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In recent years, entrepreneurship in Canada has boomed to Silicon Valley levels. Local tech startups and inventors, rather than move south to California, are deciding to stay. The tech industry in Canada right now is extremely vibrant and open to innovation.

Canadian Entrepreneurship is on an Upward Bound Streak

According to a recent study by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Canadian entrepreneurship levels are one of the highest among G7 countries. Among industrialized nations, Canada only falls behind the United States on entrepreneurship levels. It’s far ahead of countries like Australia in this regard.

Early stage entrepreneurship is highest in Alberta, according to the GEM study. Nova Scotia, which has many rural townships, has the least entrepreneurial spirit. While entrepreneurship levels are high across Canada, there’s still room for improvement. The authors of the study also observed that the demographics of entrepreneurs are almost two-thirds male. More female entrepreneurs can certainly join the field.

Unlike in the United States, where startup founders are fresh-faced college graduates or dropouts, the peak age of entrepreneurs in Canada is between 45 and 64. Previous surveys had this age bracket down to between 30 and 40. Entrepreneurship levels also rise with education across all ages.

The GEM study also found high levels of social entrepreneurship among Canadians. Social entrepreneurship is a sub-category wherein founders and creators invest in projects with social, communal or environmental objectives.

Best Time to be a Young Canadian Entrepreneur

The GEM study concluded that Canadians have an open attitude towards entrepreneurship in general, hence the rising entrepreneurship levels in the country. Because of this willingness to embrace this, many young Canadians are considering becoming career entrepreneurs.

There are key differences between young people who want to be entrepreneurs and older entrepreneurs. Notably, older entrepreneurs tend to be more financially stable. A startup founder who is in his mid forties will most likely have personal savings funds to fall back on in case the venture fails. Young entrepreneurs, especially those who have graduated college, do not have this level of financial security.

Regardless, the vibrant entrepreneur scene in the country means that it’s the best time to be a young entrepreneur. However, as with all business, young people must first carefully consider and seek advice before setting off as an entrepreneur.

How to Become a Canadian Entrepreneur

Starting off as an entrepreneur can be difficult. You might want to look at good ways to invest your money so that you can grow in the future. Bad credit can be a hindrance to those who need loans to invest, but Refresh Financial has you covered.

Canadian entrepreneurship usually starts with having a business idea. Once an aspiring entrepreneur has a business idea, he or she should research that idea. For example, research would show how much customer demand there would be for the product, or what other companies are doing something similar. Once this initial research is done, and the idea is still viable, the entrepreneur should write a business plan.

The Canada Business Bureau offers a wide array of resources to help an aspiring entrepreneur write a great business plan. The website also provides information on practical matters such as registering a business, filing tax forms, and other legal matters related to being a business owner in the country.

Once these hurdles are passed, the entrepreneur should then seek funding. In Canada, most entrepreneurs finance their ideas using business loans. Entrepreneurs can also seek funds from private investors. Less commonly, but more effectively, aspiring entrepreneurs can also crowdfund the necessary amount on a site like Kickstarter.

Importantly, it’s highly advisable to seek advice from a veteran business owner before becoming a Canadian entrepreneur. Also, aspiring entrepreneurs are encouraged to network and find professional friends. Business is all about communication.

Aspiring entrepreneurs can also seek help from the business departments of their local governments. Some entrepreneurs may even be eligible for special assistance based on the location of the business.

Canada, in general, has a very open and embracing attitude towards new businesses. The government openly encourages young people to start businesses to serve a social, community or environmental need. There is also plenty of private and government support afforded to aspiring entrepreneurs. However, there’s one aspect of starting a business that most aspiring entrepreneurs struggle with: finding funding.

Funding a business is not easy anywhere in the world. However, motivated aspiring businesspeople have several avenues to fund a new venture in Canada. Here are several funding options that those who want to start a business in Canada should try:

Personal Savings

Most aspiring entrepreneurs try to cover at least some expenses of starting a new business with their personal savings. Saving money for business can save new companies hefty fees as loan interest. Also, it can give full control of the company to the founder. The problem is that this option is mainly limited to older entrepreneurs who have had time to work and save money. Young entrepreneurs might need to seek funding elsewhere.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are a popular way to pay the bills of a new business among young entrepreneurs. If you are young and don’t have a fulltime job, a credit card can be useful in covering expenses until business takes off. Some credit cards are designed for business use. This is an effective option many entrepreneurs might want to try in addition to considering other sources of financing.

orrowing Money from Friends and Family

Those who have little or zero personal savings can turn to friends and family for the money needed. Some relatives might provide small loans free of interest. Other relatives might give money in return for shares or stocks. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur concerned about predatory lenders and investors, this is a good option to keep the company firmly under your control from the start.

Bank Loans

Bank loans are the most popular way of financing new businesses in Canada. Banks and large lending institutions offer loans especially for aspiring entrepreneurs. They usually come with reasonable interest rates and moderate flexibility. An applicant, however, might need to show business acumen, experience and an ability to keenly run a business before getting approval for a loan. Banks also seriously consider documents like credit reports. Those who are deeply in debt or have a history of financial delinquency will most likely be denied a business loan.

Government Loans

Though banks offer reasonable interest rates, they can still be high. For some aspiring entrepreneurs, government loans could provide an alternative. If your business is going to be headquartered in a rural area, or if you are a member of an underrepresented segment of society, you may qualify for certain government loan programs.

Private Investments

After loans, private investments are the most popular way to find capital to start a business in Canada. Angel investors can help just about anyone start a company. After all, companies like Facebook and Google formed only thanks to private investors who took a chance. Private investors tend to be more lenient than banks when it comes to offering funds. However, there’s a big caveat. Private investors want to see unique inventions, and also reliable characters who can run a company without snafus.

Last but not least, crowdfunding is the other option to find money for your business idea. Crowdfunding is not only good to get money; it can also double as a PR event. Aspiring business owners can easily go to a website like Kickstarter to launch a crowdfunding campaign. The only issue is that many users expect see something, not read about your soon-to-be company’s future goals.

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