Entrepreneurship is an attractive and accessible option for an increasing number of Canadians

TORONTO, Oct. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - A four-part study on entrepreneurs commissioned by Staples and Startup Canada reveals that entrepreneurship is growing in popularity in Canada, particularly among millennials and retirement-aged baby boomers, and that the major drivers leading to start-ups are not related to money.

When asked about their motives for starting a business, approximately half of respondents cited a desire to fill a gap in the marketplace (55 per cent) or gain more flexibility and independence in their work (50 per cent). Forty per cent expressed a drive to change the world and leave a positive legacy.

"I am passionate about what I do," said Shelly King, solo-entrepreneur and the founder of Peterborough, Ontario-based business Puppeteria. "I like to work on things that are meaningful and entrepreneurship gives me the freedom to work on my own terms."

Beyond these ideals, entrepreneurs generally do not view working on their business as a 'job'. They enthusiastically embrace their business as an important part of their personal identity – how they see themselves, view the world and make decisions. For them entrepreneurship is a mindset; a way of seeing, being and acting. Their journey is one of heightened emotions that they relish – even through the many challenges.

"Entrepreneurs can sometimes feel isolated and lonely," said Victoria Lennox, Co-Founder and CEO of Startup Canada. "We've held hundreds of entrepreneur and small-business events and it's incredible the level of appreciation we receive from entrepreneurs who thank us for providing a venue and forum for them to exchange, find mentors, address their most pressing questions, and have a voice."

The study, which was conducted over a period of 4 weeks was commissioned in part by Staples Canada, who continues to grow its service level to small businesses and role as one of the most valued corporate supporters of small business – a position it has earned due to its network of stores, website and assortment of products and services as well as a growing number of local, business-friendly events.

Other findings from the research included:

  • Entrepreneurs relish and yearn for opportunities for networking and peer-to-peer learning
  • 8/10 would be comfortable approaching Staples for small business support and advice
  • When seeking advice and support, entrepreneurs overwhelmingly seek advice from experts and coaches (83 per cent), professional networks (82 per cent) and mentors (65 per cent), and to a lesser extent family and friends (58 per cent) and online networks (43.3).
  • Entrepreneurs share a series of common traits including optimism, confidence, competitiveness and, at times, a measure of loneliness
  • The top concerns for entrepreneurs remain finding customers (35 per cent), securing funding (20 per cent) and managing cash flow and growing their teams (20 per cent)

"All Canadians have a stake in the wellbeing and success of our entrepreneurial class," said Steve Matyas, president of Staples Canada. "Entrepreneurs are our neighbours, friends and family members; they have deep roots in our communities and are clearly driven by noble motivators that lead to stronger communities. Staples is delighted to be among their most staunch supporters."

Today, there are more than 2.3 million entrepreneurs in Canada and 1.1 million small businesses that together account for 78 per cent of private sector job creation, 30 per cent of exports and 27 per cent of our domestic gross domestic product. More than 98 per cent of all Canadian businesses are small (1-99 employees).

The survey, which is part of a four-part broader study which included in-depth focus groups in various cities, is available in its complete form at blog.staples.ca. A blog post inspired by its highlights is also available at blog.staples.ca.

Staples Canada / Startup Canada.

About Staples Canada
Staples makes it easy to make more happen with more products and more ways to shop. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery capabilities, Staples lets customers shop however and whenever they want, whether it's in-store, online, on mobile devices, or through the company's innovative buy online, pick up in store option. Staples offers more products than ever, such as technology, facilities and breakroom supplies, furniture, safety supplies, medical supplies, and Copy and Print services. Headquartered outside of Boston in the United States with offices in Toronto, Canada, Staples operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com and www.staples.ca. 

About Startup Canada
Startup Canada is a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada. Through online platforms, grassroots Startup Communities and cross-sector initiatives, Startup Canada is advancing entrepreneurial momentum and a culture of entrepreneurship, as the voice of Canadian entrepreneurs. Founded in May 2012, Startup Canada has quickly become the most recognized, energized and active entrepreneurship organization in Canada. Startup Canada has mentored more than 20,000 Canadians and has grown to represent more than 80,000 entrepreneurs, 400 enterprise support partners, 300 volunteers and 20 Startup Communities from coast to coast.

SOURCE Staples Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "Entrepreneurship is an attractive and accessible option for an increasing number of Canadians. SOURCE: Staples Canada / Startup Canada. (CNW Group/Staples Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151027_C6053_PHOTO_EN_530338.jpg

For further information: For media information and interviews please contact: Alessandra Saccal, Staples Canada, 905-737-1147 x 2363, Alessandra.saccal@staples.ca


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