Canadian Entrepreneurs & SMB and what they mean to our economy?
Entrepreneurs & SMB are the economical engines of Canada, according to a recent study by the Government of Canada study (1) and a report by BDC published in 2018 (2). Entrepreneurs bring their creativity, vision, and passion to serve our communities.
Yoush Consulting is a Small Business with over twenty years of experience in IT Staff Augmentation and IT project management. Yoush relies on technology entrepreneurs to support its clients. As such, it is befitting that we dedicate a page to our invaluable entrepreneurs.
Despite popular belief, entrepreneurs are not driven by money. According to the BDC report, the majority of entrepreneurs started their businesses to become their boss; they sought autonomy, independence, and flexibility. Passion and self-fulfillment inspired about half of all entrepreneurs, and an even greater percentage of women (59%) and young entrepreneurs (75%). Women and young entrepreneurs are also more likely to start a business to positively contribute to society. Only one in three Canadian entrepreneurs pursue entrepreneurship for financial reasons.
There are 3.5 million entrepreneurs contributing to the Canadian economy (5). Entrepreneurship is a powerful force driving innovation, productivity, job creation, and economic growth. Over 99% of Canadian businesses are small businesses. More than half of these are micro-businesses with four or fewer employees. Over 68% of employment in the private sector is created by small businesses creating over 150,000 new jobs each year. Over 65% survive more than five years.
Fewer than one in two ventures are still open after 10 years. Running a business is highly stressful. Entrepreneurs wear many hats, ranging from bringing in sales to hiring and managing employees, and ensuring production is running smoothly. They don’t count their hours. And they take personal and financial risks; indeed, a third of all new businesses go under within five years. Although a third will not survive, these too contribute to society, create jobs, hire new graduates, and in the process gain valuable business experience.
For these reasons and more we must support our entrepreneurs and the small businesses they create. The main reason behind Silicon Valley’s global success is the ecosystem that supports Entrepreneurs and start-ups. Large companies support this ecosystem knowing that they too will benefit from the creativity of these small businesses. This support includes ample access to Venture Capital and intellectual capital.
British Columbia has a program to Fast Fund SMB with much-needed capital to support business growth, as reported by IT World Canada (3). This is a good start to creating a healthy ecosystem for Entrepreneurship. The BDC business report on 30 under 30 winners (4) is a good example of the creativity and ingenuity of our entrepreneurs and the positive impact they can have on the economy and our society through their products and services. I have picked just a few examples to demonstrate the diversity of this group and obviously, I have focused on the domain I am comfortable with, the technology. These are:
- https://www.thecodeinitiative.ca – Felicia Chan + Bahar Moussavi + Mikhaela Torio, age 23
- Three young female students decide to redefine education and make it more inclusive. They believe that everyone can learn to code including people with autism, attention deficit disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, among other conditions.
- https://www.fraction.com/ – Hayden James + Josh Baker, age 28 & 26
- Hayden and Josh’s passion for financial fairness prompted them to create a business to find the fairest way to access home equity and the lowest rate.
- https://trenadigital.ca – Nico Aguirre, age 23
- Nico gave up a very lucrative career in sales to build his own marketing business and take control of his destiny
- https://weareflik.com/ – Michelle Kwok, age 22
- Michelle gave up becoming a doctor to create a digital platform called FLIK to help pair women entrepreneurs with budding female founders and students across the world
Unlike these entrepreneurs, I did not start Yoush till I was forty with two kids. I quit my job to start a business solo, knowing that I was not getting younger and that my high-energy years were limited. I do NOT recommend this approach. According to the very successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Payam Zamani (6), none of the above is recommended. Despite that, I succeeded, maintained, and grew the business for over twenty years. Of course, it all came at a sacrifice, but it was work it.
In this journey, Yoush hired many new graduates including foreign students eligible to seek employment, and Yoush hired more women than men, although not intentionally. Many of our new graduates gained their experience here and went on to larger corporations in the consulting and the technology industries. I am proud of the service we provide and what we did for the community.
- 10 things you didn’t know about Canadian SMEs | BDC.ca
Bud Derakhshani – President, Yoush Consulting – March 4, 2022