64% of Canadian entrepreneurs expect to grow workforce this year

Disruption, innovation key to growth

TORONTO, June 6, 2016 /CNW/ - Sixty-four percent of Canadian entrepreneurs are expecting to hire in the next year, up from 50% a year ago, according to the EY Global Job Creation Survey 2016.

"We've always talked about entrepreneurs as the job creators," says Colleen McMorrow, EY partner and National Entrepreneur Of The Year program director. "But this year, they're even more enthusiastic about expanding their teams and growing their businesses – a very welcome development in this tough economic climate."

Canadian entrepreneurs are leading the pack compared to their global peers and corporate counterparts, too. According to EY's survey, 59% of entrepreneurs globally expect to increase their workforce in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 61% of Canadian corporate executives are expecting to hire this year, according to EY's recent Capital Confidence Barometer.

Case in point, Canada's 457 nominees (373 companies) in the 2015 program have a combined revenue of over $25B and employ over 345,000 people.

Disruption pays off
EY's survey also found that those entrepreneurs who are disruptive or innovative are growing their workforces at a much faster rate than more conventional entrepreneurs. Disruptive entrepreneurs are defined as those who change some or all of the rules of their sector with their product or service; innovative entrepreneurs have created a brand-new product or service in the past year. 

According to the survey, 14% of Canadian entrepreneurs fall into the most disruptive category, below the global average of 17%. In total, 49% are disruptors to some degree and 16% are innovators (above the global average of 13%).

McMorrow adds: "Canada has its fair share of entrepreneurs who are pushing the envelope, no doubt. But there is room to do better, and it all comes back to creating an environment where entrepreneurs are supported, celebrated and encouraged to break new ground, and turn the rules upside-down."

"Businesses that don't think they need to embrace change need to take note," says McMorrow. "Today's fast-moving business environment will not hesitate to leave stagnant companies behind. It's simply how the economy works now – you have to be disruptive, innovative, or you'll be out of business in no time."

Entrepreneurs focus on organic growth
While Canadian executives are eager for mergers and acquisitions this year, according to the recent Capital Confidence Barometer, entrepreneurs are choosing organic growth. Thirty-nine percent of Canadian entrepreneurs say their growth was largely organic and only 24% said it was driven largely by merger/acquisition or alliance – lower than the global average (30%).

Rather than focusing on deals, entrepreneurs see generating new business as both their top priority and biggest challenge in the year ahead. Nearly 30% of Canadian entrepreneurs say their biggest challenge is identifying, attracting and serving new customers.  

"Finding new customers is a key challenge for entrepreneurs in Canada – but it's not the only one. We know that entrepreneurs have the best chance of success when they're part of a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem," adds McMorrow. "We need to keep working together with governments, large businesses and entrepreneurs to create an environment where entrepreneurship can thrive."

The survey of nearly 2,700 entrepreneurs globally was released ahead of the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ event on June 7 in Monaco.

Figure 1: Hiring plans by territory


% expect to increase overall workforce

Net anticipated workforce growth % (includes growth/static/decline)

Global total




































Sub-Saharan Africa




The EY global job creation survey 2016

The EY global job creation survey 2016 was conducted online between January and March 2016 with an independent panel of global entrepreneurs in 12 key global markets, including input from 245 of the world's most dynamic entrepreneurs – EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ participants. The results are based on the responses of 2,673 entrepreneurs in Germany, China, India, France, Brazil, Japan, Australia, Canada, the UK, the US, Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA. Opinion Matters, part of the markettiers4dc group of companies in the UK and overseas, conducted the research for EY. The research adheres to strict industry codes of conduct and ICC/ESOMAR global market research guidelines.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca. Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

About EY's Strategic Growth Markets Network
EY's worldwide Strategic Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we've helped many of the world's most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early-stage venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

For further information: Sasha Anopina, sasha.anopina@ca.ey.com, 416 943 2637; Julie Fournier, julie.fournier@ca.ey.com, 514 874 4308; Leigh Kjekstad, leigh.kjekstad@ca.ey.com, 604 648 3807


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