Canada is a “top 5” country for entrepreneurship: EY survey

The lending environment in Canada is improving more quickly than elsewhere in the G20.

August 27, 2013   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO – Scoring consistently high on nearly all categories of the entrepreneurial environment, Canada ranks among the top five countries in the EY G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer 2013.

“There’s an emphasis on research and innovation in this country, and we value the role of entrepreneurs in job creation. Canada also offers a supportive tax and regulatory environment for entrepreneurs. All these factors are combining to really promote the growth of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship from coast to coast,” says Colleen McMorrow, partner and leader of Ernst & Young’s Canadian Entrepreneur Of The Year program.

Despite Canada’s favourable entrepreneurial ecosystem, the EY G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer 2013 finds nearly three in four (73%) Canadian entrepreneurs still struggle to access funding.

“The ratio of private equity activity to GDP in Canada is now higher than in any other G20 nation, except Australia. So private equity and venture capital are improving, but bank financing remains a challenge,” says McMorrow.


However, the lending environment is improving – and more quickly in Canada than elsewhere in the G20.

“While there’s no denying access to funding remains a barrier to growth, 45% of entrepreneurs in Canada say it has improved, compared to only 35% across the G20 as a whole,” says Charles-Antoine St-Jean, partner of government and public sector services at Ernst & Young. “Canada’s government has been highly supportive of entrepreneurs, providing regulatory and tax regimes that have enabled start-ups and growing companies to flourish.”

The Barometer showed a similar push-pull around education. While Canada scores high for public spending on education and the teaching of entrepreneurial skills in schools and universities, this country is below average on informal education.

“Interestingly, entrepreneurs in this country are still critical of the country’s incubators, whether public or private-sector led, and the lack of mentors available. They also have trouble accessing informal networks and mentoring services,” says St-Jean.

Despite those challenges, entrepreneurs in Canada operate in an environment that is highly supportive of their activities.

The Barometer introduces a model for scoring countries across the five pillars of entrepreneurship to help identify areas of relative strength by country and where opportunities for improvement lie.

Click here for a copy of the survey.

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