Despite concerns about another lockdown, entrepreneurs excited about the future, according to new survey of business owners | RBC Ventures

Despite concerns about another lockdown, entrepreneurs excited about the future, according to new survey of business owners

A survey of Canadian business owners uncovers how entrepreneurs are moving from survival to revival, including the strategies they plan to implement to drive revenue and how COVID-19 has impacted their views of entrepreneurship.

TORONTO, August 17, 2021 - Ownr, Canada's leading business formation and legal management platform, releases new data that reveals how entrepreneurs are positioning their businesses to support an economic recovery. The data reveals that while many entrepreneurs are excited about their future, further lockdowns and a lack of funding are placing pressure on their ability to plan and grow their businesses.

Key survey highlights include:

  • Almost every entrepreneur (92.1 per cent) who reported losing customers during COVID-19 is worried that further lockdowns and an uncertain economy will present challenges for them.
  • Entrepreneurs who lost customers during the pandemic plan to win back market share by expanding into new markets (43.1 per cent) and hiring new employees (19 per cent) to help them scale.
  • Despite COVID-19’s impacts, when asked how they feel about running a business, more than three in four (79.2 per cent) had positive sentiments, feeling excited about their future, passionate about, and proud of, the work they do.
  • Running out of money (43.2 per cent) and changing consumer preferences (27.6 per cent) are the biggest concerns entrepreneurs have in terms of their business’s performance outlook.

The Great Resignation can propel new business creation

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged many businesses to find unique ways to maintain company culture and retain their staff, at the same time as Canadians are reevaluating major decisions in their lives. More than half of entrepreneurs (54.6 per cent) surveyed held corporate jobs before launching their own businesses, pointing to a positive shift in the perception of entrepreneurship as a source of income and employment.

“Entrepreneurs are among the most resilient members of our business community. They are the people we aspire to be,” said Shadi McIsaac, CEO and Co-Founder of Ownr. “As we look towards economic recovery, it's clear that Canadian entrepreneurs are still uncertain about the future and they might need some continued assistance to keep their businesses afloat during this challenging time.”

Storefront presences are shrinking

Amid widespread lockdowns across the country, many new businesses were born online while small business owners focused on investing in building their digital presence. Three out of four (76.9 per cent) entrepreneurs said their business had a presence online, with 30.3 per cent operating exclusively online. More than half of entrepreneurs (56.4 per cent) who run their businesses fully online do not plan to open a physical retail location in the near future, pointing to a potential risk in the revival of the vibrant storefronts that make up our communities.

“Ownr data has provided remarkable insights into how the pandemic has influenced the perception of future opportunities and hurdles among entrepreneurs,” said Shane Murphy, Chief Operating Officer of Ownr. “This survey cements what we believe are their top concerns as we support entrepreneurs in the early phases of business ownership, and throughout their growth.”

Additional survey highlights include:

  • The top reason for entrepreneurs choosing to pursue business ownership was to gain more purpose in their lives (37.6 per cent).
  • Nearly half (41.2 per cent) of entrepreneurs whose businesses do not generate revenue expect to see income flow within six months.
  • One in three (34.6 per cent) entrepreneurs choose business ownership as a means to gain greater control over career development.
  • The main challenges new business owners faced while starting their business were inadequate funding (45.9 per cent) and economic uncertainty (34.9 per cent).
  • When asked if they could receive help in one area of their business, half of entrepreneurs (49 per cent) would choose funding, such as loans and grants.

About Ownr

Ownr makes it simpler and more affordable for businesses to start and succeed. We know that starting and running a business takes a huge amount of effort. By simplifying and automating business formation and everyday legal work, we help small businesses thrive. Ownr has helped over 45,000 Canadians launch their dreams since 2017. Ownr is operated by RBC Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. For more information, visit www.ownr.co/

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Mike Dobbins