Mentorship Challenge

Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Mentoring in Canada

About 13 percent of Canadians of working age engage in early-stage entrepreneurial activity, which is one of the highest rates for developed countries. Canada ranks second after the U.S. due to the size of the economy.

Factors That Help Promote Entrepreneurship Activity

The main factors are access to capital, educated workforce, and a culture that encourages initiative, autonomy, and innovation. There are different sources of capital for entrepreneurs in Canada, including government subsidies and grants, business incubators, angel investors, venture capital, bank loans (check this). Canada also ranks 12th in the world’s 2015 Education Index after countries such as the U.S., Germany, New Zealand, and Australia. Canadian culture encourages self-sustainability, independent thinking, and creativity. What is more, there are entrepreneurs across different minority groups, including newcomers to Canada, aboriginal people, and persons with disabilities.

Statistics also show that small businesses create the majority of jobs in Canada in the private sector – 70.5 percent, compared to 9.7 percent for large companies and 19.8 percent for medium-sized companies. High-growth firms are concentrated in sectors such as warehousing and transportation, support and administrative services, construction.

Entrepreneurship Mentoring in Canada

Mentors provide support, resources, and business advice to persons who plan to open a business. They also organize networking events to help start-ups connect with the business community.

Start-up Canada is a nationwide community that represents grassroots communities and over 200,000 entrepreneurs. It also offers support and advice to women, indigenous people, and newcomers to Canada. The community organizes different initiatives, events, programs, and digital programs such as documentary series, shows, podcasts, and more. The Global Accelerator and Pitch Competition Tour is one initiative organized in cooperation with the Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada, and USP. The goal is to help businesspeople gain access to information, including new initiatives, market intelligence, and trade missions. Entrepreneurs are also offered the chance to participate in a 1-Day Global Accelerator in Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal, Calgary, and Toronto. Start-up Canada partners with companies and institutions such as MasterCard, UPS, Scotiabank, TruShield Insurance.

The Alberta Mentoring Partnership is a nationwide, non-profit organization that provides tools, mentoring, and financial assistance to start-up businesses (check this). They are offered access to business resources, coaching, and education, as well as growth and start-up financing and assistance with developing a business plan.

The Women in Biz Network supports mentors in Canada and offers advice across different areas. These include career advice, sales and marketing, finance, and business management. Topics in the field of sales and marketing include social media, networking, customer service, brand development, and more. Business management covers topics such as successful strategies, automation and technologies, business planning, and time management. The goal is to equip mentors with the tools and knowledge to help Canadian entrepreneurs start a successful business.

The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs offers consultations, business plan support, and information about services and programs available through the provincial and territorial governments and the federal government. The network offers support services, training, and one-on-one consultations to help Canadians start a business. It also offers access to a wealth of e-business topics to help start-ups lower costs, including e-commerce and back office systems, open-source software, cloud computing. Start-up businesses have access to information that can help them with online advertising, internet auctions, selling products outside of Canada, and e-commerce. The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs also helps start-ups develop a good business plan and look into different funding options such as tax incentives, subsidies and grants, loans by private providers (check this), government loans.

What Does It Take to Be an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs have business and technology skills that help them create an innovative product or service and run a successful business. They also have expertise and experience in certain niches and areas and are risk-takers.

Skills That Entrepreneurs Have | Leadership and Social Skills

Successful entrepreneurs have social or peoples skills that help them build and manage teams. Good leadership skills enable businesspeople to inspire employees and thus improve efficiency and productivity at the workplace. Strong leadership and social skills help entrepreneurs build a competent and dependent workforce that successfully works under stress and time constraints. Leaders are also good at developing action plans and mission statements and setting goals and objectives. Other interpersonal skills and competencies that entrepreneurs have include emotional intelligence, listening skills, and strong ethics. They treat customers, employees, and partners with fairness and respect and are good at reflective or empathic listening. A successful business is one that is based on effective communication that has clarity, structure, and purpose and brings results. Communicating with the right level of detail is also important.

Critical Thinking

Successful businessmen are good at seeing problems from a different point of view and from a new perspective. This helps them develop and try new and unique ways of problem solving. Critical thinking enables entrepreneurs to identify niches and opportunities and to seize them to run a successful business.

Personal Characteristics

Entrepreneurs have a mindset that is characterized by a drive for success, persistence, and optimism. They are self-motivated which makes them more organized and better at taking the right amount of risk. Self-motivated people have better time management skills than those who work for pay. They are also better at dealing with obstacles and setbacks and moving forward. Entrepreneurs are also optimistic which helps them deal with problems when things get tough.

Knowledge and Experience

Entrepreneurs have knowledge and experience with different areas of business. These include management, research and development, distribution, marketing and sales, and human resource management. Other areas of business include operations, production, accounting and finance, and customer service support. Successful entrepreneurs have good general knowledge of accounting and finance, including planning, auditing, and financing. They also have knowledge of operations, including controlling, planning, and overseeing of production processes. In addition, entrepreneurs have understanding of the market and niche they operate in or are trying to enter into. They look at factors such as demographics, competitors, location, supply and demand, pricing, and many others. Obviously, entrepreneurs are also experienced in raising capital from different sources, including angel investors, peer to peer networks, crowdfunding, banks, finance companies.

Other Skills

Successful businesspeople are also analytical, focused, and competitive. They are confident, passionate, and result-oriented. Entrepreneurs are good at prioritizing and have a strategic vision which helps them focus resources at the right direction. Strategic planning is an important skill that helps businesspeople set goals, make decisions, and analyze results. Strategic thinking also enables them to identify industry opportunities and risks as well as factors that are internal to the business itself. Strategic planning involves different tools and methods such as responsive evaluation, SWOT analysis, scenario planning, and PEST analysis. Other skills and competencies that contribute to running a successful business include trend setting, logical thinking, networking, personal branding, and a focus on customer satisfaction.