How Entrepreneurially Minded Millennials are Reshaping the Canadian Economy

A new survey from Intuit Canada suggests that Millennials embody a bold new entrepreneurial spirit that could reshape the Canadian economy.

The survey, conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion, found that those born between 1980 and 1995 are twice as likely as the Canadian average to want to start a business in the next 12 months (16% versus 8%).

One likely explanation for the rise of entrepreneurialism among Millennials is necessity: the youth unemployment rate is 14%, double the Canadian average of 7%, the biggest gap since Statistics Canada started tracking this statistic in 1976.

“It’s far too common to dismiss Millennials as an entitled ‘me’ generation, and to dismiss their approach to the workplace,” noted Jeff Cates, managing director of Intuit Canada.

According to the study, millenials:

  • They are nearly five times more likely to be motivated by the opportunity to chart their own course (78%) than they are by money or status (16%).
  • They are not naive about the realities of managing a business—they ranked a poor understanding of business finances as the top reason entrepreneurs don’t succeed.
  • They are roughly three times more likely to point to financial risk (61%) than they are to point to personal (17%) or career risk (22%).
  • Almost half (48 per cent) would run a business from their home.
  • They are nearly twice as likely to finance their business using personal savings than by borrowing money from a bank.

“Our research shows that financial literacy has a direct impact on new venture success, a higher financial literacy leads to more financial reporting which leads an increased measure of success,” says Dr. Sean Wise, Associate Professor in the Entrepreneurship & Strategy department at, Ted Rogers School of Business Management, Ryerson University.