Over Half a Million British Columbians Aspire to Start Their Own Business, According to RBC Survey

    160,000 Plan to Work for Themselves by Next Year

    VANCOUVER, Sept. 28 /CNW/ - More than half a million British Columbians
(560,000) say they have plans to start up their own business, according to
RBC's annual Small Business Survey. Among them, 160,000 anticipate becoming
their own boss within the next year.
    The RBC/Ipsos Reid survey also found that B.C.'s aspiring entrepreneurs
are coming from a wide range of occupations, including: executive/managerial
(16 percent); sales (14 per cent); professional (13 per cent);
secretarial/clerical (12 per cent); blue collar/labourer work (12 per cent);
and technical (11 per cent).
    As to their preferred choice of work, would-be entrepreneurs also have
their eyes set on an array of industries, the top five being: personal
services/arts/crafts (15 per cent); retail (13 per cent); Internet/online
services (12 per cent); business services/communications/management consultant
as well as constructions/trades/manufacturing (both at 8 per cent); and
travel/hospitality/restaurants (7 per cent).
    "The results of this year's survey show that we're still seeing a great
deal of entrepreneurial spirit in B.C.," said Aly Karmali, regional advisor
for RBC Small Business. "We're also seeing that spirit come from people with
very diverse working backgrounds, not necessarily with management experience.
British Columbians are taking good advantage of the growing depth and variety
of support tools available to help new entrepreneurs from all walks of life
get their dreams off the ground."

    B.C's Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Fast Facts

    -   69 per cent are currently employed
    -   43 per cent have been either self-employed or owned a business before
    -   53 per cent expect to invest less than $25,000 to start up their
    -   41 per cent believe it will take between 1-3 years from start-up to
        begin earning revenue
    -   45 per cent believe it will take between 1-3 years from start-up
        until their business breaks even (e.g., makes enough money to cover
        the costs)
    -   Aspiring entrepreneurs are split 51 per cent male, 49 per cent female

    Canada's 2007 Entrepreneurs: By the Numbers

    Region          Existing Entrepreneurs        Aspiring Entrepreneurs

                         %        Total                %        Total

    BC                 18%       500,000             17%       560,000
    Alberta            11%       310,000             13%       430,000
    Sask./Man.          7%       200,000              6%       200,000
    Ontario            41%     1,150,000             39%     1,290,000
    Quebec             19%       530,000             19%       630,000
    Atlantic            4%       110,000              7%       230,000
    Canada           11.5%     2,800,000           13.0%     3,300,000

    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. Within the smaller populations of entrepreneurs and
aspiring entrepreneurs in the province of B.C., the results are considered
accurate to within +/- 4.9 per cent for entrepreneurs and +/- 6.1 per cent for
aspiring entrepreneurs 19 times out of 20.

    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. For practical advice and information about starting, owning and
managing a small business, entrepreneurs - existing and aspiring - can visit

For further information:

For further information: Christie Smith, (604) 665-4031

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