2 million Canadians launched businesses over past year despite pandemic: research

TORONTO – Nearly two million Canadians have launched a business in the last year, despite, and in some cases because of, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research from Intuit QuickBooks Canada shows one in five entrepreneurs launched their business within the past 12 months.

The Future of Entrepreneurship in Canada report also found entrepreneurs who started their business in the last year did it because they had more spare time during the pandemic, because of financial pressures from the pandemic, or as a result of being laid off.

“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.”

According to the research, 72 per cent of Canadians who started a new business said they did so as their “side hustle” during the health crisis.

Money was the main motivator for most people, but creative freedom and freedom of owning their own business were also listed as reasons driving these entrepreneurs.

Despite money being a driving factor, it was also listed as a concern by close to half of Canadian entrepreneurs surveyed, who said they were still worried about their finances.

When it comes to the platforms Canada’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs are focused on, Intuit Canada said four in five plan to sell their products or services online.

Looking forward, the majority of Canadian entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs surveyed said they’re optimistic for the future.

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