A new study from BMO Bank of Montreal reveals that 71 per cent of Canadian women would become their own boss if they had the opportunity, and eight in ten women say that having access to role models or mentors would be a key ingredient to their success as business owners. In addition, one-quarter say that balancing work and life as a ‘mompreneur’ would be a challenge.
“Balancing work and life commitments such as caring for children or elder family members is a big consideration, one that is almost as important as translating ideas into practice and finding customers,” said Cathy Pin, Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. Yet, being your own boss can also give you greater flexibility in your life and also provide an opportunity to build something you are passionate about.
“Fortunately, when striking out on your own business venture, you don’t need to be alone. There are a variety of resources available including online blogs, websites, and organizations such as the Women President’s Organization where you can share information with other women business owners, seek out mentors and take inspiration from role models,” added Ms. Pin.
The BMO study conducted by Leger Marketing found:
- When starting a new business, the ability to share knowledge is believed to be important by 86 percent of women surveyed
- 83 percent of potential women entrepreneurs also stated that having access to mentors would be important, were they to start their own business
For those Canadian women who would see themselves as potential small business owners, traditional gender preferences still apply:
- One in three women surveyed would start a business in the food and hospitality or arts and entertainment sectors
- Only 5 percent of women indicate that they would want to become an entrepreneur in information technology or a skilled trade
These preferences align with government statistics that show that food and accommodation industries have the highest share of businesses that are majority-owned by women.
Fast Facts about Women Entrepreneurs in Canada
- According to Statistics Canada, there are approximately 910,000 self-employed women in Canada, accounting for about one-third of the national total
- 46 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses have some degree of female ownership, 16 per cent are majority-owned by females
- 51 percent of female business owners have more than 10 years of management or ownership experience
BMO has a long history of championing the advancement of women in Canadian business. BMO Bank of Montreal is a partner with national organizations including: WEConnect Canada, Women President’s Organization and Canadian Women’s Foundation.