CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

Entrepreneurs over 45 lead new business startups

CIBC expects 100,000 small business startups will be created over the next five years, according to Start Me Up: A Look at New Entrepreneurs in Canada, a report released last week by CIBC Small Business.

Over the past two years, 25,000 small businesses began operations -- an impressive performance considering it occurred along with robust labour market activity. British Columbia and Alberta lead the country in small business startup growth.

"Starting a business is becoming a more popular career choice, particularly among Canadians over 55 and those who are highly educated," said Rob Paterson, Senior Vice-President, CIBC Small Business Banking. "And self-employment is really a choice. Only one in five new entrepreneurs started a business in the past two years due to difficult employment conditions, down significantly from the mid-1990s."

By far the fastest growing segment of the startup market is the 55 and over age group, which now accounts for 15 per cent of total startups, compared to 11 per cent in 1990.

The newly self-employed also tend to be more educated. Almost one in four of those who have started a business in the past two years have a university degree, double the rate seen in 1990.

"With one in three startups being headed by an entrepreneur who is over 45, the aging Canadian population is expected to lead to strong startup growth," Paterson said. "This factor, along with technology and the Internet making self-employment more feasible, will likely result in more than 100,000 Canadians setting up shop over the next five years."

The fastest growing segment of the newly self-employed are those in natural and applied science-related fields. The number of new entrepreneurs in this category has risen by almost 12 per cent over the past two years.

Startups in the health care industry are up 10 per cent over the same period. In business and financial services, the number of startups increased by more than 8.5 per cent in the past two years, more than double the national average.

Visit for the full Start Me Up report.

-- Sun news wires

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