Published On: Thursday, 05 October 2017

Canada's Young Entrepreneurs Increasingly Drive Export Trade

Canada's Young Entrepreneurs Increasingly Drive Export Trade
Half of Canadian small business owners will inject capital to grow their business over the next year, while aging business owners wind the retirement clock. (Graphic Credit: CIBC)

CANADA - Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of Canada's young small business owners aged 25-39 export goods and services, with nearly half of them having increased their focus on international growth in the last five years alone, finds a new poll by CIBC. With export markets underpinning their growth, two-thirds say they're also concerned about current trade uncertainty.

Half of small business owners will inject capital to grow their business over the next year, finds the new CIBC Poll. Canada’s young entrepreneurs increase focus on international growth, while aging business owners wind the retirement clock.

Key poll findings:

  • Of the 59 per cent of small business owners who export goods and services outside of Canada:
    • On average 29 per cent of their goods and services are exported;
    • 72 per cent of owners aged 25-39 years of age export, compared to 60 per cent of those aged 40-59 and 37 per cent of those aged 60+; and
    • Majority export to U.S. (84 per cent), Europe (31 per cent) and Latin America (16 per cent).
  • Three in five (59 per cent) business owners are concerned about trade uncertainty, with an almost equal number (57 per cent) worried changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could impact their business negatively. That number jumps to 67 percent and 65 per cent, respectively, for business owners aged 25-39;
  • 46 per cent of small business owners aged 25-39 have increased their focus on international growth in the past five years, compared to only a third of those aged 40-59; and
  • 53 per cent of small business owners plan to increase their capital investment to grow or expand their business in the next year.

This focus on international expansion is a positive trend, but it also creates a unique set of challenges for business owners, he adds.

While too much competition (31 per cent) was cited as the top challenge for all business owners, those under 40 are almost equally concerned about sources of future growth (25 per cent), being able to respond quickly to changing market needs (25 per cent), and fluctuating currencies (24 per cent).

Among small business owners not exporting, over two in five (41 per cent) say they're comfortable with their current volume, growth and revenue, 21 per cent haven't considered it, and 16 per cent worry that the legal and regulatory requirements are too complicated.

Timer set for aging business owners:

Among business owners aged 60+, the findings revealed that 63 per cent do not plan to grow nor expand their business in the next year, with over a third (36 per cent) intending to either close, sell or transfer their business.

Yet, the poll found that the majority (78 per cent) of aging business owners do not have a formal or detailed plan in place for retirement or in the event of an unexpected emergency.

For additional information, statistics and analysis on the CIBC poll, please visit the following link.