Survey: Canadians hold small businesses in high regard
July 26, 2011
According to a recent Perspectives on Small Business in Canada survey, the vast majority of Canadians regard small businesses as having a key role in the country's economy.
The study - which was commissioned by the Angus Reid Forum by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, HP Canada and Intel Canada - surveyed more than 2,000 adult Canadians to gauge small business trends related to the perception of the public.
A total of 98 percent of respondents indicated they saw small business as being very important to Canada's future and 94 percent said they admired entrepreneurs. In fact, small business was listed by respondents as being the second most respected institution behind farming. Respondents ranked a career in entrepreneurship as more respected than working in the education, healthcare and legal systems, as well as being employed by a large company, bank, the government or labor unions.
Some of the enthusiasm for entrepreneurship is likely to come from the warm regard Canadians have for their experiences with small businesses. A total of 95 percent of respondents indicated that they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement "I value the products, services and personal attention I get from a small business."
Respondents' enthusiasm for small business did not seem to wane when the concept was brought closer to home. A total of 92 percent expressed they would approve or strongly approve of a member of their immediate family - including their child - becoming an entrepreneur. However, 71 percent believe the country's school system does not put enough emphasis on entrepreneurship, and 81 percent perceive the government as undervaluing the contribution of entrepreneurs and small business to the country.
With regard to the idea of personally starting a small business, 43 percent of respondents indicated that they had either seriously considered it or given it some thought. The main drawbacks to the idea were lack of funding, qualms related to the amount of risk involved, uncertainty about whether the business would be able to succeed, and lack of skills, knowledge, resources and time.
However, the Canadian dollar - which recently shot to a three-and-a-half-year high - is in a lot better shape than many other currencies of the world, which is attracting safe-haven investors, according to Reuters.
"Our currency value to some extent represents the stability of our country," said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty at a recent meeting with small business owners, as quoted by the news source.