One Size Does Not Fit All Canadian Entrepreneurs, According to Annual RBC Survey

    Almost 900,000 Canadians Hope to Be Their Own Boss by Next Year

    TORONTO, Sept. 28 /CNW/ - Some 3.3 million Canadians, representing all
walks of life, plan to start a business within the next five years, and
approximately 900,000 are looking to be their own boss by the end of 2008.
This is according to RBC's annual small business survey, which compared the
responses of aspiring entrepreneurs with those of entrepreneurs already
running their own businesses.
    The RBC/Ipsos Reid survey also shows some interesting contrasts between
the backgrounds of existing entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs. For
example, while over one-fifth (21 per cent) of existing entrepreneurs
responded that they had previously held executive/managerial positions, only
15 per cent of those planning to set up their own businesses come from an
executive/managerial background. Furthermore, while only 9 per cent of
existing entrepreneurs cited previous experience in blue collar/labourer work,
13 per cent of would-be entrepreneurs are emerging from blue collar/labourer
    "What we're seeing is that anyone who wants to be, feels it is possible
with or without management experience. This is likely due to the strong appeal
of being your own boss and the wide array of support tools and expertise
readily available to help," said Kris Depencier, head of Small Business Client
Strategy for RBC. "Even better, these resources can be tailored to meet the
needs of Canadian business owners. One size does not fit all, and Canadian
entrepreneurs no longer have to contend with an 'off the shelf' approach when
they seek out support."
    According to the RBC survey, emerging entrepreneurs are also subtly
shifting their preferred industry focus. Of the top three industries targeted
by would-be entrepreneurs in 2005, personal services/arts/crafts has now
dropped from 17 per cent to 15 per cent; retail is down from 13 per cent to 11
per cent; and business services/communications/management consultant has
fallen from 11 per cent to 8 per cent. Meanwhile Internet/online services (a
new aspiring entrepreneurs category in this year's survey) was cited as
industry of choice by 12 per cent of Canadians planning to establish their own
    "Finding a niche that you are passionate about and believe in is a big
part of successfully starting, growing and sustaining your own business,"
advised Depencier. "If you're thinking about starting up a business, do your
homework, learn from existing entrepreneurs, and take full advantage of the
resources that are now available."

    Canada's entrepreneurs: Industry of choice (presently owned or planning
    to own)

    Industry                                   Existing             Aspiring

    Business services/consulting               14%                   8%
    Personal services/arts/crafts               9%                  15%
    Construction/trades/manufacturing           9%                   7%
    Retail                                      8%                  11%
    Finance/insurance/real estate               8%                   4%
    Professionals                               6%                   3%
    Travel/hospitality including restaurants    3%                   9%
    Transportation                              3%                   3%
    Wholesale                                   3%                   3%
    Childcare/daycare                           3%                   1%
    Telecommunications sales/service            2%                   2%
    Entertainment                               2%                   1%
    Internet/online services                   N/A(*)               12%
    Other                                      15%                  10%
    (*) Industry category not included

    Canada's entrepreneurs: By the numbers

    Region                  Existing Entrepreneurs    Aspiring Entrepreneurs
                            2005         2007         2005         2007

    BC                      19%          18%          18%          17%
    Prairies                19%          18%          21%          19%
    Ontario                 39%          41%          41%          39%
    Quebec                  17%          19%          12%          19%
    Atlantic                 6%           4%           7%           7%


    Male                    52%          56%          56%          54%
    Female                  48%          44%          44%          46%


    18-34                   15%          14%          30%          30%
    35-54                   47%          51%          51%          55%
    55+                     39%          34%          19%          15%

    Marital Status

    Married                 55%          61%          47%          49%
    Domestic Partnership    13%          14%          15%          18%
    Single                  14%          12%          23%          22%
    Widowed                  3%           1%           2%           1%
    Separated/Divorced      14%          11%          13%          10%

    Household Income

    Under $25K              15%          13%          22%           9%
    $25- $ less than 45K    22%          16%          21%          16%
    $45- $ less than 70K    24%          25%          22%          23%
    $70- $ less than 100K   19%          22%          20%          22%
    $100K+                  20%          24%          15%          30%

    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between July 27 and August 3, 2007. The online survey is based on a randomly
selected representative sample of 3,806 adult Canadians of which 2,253 owned
small or medium-sized businesses (entrepreneurs) and 1,553 aspire to own small
or medium size businesses (aspiring entrepreneurs). With a representative
sample of this size, the results among entrepreneurs are considered accurate
to within +/- 2.1 percentage points, and among aspiring entrepreneurs +/- 2.5
19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian
population been polled.

    RBC delivers a wide range of financial services and practical advice to
small and medium-sized businesses and their owners. RBC is Canada's leading
financial institution for small business, serving one in four small
businesses. Entrepreneurs - existing and aspiring - can visit for practical advice and information
about starting, owning and managing a small business.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Judi Levita, (416) 974-8810

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