Opinion: There is no mystery to success as an entrepreneur: it is a skill that can be learned

Eric Morse is Executive Director of the Morissette Institute of Entrepreneurship at the Ivy School of Business. Neil McLaughlin is Head of the Personal and Business Banking Group at Royal Bank of Canada.

An entrepreneur’s journey often begins without capital, a team, or a market. But almost all of them start their projects with an abundance of optimism. It’s what helps entrepreneurs see their opportunities beyond their risks, giving them confidence and the ability to stay resilient.

Apart from personality traits, there is no pre-established ability for any individual to start and grow a business. Even as our schools, business community, and media celebrate their successes, we must be careful not to reinforce or perpetuate notions of the so-called “entrepreneurship puzzle”.

The start-up phase is challenging enough without any artificial barriers that can dampen the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada – especially now that an estimated seven million Canadians are considering starting their own business. a job. Encouraging them to join the 3.5 million Canadian self-employed will help create a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous country.

Entrepreneurship is a great economic equivalent, creating a path for underrepresented groups to participate in the mainstream economy. About 40 years ago, female entrepreneurs represented just over 10 percent of all Canadian entrepreneurs; Now a third. Parity between new female and male entrepreneurs could be reached by 2030, according to a 2019 BDC report.

The same study also indicated that entrepreneurial activity among newcomers was twice the rate of the Canadian-born population. Moreover, they “create more net jobs and grow their companies more quickly” than the group itself.

In addition, a subset of high-growth entrepreneurs help diversify the Canadian economy by reimagining or creating entirely new industries. These “deer” are more likely to export their goods and services, which in turn generate new wealth in their home markets. Views are certainly rare in Canada despite the growth of clean energy exports in recent years Noticeable. A concerted effort to develop an ecosystem for this group of entrepreneurs will have a ripple effect on future economic growth.

Today 90 percent of workers in the private sector are employed by entrepreneurs and their companies, constituting a large number of small and medium-sized businesses that contribute more than $1 trillion to Canada’s GDP along with a steady stream of revenue for public programs.

But the benefits of a vibrant entrepreneurial culture extend far beyond economics. Speed, unique focus on small businesses, and intelligence are well equipped to help Canada solve big societal challenges, such as accelerating our transition to a zero-economy. Certainly, at Ivy, many students believe that entrepreneurship is the fastest way to develop innovative solutions to a whole range of issues.

However, if our country wants to deepen its entrepreneurial culture, and inspire more individuals to start their own businesses, it is crucial that we find ways to engage with Canadians outside the traditional business school environment.

To this end, Ivey has partnered with RBC Future Launch and The Globe and Mail to create a free website Online course that helps aspiring Canadians gain the knowledge and confidence to build and run their own business. Over the course of eight 20-minute modules, award-winning faculty and well-known entrepreneurs help participants understand key concepts, such as what a good idea looks like; how to acquire clients; And how to secure funding to grow their business. There is also a module on starting a social enterprise.

This course is presented at a critical juncture. The Canadian economy has seen a significant reduction in “self-employed workers” during the pandemic. A strong recovery is now underway – the number of new business entrants in 2021 is up more than 5.5 per cent compared to 2019 – but many ambitious Canadians remain on the sidelines.

Respondents to a hadith Ownr The survey helps explain why. Start-up costs were cited as the primary barrier for those who want to run their own business, but nearly 40 percent of respondents said they were “unsure of how to start” their business. For these and other potential entrepreneurs, turning ambition into business should be a national goal.

All of this is one more reason why the founder’s journey in building a business should be demystified. Peter Drucker, a leading thinker in management, put it plainly: “It’s not magic, it’s not mystical, and it has nothing to do with genes. It’s a system.”

We believe, like all disciplines, that it can be taught. In fact, it should be taught in our schools and beyond. Because the stronger our entrepreneurship sector is, the better off Canada is.

Your time is precious. Get our top business headlines newsletter easily delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Register today.

.