Don Ludlow, Vice-President of Small Business, Partnerships & Strategy, RBC, provides strategic oversight and leads a team that is responsible for delivering marketing-leading solutions, partnerships and client experiences that go beyond traditional banking to help Canadian entrepreneurs successfully start, manage and grow their business.
He also manages the development of RBC’s strategy for the broader Business Financial Services portfolio, including the group’s client experience, CRM, and data analytics strategies.
Don joined RBC in 2001 and has 20 years of experience within the financial services and banking sector. Prior to joining RBC, he served as an Infantry Officer in the Canadian Army where he led soldiers on a number of domestic and international operations and worked in both staff and training roles.
Overview of Key Data Points
Led by the younger millennial and Gen Z generations, a ‘micro-entrepreneur’ economy is emerging across the country, as Canadians look to adapt to a changing landscape dominated by rising inflation and digitization
- 74 per cent of Canadian small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are motivated to start a small business or side-hustle due to the increasing cost of living – With this number rising to 84 per cent among Gen Z respondents
- A strong majority (77 per cent) of current and aspiring entrepreneurs report that their chief aim is to create a source of income to support themselves – Millennials (86 per cent) are even more likely to cite this as their main reason for starting a business
Key factors supporting the emergence of the micro-entrepreneurship economy.
- Emerging technologies allow them to reach new markets and explore new ways of doing business (47 per cent)
- Being able to conduct their business or “side-hustle” online remotely lowers the overhead costs associated with starting and running a business (47 per cent)
- Digital solutions reduce the efforts for administration and back-office aspects of running a business (42 per cent)
A shift in customer preferences is also creating fertile ground for small and micro-businesses.
- 89 per cent of those surveyed agree that small businesses are able to provide products and services tailored to local needs
- Another 72 per cent stated that they believe small businesses have the ability to innovate at a more rapid rate than larger organizations
- Moreover, 71 per cent were more likely to support businesses with an active presence in their local community
- For current and aspiring business owners, the rising preference and increased willingness of Canadians to shop local has contributed to their overall desire to become an entrepreneur, with 39 per cent of those surveyed stating that this shift has motivated and made it easier for them to start a business.
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