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Economic obstacles fail to deter unstoppable entrepreneurs 84% of Canadian entrepreneurs would do it again despite difficulties and lack of state support

May 8, 2013


Andrée-Anne Toussaint
514 397-1703

Montreal, May 8th 2013 – Vital for economic growth but facing serious challenges, Canadian small and micro businesses are displaying unwavering entrepreneurial spirit, according to new research commissioned by Regus, the world's largest provider of flexible workplaces. Even though some might have fallen into business ownership through redundancy, a staggering 84 per cent of Canadian entrepreneurs reported that given the chance they would do it all over again. Globally, this rises to 85%.

This latest Regus research, canvassing over 26,000 business managers and owners in 90 countries, confirms that nimble and flexible Canadian entrepreneurs regard lack of access to credit (74%) as the biggest deterrent to setting up a business today. Red tape (65%) and market domination by large corporations (51%) followed. Over two fifths of Canadian entrepreneurs also cited a lack of government support and the state of the economy as serious hindrances.

Commenting on the findings, Regus Vahe Hadjian, Area Director for Québec and Maritime Provinces says: “Thank goodness for the Unstoppable Entrepreneur! Who knows what state the economy would be in if they decided to play safe and downsize like a lot of their larger and arguably better resourced competitors. The challenges they face are not new, but they are clearly saying that little impact has been felt from state support initiatives, despite the best efforts of government.

A customer said “I agree, official mechanisms have not done anything much for my business. But if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you soon find that nothing comes easily. It’s a white knuckle ride and you have to have nerves of steel. That’s why it’s usually the entrepreneurial community that generates growth out of an economic downturn, while the big boys run for cover. I just don’t understand why government doesn’t recognise this and change its focus to more evenly pay attention to SMEs. We generate around half the nation’s wealth, but we get a tiny fraction of state attention! Nevertheless, running my own business was the best decision I ever made and I’d do it over again any day.”

SMEs are “engines of growth” accounting for up to 99 per cent of businesses and 40 to 50 per cent of GDP. In Canada in particular, they account for 98 per cent of firms. Globally, 50 per cent of all jobs are generated by SMEs, yet, in spite of this, they attract just a tiny proportion of overall investment across the G20.

Regus Vahe Hadjian adds: “Entrepreneurial firms will need to remain nimble to navigate choppy waters and succeed. The lack of institutional support means that business owners will continue to increasingly favour flexible working in order to avoid lengthy leases and free up their working capital so they can concentrate on growing their business.”

“Already globally, more than half of entrepreneurs are using flexible working locations for most of the week, compared with 39 per cent for those that do not own their businesses.”

Top challenges for entrepreneurs Global Canada
Lack of access to credit 76% 74%
Red tape 74% 65%
Lack of government support 61% 49%
Current economic conditions 55% 45%
Market domination by large corporations 48% 51%

About Regus:

Regus is the world's largest provider of flexible workplaces, with products and services ranging from fully equipped offices to professional meeting rooms, business lounges and the world's largest network of video communication studios. Regus enables people to work their way, whether it's from home, on the road or from an office. Customers such as Google, GlaxoSmithKline, and Nokia join hundreds of thousands of growing small and medium businesses that benefit from outsourcing their office and workplace needs to Regus, allowing them to focus on their core activities.

Over 1.3million customers a day benefit from Regus facilities spread across a global footprint of more than 1,500 locations in 600 cities and 99 countries, which allow individuals and companies to work wherever, however and whenever they want to. Regus was founded in Brussels, Belgium in 1989, is headquartered in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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Andrée-Anne Toussaint
Phone number: 514 397-1703