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BDC Small Business Week 2019 presents the new face of Canadian entrepreneurship

Key findings:

  • Entrepreneurial activity has increased and the growth trend is expected to continue, with 24% of Canadians surveyed interested in starting or running a business.
  • Entrepreneurship rates have increased by 80% for people under 35 since 2014 and tripled among people over 55 since 2000.
  • Entrepreneurial activity among newcomers to Canada is increasing at twice the rate of Canadian-born entrepreneurs.
  • Women’s entrepreneurship is growing 3.1 times faster than men’s. About 28% of all entrepreneurs are now women, up from only 11% 40 years ago.

Montreal, Oct. 22, 2019—On the occasion of its 75th anniversary, BDC, Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, is releasing a new study exploring how Canada’s entrepreneurs have changed over time.

According to the study, Canada’s new entrepreneurial activity is changing the face of entrepreneurship, as more women, newcomers, younger Canadians and baby boomers are creating new companies.

Moreover, the tide is turning, as the study notes the highest number of new businesses in Canada in the past 10 years. BDC’s study, titled “A Nation of Entrepreneurs—The Changing face of Canadian Entrepreneurship” states that 44,700 Canadians started a business in 2018.

“Entrepreneurship is back on the rise. As Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, we couldn’t be prouder of the choice that more and more Canadians from increasingly diverse backgrounds are making. As an example, women’s entrepreneurship is growing about three times faster than entrepreneurship among men. Canadian entrepreneurship is vital to Canada’s prosperity; it is changing positively,” says BDC President and CEO Michael Denham.

“Canada’s economy depends on the many great women and men who have built innovative and globally competitive businesses,” says Pierre Cléroux, BDC’s Vice President, Research and Chief Economist. “We conducted this study to find out more about the dedicated, hardworking individuals who risk everything to build their businesses and to understand the key competencies that define their success.”

BDC’s study is based on entrepreneurship data and two national surveys—one that asked 1,025 Canadian entrepreneurs about the skills behind their success, and the second that polled 1,006 Canadians about their perceptions of entrepreneurship.

According to the study, business owners with higher skill levels generate higher sales, profits and employment growth. Strong managerial and technical skills can help ease entrepreneurs’ challenges. Such skills are also linked to higher confidence and lower stress levels. The study provides tips and advice on how entrepreneurs can develop these skills through training, networking and business coaching.

BDC is releasing its study as part of the 40th edition of BDC Small Business Week (SBW), which is being held coast to coast from October 20 to 26. BDC is also inviting entrepreneurs and the business community to celebrate the its 75th anniversary.

What is BDC Small Business Week?

For 40 years, BDC has organized BDC Small Business Week in recognition of the contributions and achievements of Canada’s entrepreneurs. BDC Small Business Week is a BDC trademark whose origins date back to 1979 when BDC business centres in British Columbia’s Lower Fraser Valley pooled their resources to organize a week of activities for entrepreneurs. This first event and the one that followed in 1980 were so successful that BDC officially launched BDC SBW across Canada in 1981. The initiative was quickly adopted by Canada’s business community.

In 2018, close to 300 activities across Canada attracted over 15,000 business people to BDC Small Business Week. This BDC flagship event celebrates entrepreneurship at the local, provincial and national levels.

About BDC

BDC is the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. It provides access to financing, as well as advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow and succeed. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers a wide range of risk capital solutions. For more information, visit bdc.ca.



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