54% of entrepreneurs plan to boost workforce in 2013: Ernst & Young survey

Innovation named the one true differentiator in an increasingly competitive marketplace

TORONTO, Feb. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Entrepreneurs in Canada and around the world are optimistic about the year ahead, with more than half expecting to grow their workforce in 2013, Ernst & Young finds in its latest global survey.

Ernst & Young's Global Job Creation report shows this anticipated growth comes on the heels of a similar trend in 2012, in which 74% of respondents said they increased headcount.

"It's fascinating that entrepreneurs are pushing ahead with their plans for growth in spite of some stark economic forecasts across the globe," says Colleen McMorrow, Ernst & Young Partner and Entrepreneurial Services Leader. "But what really stands out is the reason behind that growth. The vast majority of respondents cited innovation as the main driver, which makes it one of the biggest job creators out there right now."

In fact, 88% of survey respondents across a wide number of industries agreed that innovation was the one genuine differentiator and advantage they have over the competition. That number was slightly higher (90%) among Canadian respondents. Some 74% said that innovation is the reason behind their growth in the last year.

Despite all the bullish news, entrepreneurs said they were in desperate need of attracting the right individuals to fill those anticipated positions as they continue to grow. The vast majority — including 61% of Canadian respondents — put specific industry and knowledge skills at the top of their wish list for future hires. They cited less interest in candidates with narrow, functional backgrounds such as engineering, finance and human resources.

"What this means is more and more entrepreneurs are looking for people who can develop the ideas and concepts that will propel the business forward, and help drive the kind of innovation needed to edge a further advantage over the competition," McMorrow says. "In a tough market like this one, talent is going to become an increasingly important piece of the puzzle for businesses that want to thrive over the long term, and really transform their industries."

The survey of past Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year winners polled more than 600 of the world's most successful entrepreneurs. To read more about this report, click here.

About Ernst & Young's Entrepreneurial Services practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Entrepreneurial Services practice guides Canadian entrepreneurs by delivering integrated services tailored to their goals and needs at every stage of the business lifecycle. We are the world leader in advising, guiding and recognizing the entrepreneurs who propel the economy — and community — forward. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Canada. The program honours the country's most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business. Nominations open 1 March 2013.

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About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

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SOURCE: Ernst & Young

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