In the National Post Frank Stronach has been interviewed and made some important points about entrepreneurship and its decline in Canada during 2022/23. He makes mention of a study by the Business Development Bank of Canada and the University of Montreal that reveals a sharp decline in Canadian entrepreneurs. 

  • Canada has 100,000 fewer entrepreneurs today than in 2000, despite an 8 million population increase. 
  • The rate of new business ventures has significantly dropped from three out of every 1,000 Canadians to just one. 

We all know the importance of entrepreneurship to our economy. Entrepreneurs are key to employment. Small businesses employ 10.3 million people in Canada—63.8% of the Canadian workforce.

We also know the US has seen the opposite from Canada with the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2022-2023 USA report published by Babson College showing that total rates of entrepreneurship activity in the country hit all-time highs in 2022. Rates surged 18% for women and 20% for men.

What Can Contribute to These Declines?

Economic Conditions: Economic downturns or uncertainty can affect the willingness of individuals to take on the risks associated with starting a new business. Factors such as access to capital, market conditions, and overall economic stability can influence entrepreneurship rates.

Demographic Changes: Population growth alone may not guarantee an increase in entrepreneurship. The age distribution of the population, education levels, and the presence of support systems for entrepreneurs can play crucial roles in encouraging or discouraging entrepreneurship.

Regulatory Environment: Government policies, regulations, and ease of doing business can impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem. A complex regulatory environment or lack of support programs may deter individuals from starting their own businesses.

Technological Changes: Advancements in technology can both facilitate and disrupt traditional business models. Some may be discouraged by the rapid pace of technological change, while others may find opportunities in emerging sectors.

Cultural and Social Factors: Societal attitudes toward entrepreneurship, risk-taking, and failure can influence the number of individuals willing to start their own businesses. Cultural perceptions of success and the importance of traditional employment versus entrepreneurship can play a role.

When I look at this list, we know that high interest rates, and stable employment post-pandemic have been major contributors to Canada’s story.  The BDC research also suggests that low unemployment and high wages mean fewer people feel the need to start a new business. Business owners and would-be entrepreneurs have faced a barrage of discouraging factors, such as labour shortages, inflation, technological change and the increasing domination of large companies.

The Way Forward!

BDC’s research suggests that a focus on soft skills, such as grit and leadership, could help reverse Canada’s declining number of entrepreneurs.

What does grit mean in work ethic?

perseverance and passion for long-term goals

Grit has been defined as an individual difference, describing “perseverance and passion for long-term goals” (Duckworth et al., 2007, p. 1087).

Is grit a skill or talent?

Grit isn’t talent. Grit isn’t luck. Grit isn’t how intensely, for the moment, you want something. Instead, grit is about having what some researchers call an” ultimate concern”– a goal you care about so much that it organizes and gives meaning to almost everything you do.

How do we encourage grit?

Set Clear Goals:

Clearly define short-term and long-term goals for your business. Having a roadmap provides direction and a sense of purpose.

Embrace Challenges:

View challenges as opportunities for growth. Instead of avoiding difficulties, confront them head-on and use them as chances to learn and improve.

Develop Resilience:

Understand that setbacks are a natural part of entrepreneurship. Cultivate resilience by bouncing back from failures, learning from mistakes, and adapting your approach.

Passion and Purpose:

Ensure that your business aligns with your passion and values. This intrinsic motivation will help you stay committed when faced with difficulties.

Maintain a Positive Mindset:

Cultivate a positive outlook and focus on the solutions rather than dwelling on problems. A positive mindset can help you persevere during tough times.

Continuous Learning:

Stay curious and committed to continuous learning. The more knowledge and skills you acquire, the better equipped you’ll be to navigate challenges.

Build a Support System:

Surround yourself with a network of mentors, advisors, and like-minded individuals. A strong support system can provide guidance, encouragement, and perspective during tough times.


Be open to change and adapt your strategies when necessary. The business landscape is dynamic, and the ability to pivot is crucial for long-term success.

Celebrate Small Wins:

Acknowledge and celebrate the small victories along the way. Recognizing progress, no matter how incremental boosts morale and reinforces a positive attitude.

Time Management:

Effectively manage your time to avoid burnout. Prioritize tasks and focus on what matters most. This helps prevent feeling overwhelmed and encourages sustained effort.


Picture your long-term success. Visualization can help you stay focused on your goals and maintain motivation, even when facing challenges.

Seek Feedback:

Welcome constructive feedback and use it as a tool for improvement. This can help you identify areas for growth and make necessary adjustments.

Remember that grit is a quality that can be developed over time with consistent effort and a mindset geared toward growth and resilience.


Have you read our post on creating a successful innovation strategy for a new food and beverage product? Sip, Taste, Transform: The Secret Ingredients Behind Game-Changing Food and Beverage Innovations