Canadian women are seeing the benefits of entrepreneurship, according to a report on Canadian entrepreneurs released today by BMO Bank of Montreal.
The report is based on a survey of female entrepreneurs conducted by Pollara. It showed women needed an average of $201,729 to start their businesses, and 63% turned a profit by the two-year mark, belying the common notion that most small businesses fail within their few first years of operation. Additionally, almost three-quarters (73%) are currently turning a profit.
The report also revealed some key challenges female entrepreneurs face when starting their businesses, including:
- supporting their families until business was profitable (51%);
- obtaining capital to get started (43%);
- building a customer network (43%); and
- getting advice on how to get started (20%).
The Women’s Business Economic Advisory Council (WBEAC) states that firms wholly or partially owned by women represent 47% of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada.
Overall, the retail sector tends to showcase the highest number of female entrepreneurs. According to BMO’s report, the major sectors in which women entrepreneurs are currently operating include:
- Retail (wholesale, imports/exports and distribution): 30%
- Services (healthcare, real estate and food and beverage): 17%
- Professional services (technology, financial services, business services, consulting, marketing and telecommunications): 14%
The survey also revealed that manufacturing and construction (automotive, transportation and industrial) were other major sectors in which women are currently operating in at 17%. Both sectors have been hurt by the downturn in energy production, but should improve when oil prices recover.