Access to financing is the chief barrier to venturing out on your own, RBC report says

Mario ToneguzziThe entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Alberta.

A new poll released on Thursday by RBC says 63 per cent of Albertans have thought about owning their own business. It’s the highest percentage in the country and way above the national average of 54 per cent.

Of those Canadians who have considered owning a business, 56 per cent are already putting their entrepreneurial skills to use by making money from their passion project (28 per cent), taking on side jobs when they need money (20 per cent) and testing out a new business idea (eight per cent), said RBC.

“Many Canadians are taking the entrepreneurial steps to earn money outside of their regular income, but don’t necessarily view themselves as small business owners in the traditional sense. Starting a business can take on many different forms, from a casual side-hustle to a more formal, planned commitment,” says Jason Storsley, vice-president for small business at RBC.

“Regardless of what path is right for your business, putting the appropriate disciplines in place from the start, like proper accounting and marketing practices, will allow you to focus on growing your business.”

The RBC report also found:

  • the majority of non-business owners (61 per cent) said that access to financial capital would be the number one factor that would encourage them to start a business, ahead of having a great idea (51 per cent);
  • for those who already own a business, only 25 per cent said that access to financial capital was an encouraging factor, and placed far more emphasis on having a great idea (48 per cent) and understanding the fundamentals of business admin (30 per cent);
  • almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of Canadians aged 18 to 34 have thought about owning a business, and 59 per cent of millennials who don’t already own a business are engaging in entrepreneurial activity to supplement their income. This includes: 28 per cent who are finding a way to make money from a passion project or hobby; and 11 per cent who are already testing an idea for a business.

“Equipping prospective entrepreneurs with the tools, knowledge and resources to help realize their business ownership aspirations will be key to creating a thriving economy and vibrant communities across Canada,” said Storsley.

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.


Entrepreneurial spirit

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