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More than half of Canadians have thought about owning a business and, of that group, 56% are already on their way, says an RBC small business poll that surveyed more than 2,000 Canadians.

Some of those are making money from passion projects (28%), taking on side jobs (20%) or testing out new business ideas (8%), the survey said.

Many of these people don’t view themselves as budding business owners, said Jason Storsley, vice-president of small business at RBC, in a release. “Starting a business can take on many different forms, from a casual side-hustle to a more formal, planned commitment,” he said. 

Through a provincial breakdown, the poll highlights that Albertans are ahead of the pack, with 63% of respondents from that province saying they’ve thought about owning a business. Ontario is next at 57%, followed by B.C. (55%), while Quebec is at the bottom of the list at 45%.

Across nearly all provinces, the main reason cited for wanting to own a business was people wanting to be their own boss, the poll says.

To get off the ground, 61% of aspiring business owners said access to financial capital would be key, more than having a great idea (51%). Of those who already own a business, 30% said understanding the fundamentals of business administration is crucial as well.

Millennials want to be self-made

The entrepreneurial bug appears to be even more prevalent among millennials: 63% of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they have thought about starting a business. Twenty-eight percent make money through a passion project, while 11% are testing out business ideas.

While one-quarter (24%) aren’t sure how to get started, nearly half (49%) say they need better understanding of how to run a business. Alongside securing capital, millennials place the most importance on their network and connections (45%) and how much support and advice they’ll have access to while running their businesses (41%).

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