Pattie Lovett-Reid: Shopify encourages, salutes entrepreneurs
In honour of Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday, Shopfiy one of Canada’s leading tech companies, which was once a startup, is looking to celebrate and encourage entrepreneurs in Canada.
According to Statistics Canada, 97.9 per cent of Canada’s economy is made up of small business and the trend is expected to continue.
The dream of owning your own business, according to a new survey conducted by Shopfiy, is alive and well. Sixty-eight per cent of those surveyed dream of being their own boss. Currently three in 10 Canadians have started their own business and more than half (53 per cent) believe that entrepreneurship is a possibility in the future.
The timing has never been better for an entrepreneur in Canada after the Canadian government outlined its commitment to innovation in an effort to drive the economy, create jobs and social change. While the survey results concluded Toronto is perceived as the most entrepreneurial city in Canada – the jury is still out on this one. The survey data revealed there are actually more self-employed individuals in B.C. (39 per cent) and Alberta (38 per cent) than in Ontario at (33 per cent). The good news is that growth continues to happen with a 52 per cent increase on the West Coast, 68 per cent increase in the Prairies, a 51per cent increase in Central Canada, a 44 per cent increase in Atlantic Canada and a 52 per cent increase in Norther Canada.
There are of course key perceived barriers to starting a business include: not enough money (62 per cent), too scared of the risk (41 per cent), unsure how to get the product to market (26 per cent) or not enough time (20 per cent).
I spoke to Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein and here is what he had to say: "The time for entrepreneurship is now. Social attitudes towards entrepreneurship have dramatically changed, and our generation no longer looks down on starting a business. It’s now a popular goal. And passion matters."
"Entrepreneurship offers people an outlet of expression – they can pursue their passions and turn them into their own brands, companies, or products," he added. "They can make their own creative decisions. This doesn’t mean that the entrepreneurship road is easy, but it does make the rewards much richer and satisfying.”