Who exactly is an entrepreneur?

what is an entrepreneur

What Is Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship has been defined in various ways over the last several hundred years. The French word entreprendre, meaning “to undertake, to do something,” was in use as early as the 12th century. Three hundred years later the corresponding noun “entrepreneur” developed, and referred in English terms to a merchant or an adventurer.

Since the first formal use of the concept by economist Richard Cantillon in the early 1700s, entrepreneurship has meant many things to many different people.

Earlier definitions of entrepreneurship centre on innovation, or “new combinations of the factors of production” such as new products; new services; new methods of production; new markets; new sources of supply and new forms of organization.

Who Is An Entrepreneur?

In Canada, there are nearly 1.3 million registered businesses. Of those, 98% have fewer than 100 employees, 55% have fewer than five employees, and 75% of all businesses in Canada have fewer than ten employees. This means most of businesses in Canada are small – by a long shot. If you add the unregistered businesses and the self-employed people of Canada to the number, we have just under 5 million businesses and self-employed people. Cool, eh?

About one in six Canadians either work for themselves, or have started a business. Canadian entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, ages, genders, backgrounds, and circumstances.

What this means is: you can become a successful entrepreneur. It takes hard work, determination, a good idea and a little luck along the way. And, of course, entrepreneurship training. On average, 150,000 new small businesses are created in Canada each year — but only 35% survive five years. But the good news is that, according to studies, entrepreneurs with education in entrepreneurship and previous entrepreneurship experience have an 80–90% chance of success with a new business.

Share this post:

How much does it cost to start a small business in Canada?


You’ve done all the necessary market research, you’ve upleveled some of your important entrepreneurship skills, and you’re ready to start the small business of your dreams.

So – how much money will you need?

It’s important that you know your start-up costs ahead of time. We know entrepreneurship is exciting, but you don’t want to take the leap only to find out three months in that you can’t pay rent, your advertising budget for the year is already blown, and you can’t afford supplies.

Our free Start-Up Costs Calculator for Canadian entrepreneurs

Thankfully, we at GoForth Institute have created a handy Start-Up Costs Calculator that’s completely free. This Excel spreadsheet will let you plug in your estimated monthly expenses and one-time capital costs ahead of time, so you’ll know if you’re ready to set up shop – or if you need to wait a bit.

Click here to get our Start-Up Costs Calculator – best of luck with the journey!

Share this post:

Canada among top five best countries for young digital entrepreneurs

canada-digital-businessesErnst & Young and the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance have released the EY G20 Digital Entrepreneurship Barometer for 2016, which assesses the overall success of G20 countries in fostering entrepreneurship. The goal in doing this is to “provide a standardized assessment of the digital entrepreneurship ecosystem across the G20 to help identify areas of relative strength by country and opportunities for improvement.”

We were very pleased to discover that Canada has placed in the top five in the categories of: Digital Skills and Entrepreneurial Education; Entrepreneurial Culture; Entrepreneurial Culture, Digital Business Environment; Digital Knowledge Base and ICT Market; and was first in the Access to Finance category.

According to the report:

The EY G20 Digital Entrepreneurship Barometer takes a focused digital lens to the five pillars of entrepreneurship to assess country performance and help identify areas of relative strength and opportunities for improvement.

You can download the full report here.

As Canada’s leading provider of small business training, we’re proud of our country’s commitment to entrepreneurs! Go, Canada!


Share this post:

Six statistics about small business and entrepreneurship in Canada

How are Canadian small businesses doing? Here are six facts about the state of Canadian entrepreneurship:

  • On average, 150,000 new small businesses are created in Canada each year, but only 51% of new businesses survive five years.
  • 98% of businesses in Canada with employees have fewer than 100 of them, 55% have fewer than five employees and 75% of all businesses in Canada have fewer than 10 employees.
  • There are 950,000 self-employed women in Canada, one third of all self-employed people in the country.
  • Entrepreneurship is the number one choice for Canadians who want more out of their careers. One third of Canadians (32%) like the idea of being their own boss, and one fifth (20%) want to start their own business within five years.
  • By the end of the 2000s, approximately 19% of immigrants were self-employed, compared with 15% of those born in Canada.
  • Small businesses account for 77% of all private jobs created in Canada.
Industry Canada. (2013). Key Small Business Statistics.
Industry Canada. (2012). Key Small Business Statistics.
Statistics Canada. (2012). Business Register.
Royal Bank of Canada. (2011). RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook.
Statistics Canada. (2011).
Share this post:

GoForth highlights the innovation of young entrepreneurs

This month at GoForth Institute, we’re highlighting the passion, innovation and indomitable spirit of young entrepreneurs.

Famous businesses started by young entrepreneurs

Some of the world’s most famous companies weren’t created in a boardroom by a committee of seasoned professionals. Here are a few businesses that you probably know which were started by entrepreneurs under the age of 35:

  • IKEA
  • Facebook
  • Apple Computer
  • Google
  • Mrs. Fields
  • Motown Records

What great things can young entrepreneurs do?

Young people possess endless energy and great ideas. These qualities, coupled with their ability to quickly adapt to new technologies, make them natural leaders in tomorrow’s small business climate. According to the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, “Seventy-once percent of small business owners will retire within 10 years, with 41% retiring within the next five years.” Looks like tomorrow’s small business leaders are arriving just in time!

At GoForth Institute, we believe strongly in the importance of small business education and supporting entrepreneurs of all ages. Read our July newsletter for fascinating stories and facts about youth entrepreneurship – the future of small business in Canada is here!

Share this post: