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A new micro-entrepreneur economy is taking shape across the country as young Canadians look to adapt to a changing landscape and take control of their financial futures.

A recent RBC Small Business survey reveals that 74 per cent of Canadian small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are motivated to start a small business or side hustle as a result of the increased costs of living — a number that rises to 84 per cent among Generation Z participants.

For the majority of respondents (77 per cent), creating a source of income to support themselves is reported as the primary reason for starting a business. Millennials are even more likely to cite this as a reason, with 86 per cent sharing this as their primary motivation behind entrepreneurship.

“This year’s survey revealed that the desire for entrepreneurship in Canada remains strong, especially among younger generations, and it’s surprisingly being driven by the challenging current economic conditions,” says Don Ludlow, Vice-President of Small Business, Partnerships & Strategy, RBC. “Many Canadians see entrepreneurship as a golden opportunity to meet emerging consumer needs in a rapidly evolving marketplace, and take control of their financial future in these economically uncertain times.”

Fortunately, the barriers to entry to entrepreneurship are lower than ever, as new technologies and digital solutions are making it easier for Canadians to start small businesses.

The demand for such businesses also remains at an all-time high, as Canadians continue to crave authentic localized and customized goods and services that small businesses are uniquely poised to provide. In fact, the rising preference and willingness among Canadians to shop local have contributed to entrepreneurs’ 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.

RBC Small Business Poll Infographic