How Millennials are Reshaping Small Business in Canada

Mar 11, 2014

Man and woman shaking hands

Canadian millennials are poised to become the majority workforce in the near future, reaching a 75 percent share by 2028, according to Startup Canada. Millennials are also twice as likely as other generations to start a business. This strong drive to be the boss instead of the employee is consistent across the millennial generation, but its impact on Canada could be profound, providing a full reshaping of the small business market.

Millennials Pursue a Different Style

One organization playing a significant role in this cultural change is the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. It is focused on wielding the entrepreneurial aspirations of Canadian millennials to pursue widespread changes across the country. According to CYBF’s CEO, Canadians sometimes don’t pursuing their business ideas due to nerves and fears of failure. CYBF is working to help millennials and other aspiring business owners to overcome these mental blocks that might otherwise hold them back.

Dropping Out to Get Ahead

Few millennials are content to tread water in their jobs. Millennials get bored in their jobs easier, and that motivates them to move on to bigger and better things. These workers get impatient and are more likely to hop from one job to the next instead of committing to a single organization. Upward movement is the primary goal.

This results in a lot of transition and job movement among Canadian professionals, reports Huffington Post. It’s common to see a well-qualified young millennial working in their third position in a one- or two-year period. More often, professionals who can’t easily advance to the positions they want are starting their own businesses and putting themselves at the top of the pecking order.

And perhaps the most telling sign of the millennial response to a down economy can be seen in a common post-graduate pattern: GenerationFlux notes that one-third of college graduates between 25 and 29 years of age took on low-skill jobs after graduation. But those jobs were mere placeholders for the first decent job opportunity that came their way. Millennials remain diligent in checking for job openings and other opportunities posted on job application sites. When a door to a better life opens, they walk in.

Millennials Will Create a Canadian Boom

If Canadian economic experts have it right, the millennial generation could produce significant and tangible changes for the country. Small businesses already comprise nearly 50 percent of the private sector work force in Canada. But millennials want to change that, and fast. Sixteen percent of that generation wants to start a small business in the next 12 months, compared with just eight percent of the entire Canadian population.

Consequently, Deputy Chief Economist at CIBC, Benjamin Tal, believes that as many as 150,000 new startups could be launched in Canada within the next decade. That would have an enormous impact on the country’s economy, increasing its gross domestic product while adding scores of jobs that will chip away at the country’s 14 percent youth unemployment rate.