Photo Credit: Intuit Quickbooks Canada

QuickBooks Canada: Nearly two million Canadians launched a business in the last 12 months


Thursday, June 3, 2021 12:00:00 PM

- Success of Canadian entrepreneurs will play a key role in economic recovery.-

Intuit QuickBooks Canada released the findings of a new study revealing that among Canadian entrepreneurs, one in five (21 per cent) started their business within the past year. This represents close to two million Canadians (1.9M) – more than the population of Calgary, one of Canada's largest metropolitan areas.

Unveiled at QuickBooks Connect, the results of The Future of Entrepreneurship in Canada Report, which polled Canadians – among them, current and aspiring entrepreneurs – found that entrepreneurs who started their business in the past year did so due to more spare time from the COVID-19 pandemic (39 per cent), financial pressures from the pandemic (23 per cent), and as a result of being laid off (19 per cent).

"It's exciting to see that the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada is alive and well. Although COVID-19 has undoubtedly disrupted the lives of Canadians, with disruption often comes opportunity," said David Marquis, Vice President and Country Manager of Intuit Canada. "This could not be more true for entrepreneurs. And as we all begin to move forward, I think the millions of newly enterprising Canadians will be the key to our recovery."

Despite a challenging year, the majority of Canadian entrepreneurs (73 per cent) and aspiring entrepreneurs (76 per cent) say they are optimistic for the future. Confidence from entrepreneurs is a positive sign for the country's immediate post-pandemic recovery. While 68 per cent of entrepreneurs list money as the primary motivational driver, the potential for creative freedom and flexibility is also inspiring. Forty-six per cent say they're motivated by creative freedom and 47 per cent by the freedom of owning their own business.

While money is a significant motivator for entrepreneurs, it's also a point of concern, with close to half of Canadian entrepreneurs reporting worries about finances (46 per cent). Beyond financial challenges, being an entrepreneur is stressful. It takes time and energy that can deprioritize work-life balance and be mentally and emotionally draining, with one in four (27 per cent) working longer hours as a result of the pandemic.

Additional Study Findings

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the desire for career change among Canadian entrepreneurs (55 per cent) and aspiring entrepreneurs (77 per cent), which comes paired with both inspiration and challenges to overcome. Key insights from the research show:

- Digital is the future: Aspiring entrepreneurs are digitally focused, with four in five (79 per cent) anticipating selling their products or services online.
- Financial management gap: Managing finances is one of the largest challenges for entrepreneurs, yet only one-third of Canadian entrepreneurs (33 per cent) are using an accounting service or professional for support.
- Canadian entrepreneurs need support to succeed: Three-quarters (76 per cent) say that running their own business is stressful and half (49 per cent) agree there are not enough mental health resources for entrepreneurs.
- Canadians are resilient: Seventy-two per cent of Canadians who launched a new business in the last year say they started theirs as a "side hustle" in the wake of COVID-19.

SOURCE: Intuit Quickbooks Canada