Canadian Manufacturing

Entrepreneurs feel optimistic amid COVID-19: survey

87% of business owners feel confident they can recuperate quickly when faced with setbacks: RBC Poll

September 16, 2020  by CM Staff

ITU/Rowan Farrell

TORONTO — In RBC’s 2020 Small Business Poll, business owners cite greater confidence than the average Canadian to remain resilient. When faced with setbacks, nearly 9 out of 10 business owners say they can bounce back, compared to 72% in the general population polled.

Similarly, business owners (88%) are more likely than the general population (73%) to report confidence in their ability to deliver creative solutions to problems.

According to survey findings, 82% of owners polled expect their business to ride out the pandemic and 22% of owners even expect to prosper in the six months ahead.

“Small businesses — and the inspiring Canadians who build them — have and always will be the backbone of our country’s economy,” said Lori Darlington, vice-president of Small Business and Strategic Partnerships, RBC, in a prepared statement. “Especially in these unprecedented times, entrepreneurship requires a great deal of resiliency — and fortunately, a majority of those who pursue it possess the mental strength, adaptability and business acumen needed to weather the ups and the downs of the journey. Building upon these strengths, entrepreneurs can further bolster their businesses by tapping into the right tools and guidance, and taking steps to plan and adjust during the recovery phase.”

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Early childhood experiences can shape the resiliency of future entrepreneurs
The resiliency that characterizes and creates Canadian entrepreneurs often finds its roots early on. In fact, more than one-in-three (34%) entrepreneurs polled indicated that they experienced financial distress or instability during childhood, compared to only 20% of Canadians polled overall.

Among those surveyed, entrepreneurs (35%) were more likely than the general population (29%) to have parents who owned a business or were self-employed. Those who were encouraged to earn money through entrepreneurial ventures during childhood had a higher chance of becoming a business owner later on, with 30% of owners reporting early entrepreneurial experiences compared to 24% in the general population.

“As these findings show, resiliency is often forged in the face of challenges,” commented Darlington. “Even as the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes the small business landscape as we know it, the challenges of today promise to pave the way for a strong, new generation of Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses tomorrow.”

In addition, Canadians believe that the top three priorities for businesses in the next 12 months to support their recovery and growth should be: refining their core product or service offerings (61%), contingency planning (57%) and financial prudence (51%).


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