Millennial and Gen Z Canadians leading shift in small business aspirations


Three out of four current and aspiring entrepreneurs are motivated to start a small business or sideline to adapt to the evolving economic environment

TORONTO, September 20, 2022 /CNW/ — Led by younger Millennials and Gen Z generations, a “micro-entrepreneur” economy is emerging across the country as Canadians seek to adapt to a changing landscape dominated by rising inflation and digitalization.

A recent RBC Small Business survey shows that 74 percent of Canadian small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are motivated by the rising cost of living to start a small business or part-time job, with that number rising to 84 percent among Gen Z respondents. In fact, a strong majority (77%) of current and aspiring entrepreneurs say their primary goal is to create a source of income to support themselves—and Millennials (86%) are even more likely to cite this as their primary reason for starting a business.

“This year’s survey found that the desire for entrepreneurship in Canada remains strong, particularly among younger generations, and not surprisingly it is being driven by the challenging current economic conditions,” says Don Ludlow, Vice President, Small Business, Partnerships and Strategy, RBC. “Many Canadians in particular are motivated to start micro businesses — very small businesses or side hustles — to quickly meet evolving consumer needs in a rapidly evolving marketplace and to take control of their financial future during these uncertain times.”

Key factors supporting the emergence of the microentrepreneurship economy

Several factors are fueling the growing trend towards micro-entrepreneurship, including the accessibility of new technologies and digital solutions to lower entry barriers, allowing Canadians to start small businesses quickly and easily. Among respondents, current and aspiring entrepreneurs reported that:

  • New technologies enable them to reach new markets and explore new ways of doing business (47%)
  • The ability to conduct their business or side hustles online remotely reduces the overheads associated with starting and running a business (47%).
  • Digital solutions reduce the administrative and back-office aspects of running a business (42%)
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At the same time, a shift in customer preferences is also creating fertile ground for small and micro businesses. Canadians increasingly crave authentic, localized and customized goods and services, and they believe small businesses are uniquely positioned to provide that experience.

Eighty-six percent of respondents agree that small businesses are able to offer products and services tailored to local needs, and another 73 percent said they believe small businesses have the ability to innovate faster be than larger organizations. Additionally, 71 percent were more likely to support businesses with an active presence in their local community.

For current and aspiring business owners, Canadians’ increasing preference and willingness to shop locally has contributed to their overall desire to become entrepreneurs, with 39 percent of respondents saying this shift has motivated them and made it easier for them to start a business.

Helping entrepreneurs to start, manage and grow their business

RBC has made it easier for Canadian entrepreneurs to start, manage and grow their businesses by providing valuable business solutions that help owners save time and money while managing their day-to-day operations and adapting to the current environment. Solutions offered by RBC and its collaborating partners include:

  • Owner – A digital platform that enables Canadian entrepreneurs to simplify and automate the process of starting a business and day-to-day legal and administrative work. The owner has announced that he has lowered the price of the sole proprietorship registration fee to only $49 (including government filing fees) – making it one of the cheapest ways to register your business. As an added benefit, new entrepreneurs are entitled to up to $100 return when they register their business with Owner and then open any RBC business account.
  • Moneris OnlineAn integrated bundle of e-commerce, online payment and shipping solutions to help entrepreneurs build and manage their online business quickly and effectively.
  • cobalt.io – A leading provider of cybersecurity services, enabling small and medium-sized businesses to access cybersecurity expertise and solutions to protect their business and customers in an increasingly digitized world. RBC customers receive preferential pricing when signing up for Kobalt.io cybersecurity services.
  • Sherweb – A leading provider of cloud solutions and the latest partner to join RBC’s Go Digital™ program. Sherweb provides RBC business customers with exclusive advice and solutions to help them adopt cloud-based innovations and technologies to improve productivity, security and digital transformation.
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Entrepreneurs can access these solutions and business advice online through the RBC Launch a business hub at www.rbc.com/startingabusiness.

About the poll

The RBC Small Business Poll was conducted by Ipsos Canada August 12-15, 2022. A total of 1,501 surveys were completed by Canadian adults (aged 18+) from six different regions (British Columbia, alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada). Representative sample results are weighted to reflect the Canadian population. The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the survey is accurate to within ±3 percentage points if all Canadian adults had been surveyed. The credibility interval will be wider for subgroups of the represented population. All sample surveys and surveys may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.

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About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-driven approach to delivering leadership. Our success rests on the more than 92,000 employees who use their imagination and insight to bring our vision, values ​​and strategy to life so we can help our customers thrive and communities thrive. As canada largest bank and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model focused on innovation and delivering exceptional experiences to our 17 million customers Canada, the USA and 27 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.

We are proud to support a wide range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteerism. To learn how, visit rbc.com/community-social-impact.

SOURCE RBC Royal Bank

For more information: Lauren Ng, RBC Corporate Communications, [email protected]



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