Over Half Of Female-led Small Businesses In Canada Younger Than 5 Years: Salesforce

In celebration of Small Business Week (Oct 14-20), Salesforce launches a new report today called The New Canadian Entrepreneurial Experience: Women and the Future of Small Business in Canada. The report shows that tech innovation, changing economic trends and shifting career priorities are transforming the country’s SMB landscape, with entrepreneurs increasingly female, younger and college educated.

The report, commissioned in partnership with The Gandalf Group, comes as part of a larger Small Business initiative by Salesforce called FemaleForce: a platform to celebrate and support Canadian women business owners in their small business journeys, including a free event series at local WeWork spaces in Toronto and Vancouver. With small businesses at the heart of the Canadian economy, and one third of those businesses run by women, Salesforce believes that women’s economic empowerment is not only right, but vital to helping position Canada as a leader on the global stage.

Key highlights from the data include: 

  • Overwhelmingly, female-led businesses tend to be much newer than male-led businesses. More than half (53%) of female-led businesses have been in business for five years or less, compared to 34% of male-led businesses, showing that women are starting businesses at a far greater rate.
  • 75% of women own a business in the services sector vs. men who are twice as likely as women to own a business in the STEM sector. 
  • Women business owners in the STEM sector experience significantly greater challenges than their male counterparts:
  • 65% of women surveyed struggle to achieve work-life balance (compared to 48% of men)
  • 63% of women surveyed reported obstacles accessing capital (compared to 40% of male entrepreneurs)
  • 61% of women surveyed feel that their services are undervalued by customers (compared to 41% of male entrepreneurs)
  • Women tend to be more motivated by work-life balance (79%), whereas men tend to be more motivated by financial considerations (78%).
  • While women stated work-life balance as the top reason for starting their business (79%), it is also one of the biggest challenges they face as entrepreneurs (52%).
  • Both men and women business owners identified acquiring new customers as the third largest challenge.
  • When it comes to technology adoption, the data showed few gender differences, yet displayed stark generational disparities, suggesting that technology may be a factor contributing to the growing trend of younger, female entrepreneurs and levelling the playing field between women and men business owners in Canada.
  • Female entrepreneurship is gaining momentum, especially for those under the age of 45 (59%) versus males under 45 (42%)
  • 27% female entrepreneurs are younger than 35!

This report comes on the heels of last week’s announcement from the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, that three more women-led companies will receive investments under BDC Capital’s Women in Technology (WIT) Venture Fund. Women might currently comprise one third of entrepreneurs nationwide, but with a federal government that recognizes the full and equal participation of women in the economy as critical to economic success, current and future generations of female business owners are poised to alter the face of Canadian entrepreneurship. Salesforce recognizes this and is actively doing its part to support the country’s women business owners through the FemaleForce initiative.

More details can be found here: https://www.salesforce.com/ca/campaign/femaleforce2018/

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