Blazing Your Own Trail - Breaking from Convention

The conventional job route isn’t for everyone. In today’s diverse economy, the nine-to-five corporate structure doesn’t always jive with the adventurous type. Tired of toiling for someone else’s benefit and looking for a more relevant venture in which to apply their skills, more and more Canadians are assuming the risk of going into business for themselves.

    Entrepreneurship has become a viable alternative to the traditional career trajectory. In pitching, developing, and running their own companies, many new businesspeople are finding tremendous satisfaction in their work.

Why entrepreneurship might be for you

    Starting a new business in Canada can be a smart option for a number of reasons. It empowers individuals to create new job opportunities, particularly in small or isolated communities where industry is often limited. It affords single mothers the chance to make a living while raising children. It allows new Canadians the chance to use their skills, and provides individuals with different abilities the chance to work in a tailor-made environment.

    For example, according to Barbara Taylor, a coordinator of Disabilities Strategy with Service Canada, entrepreneurship might be a good option for people living with disabilities.

    “For people with a partial mobility disability, often there are issues around transportation,” she explains. “Many small businesses these days are offered out of the home,” eliminating that hassle.

    In addition, entrepreneurs may dictate their own hours, a big plus for those who cannot handle the traditional nine-to-five schedule. “Recent studies have shown that many people with disabilities are looking for reduced hours because of reduced energy,” Taylor continues. “Working in your own business, you make your own schedule.”

    But entrepreneurship is not without its risks. You’re assuming responsibility for a new venture, something which can be intimidating. There’s no guarantee of a steady paycheque (especially at first), and you may find yourself wondering if all the stress is worth it. Plus, you’ll need funding, and lots of it.

Resources for avoiding the risks of starting a new business

    Thankfully, there are many options for Canadians seeking to go it alone.

Blazing Your Own Trail - Breaking from Convention

    Several provincial and federal government programs exist solely to help out new entrepreneurs. Banks are almost always willing to fund a well-thought-out venture, as are credit unions. Community futures development corporations exist across the country, and are usually willing to take on riskier ventures – in exchange for higher interest rates. Peer-lending circles are starting to appear in rural and remote areas, using a collective cash flow to help fund worthy projects.

    If none of these options works out, you can consider approaching a family member, friend, or colleague for a loan – just be certain to clearly outline the terms, and get everything in writing.

    No matter how you do choose to do it, it’s important to stick with it. If your idea is viable, your plan is practical, and your attitude is keen, you should be able to launch a successful, unique, and profitable venture in Canada, and in the process employ yourself.


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