a pronounced shift in the last 4 years to increase the fraction of youth entrepreneurs who seek greater independence, rather than to increase income. More than twice as many of the youth entrepreneurs we interviewed valued independence more than increased income.
  • They are highly educated. Over 60% of youth entrepreneurs have a post-secondary degree, while among the youngest youth entrepreneurs (ages 18-24) 16% have post graduate experience. This compares with 54% of the 18-64 age group in Canada who have a post-secondary qualification.
  • Consumer services form the largest share of youth entrepreneur’s ventures. It is typical of most reports on entrepreneurship that consumer services are the largest single business category. There are low barriers to entry and frequently a relatively low need for capital to get started. 45% of youth entrepreneurs’ ventures are for consumer services, 32% for business services and 20% for manufacturing.
  • Personal savings is the primary source of funding. 58% of youth entrepreneurs funded their ventures with personal savings, 19% by bank loans and 9% from family. The median value of the investment to start their business was $268,214.
  • There is a gender gap, as female youth exhibit less confidence and a higher fear of failure than their male counterparts.
  • The overall entrepreneurship rate for youth is slightly lower than the Canadian population. In 2016 14.1 % of youth were involved in entrepreneurial activity, compared with 16.7% of the total 18-64 population. This is perhaps not surprising as generally people need to accumulate money and experience before starting a business.
  • An increasing number of Youth are running established businesses. In GEM, an established business is one that has been around for 3.5 years. The number of these headed by Youth has risen quite rapidly in the last four years.
  • Ontario and Alberta are hubs of youth entrepreneurship. The rate of youth entrepreneurship varies quite a bit across Canada. Highest rates are found in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec, while lower rates are found in Newfoundland, New Brunswick and PEI.

The full report is available at www.gemcanada.org – look under 2017 (when the data was collected).

Peter Josty

p.josty@thecis.ca
403-249-0191
www.thecis.ca

 


Dr. C Langford

Dr. Cooper Langford Blog #15

25, April 2018 – Blog #15

Dr. Cooper Langford

Most of you know that Dr. Cooper Langford passed away on March 11th, 2018.  His Celebration of Life will be at the Best Western Village Park Inn, 1806 Crowchild Trail, Calgary, T2M 3Y7, on April 30th from 2:00-5:00.

We dedicate this blog to him, a review of his huge contribution to THECIS over the years by looking at some of the projects he contributed to.

Cooper was co-founder of THECIS in 2001, and was a Board member and active Fellow right up to the end.  He made many contributions to THECIS. This is just a brief summary of some of his project involvement.

 

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)  2013- February 2018

Since 2013 Cooper authored numerous GEM reports, including the Canada 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 reports. At the time of his passing he was working on the GEM Canada 2017 report. He also wrote the GEM Alberta reports for 2013-2016.  His work on these reports set the standard for the other GEM reports that were written in Canada since 2013. Cooper also attended the GEM Annual meeting in Monterey, Mexico in 2014.

InnoWest 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010

InnoWest is the western Canadian Innovation Conference. THECIS has organised this event since 2004, and it has become an annual event, with steadily increasing attendance from across western Canada and beyond. Cooper was a mainstay at organizing these events.

Science to Society Workshop 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010

This event is organised to provide business information to 50- 70 graduate students in science, engineering ICT, health and agriculture. It takes place at a weekend on October in Banff.  Support has come from iCORE, Alberta Ingenuity, AHFMR, the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute, NSERC Prairies and the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Cooper attended all the workshops and led many of the sessions.

Ingenuity 601 [Graduate Innovation Course], 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010

This project, carried out for Alberta Ingenuity, was to develop and deliver a learning experience to graduate students in Alberta to acquaint them with the basics of business concepts and give them experience working on a business related project in a multidisciplinary environment.  Cooper led many of these sessions.

Health Research Translation Project, 2009
This course is modelled on Ingenuity 601 but targeted at graduate students in medical, health and biosciences and related fields such as medicine, nursing, rehabilitation, life sciences and biomedical engineering. Cooper designed and delivered the courses, and Anne Tyrie facilitated the sessions.

Second Banff Innovation Summit, 2008.

The theme of the second Banff Innovation Summit was “The resource industries as engines of economic diversification”. The Summit took place in September, with about 30 senior individuals from industry, government and university from the four western provinces. The Summit was supported by Western Economic Diversification, the Alberta government, iCORE and NSERC Prairies. Cooper actively participated in the planning and execution of this Summit.

Pathways Project, 2008

Industry Canada asked us to review the various pathways that knowledge travels from university to business in Canada, and provide examples of each type of pathway identified. Cooper led the project team and wrote the final report.

International Comparison Review, 2008.

This project developed an analysis of the policies being pursued in different countries to encourage industry-university collaboration; assessed the various strengths and weaknesses of various national approached; provided a critical assessment of the organizational structures of universities that underpin university-industry collaboration; and identified best practices and principles. This was for Industry Canada. The project team consisted of Cooper and Richard Hawkins.

ICT Sector Performance in Alberta, 2007/8

This project, supported by Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, is a follow on from the Alberta Innovation Scorecard project. It aims to answer two questions: How is the ICT sector performing in Alberta?  How is the government doing supporting the sector? Cooper organized the workshop, along with Jeremy Hall.

Foresight Scoping Workshop, 2007

This was a foresight exercise to identify applications that may emerge from the convergence of nano-technology, biotechnology and ICT. It is initiated by the Office of the National Science Advisor and supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Biotechnology Secretariat and CMC Microsystems. Cooper was a mainstay of the project team, along with Richard Hawkins, Peter Josty, Ted Heidrick, and Jeremy Hall.

University Business Collaboration, 2007

This project is a critical review of the literature on how university researchers collaborate with industrial firms, and how those relationships can result in commercial products. Supported by Industry Canada.  Cooper wrote this report.

First Banff Innovation Summit 2006

The goal of turning Western Canada into a dynamic, diversified and internationally competitive knowledge-based economy must be supported with policies and strategies that take account of both leading-edge ideas and local knowledge about how to assess and improve innovation performance.

The Banff Innovation Summit brought together 30-40 carefully selected industry, policy and academic stakeholders in economic diversification and innovation will interact with an elite international group of experts who are producing leading-edge ideas and knowledge concerning innovation policy and strategy. A speaker from the OECD in Paris provides the keynote address. The Summit was funded by a number of organizations, including the Governments of Canada, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and BC, and the University of Calgary. Cooper actively participated in the planning and execution of this Summit.

University Research Park Vision and Conceptual Masterplan, 2005.

THECIS worked with a consortium of firms of architects to develop a Vision and Conceptual master plan for the rejuvenation of the University Research Park. This was done for Calgary Technologies, the University of Calgary and Alberta Infrastructure. Cooper was a mainstay of this project.

Health Innovation 2005, 2006, 2007

This project was funded by a private Calgary based Foundation. It was a year long study of the health industry in Alberta, to identify the main characteristics of the industry and celebrate its successes. The results of this work were disseminated across Alberta by a series of workshops in major centres organised by THECIS.  Cooper was Principal Investigator on this project.

Innovation System data Initiative 2005/6

Policy makers often need better and more timely information than is currently available from Statistics Canada. This project – supported by Alberta Innovation and Science, Western Economic Diversification and NRC-IRAP – addressed this need by sending a graduate student to Ottawa and supervising him to obtain information of value to the project sponsors. Cooper supervised the student who went to Ottawa for this project.

Return to Community – the Impact of the University of Calgary on its Community. 2004

The University of Calgary asked THECIS to prepare a report showing the impact the University has on the community. This report was subsequently used in discussions at the university Senate and by other bodies.

His presence will be missed for a long time to come at the THECIS office, on our board and future projects.

 

 


Women’s entrepreneurship in Canada Blog #14

12, December,  2017 – Blog #14

Women’s entrepreneurship in Canada

Women’s entrepreneurship continues to attract a great deal of attention and interest around the globe, given growing evidence of its economic and social impact. Initiatives such as the World Bank’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Financing Initiative  (WE-FI), and Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women Program , are just two examples of a growing range of initiatives aimed at supporting and encouraging women-led business. Within this global context, Canada has emerged as a leader in women’s entrepreneurship, with the highest levels of early-stage activity (TEA), and the fifth highest established business ownership (EBO), amongst innovation-based economies.

The GEM Canada Report on Women’s Entrepreneurship highlights the strength of women’s entrepreneurship in Canada. Some highlights from the report:

  • In 2016, 13.3% of Canadian women engaged in some form of early stage business activity, involving a business that was 3.5 years old or younger. This was up from 10.0% in 2014, and marked the highest rate of women’s TEA in 2016 amongst comparable innovation-based countries.
  • Comparing Canada to other G7 countries—such as the U.K. (5.6%), Germany (3.1%), France (3.4%), and Italy (3.3%)—helps to underline the striking and high level of Canadian women’s participation in early-stage business.
  • 6% of Canadian women were engaged in established businesses – those more than 3.5 years old – the fifth highest rate among comparable countries.
  • Canadian women entrepreneurs are found across all age groups, though start-up rates are highest among women aged 25-44, while the majority of established business owners fall between 55-64 years of age.
  • Women entrepreneurs are highly educated, with 12% having a graduate degree and 53.8% having a college or university degree.
  • 82% of women indicated they were motivated to start a new business by opportunities, up notably from 70% in 2014, while only 14.5 % were motivated by necessity.
  • Early stage women entrepreneurs are heavily involved in consumer services (54.4%), followed by business services (28.2%) and manufacturing (14.6%)
  • For established businesses, the pattern is different and much more evenly distributed between consumer services (41.2%) and business services (41.2%). This greater presence in business services is important and encouraging, given that business services is typically a much more profitable sector, one that is increasingly recognized as driving innovation and business growth according to research on the ‘knowledge-intensive business service’ sector (KIBS). 19.2%)

 

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is the world’s largest study of entrepreneurship, and typically covers 60-70 countries each year with a standardized methodology allowing ‘apples to apples’ comparison between countries.  In Canada GEM reports are carried out by the Centre for Innovation Studies (THECIS) based in Calgary.  This report was written by Karen Hughes a Professor at the Alberta School of Business and the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta.  The full report is available at https://tinyurl.com/y94gxqpn

Peter Josty

p.josty@thecis.ca
403-249-0191
www.thecis.ca