Results indicated that while many entrepreneurs are excited about their future, further lockdowns and a lack of funding are placing pressure on their ability to plan and grow their businesses.
Findings showed that:
- Almost every entrepreneur (92.1%) who reported losing customers during COVID-19 is worried that further lockdowns and an uncertain economy will present challenges for them.
- Entrepreneurs who lost customers during the pandemic plan to win back market share by expanding into new markets (43.1%) and hiring new employees (19%) to help them scale.
- Despite COVID-19’s impacts, when asked how they feel about running a business, more than three in four (79.2%) had positive sentiments, feeling excited about their future, passionate about, and proud of, the work they do.
- Running out of money (43.2%) and changing consumer preferences (27.6%) are the biggest concerns entrepreneurs have in terms of their business’s performance outlook.
The COVID-19 pandemic has “challenged many businesses to find unique ways to maintain company culture and retain their staff, at the same time as Canadians are re-evaluating major decisions in their lives,” a release stated.
“More than half of entrepreneurs (54.6%) surveyed held corporate jobs before launching their own businesses, pointing to a positive shift in the perception of entrepreneurship as a source of income and employment.”
“Entrepreneurs are among the most resilient members of our business community,” said Shadi McIsaac, CEO and co-founder of Ownr, which is operated by RBC Ventures Inc. “They are the people we aspire to be. As we look towards economic recovery, it’s clear that Canadian entrepreneurs are still uncertain about the future, and they might need some continued assistance to keep their businesses afloat during this challenging time.”
The report notes that “amid widespread lockdowns across the country, many new businesses were born online while small business owners focused on investing in building their digital presence.
“Three out of four (76.9%) entrepreneurs said their business had a presence online, with 30.3 % operating exclusively online. More than half of entrepreneurs (56.4%) who run their businesses fully online do not plan to open a physical retail location in the near future, pointing to a potential risk in the revival of the vibrant storefronts that make up our communities.”
“Ownr data has provided remarkable insights into how the pandemic has influenced the perception of future opportunities and hurdles among entrepreneurs,” said Shane Murphy, chief operating officer of Ownr. “This survey cements what we believe are their top concerns as we support entrepreneurs in the early phases of business ownership, and throughout their growth.”