(TORONTO, ON. Jan. 1, 2009). With a rocky end to 2008, what is the outlook for Canadian small
businesses in 2009? Will as many people choose to start-up? Will existing small businesses
struggle and shut down? How will a worsening economy affect the Canadian entrepreneurial
For a glimpse into the year ahead, we consulted Start-up Expert Roger Pierce, a serial small
business owner and co-founder of BizLaunch.ca, Canada’s largest small business training
BizLaunch.ca has advised and trained over 15,000 new entrepreneurs worldwide, and is best
known for its how-to small business seminars delivered across the country on behalf of clients
such as STAPLES Business Depot, Bell, Aliant, Scotiabank and the Government of Canada.
Here are his top six predictions for 2009:
1. Unemployed will become self-employed. During the past two recessions in North America,
the number of people starting up a business actually increased. We’ll see that trend repeated
in 2009, as some of the 200,000 Canadians expected to lose their jobs decide to take matters
into their own hands by becoming their own boss. According to Industry Canada, 139,000
businesses started up in 2007…a number Pierce expects will be surpassed in 2009.
2. More ‘BoomerPreneurs’. People in their 50s and early 60s who saw their retirement savings
dwindle substantially in 2008 will start a part-time or full-time business to replace that money.
Boomers who recently retired or who wanted to retire in the near future will pursue
entrepreneurship as the best way to augment their income.
3. The Internet will power more start-ups. An Internet-based business is by far the least
expensive type of startup. As more shoppers buy online, entrepreneurs will respond with
innovative web-based offerings. To help offset dwindling sales at home, existing small
businesses will also turn to the web to reach new customers in different parts of the world.
4. Governments will back start-ups. Anxious for solutions to fight escalating unemployment,
federal and provincial governments will finally recognize self-employment as a viable
alternative to employment. More funding will flow to newly-created start-up programs to give
entrepreneurs the skills training needed to run a successful enterprise. New tax incentives
may also be introduced to help stimulate self-employment.
5. Women will lead the charge. Already accounting for 60 percent of Canadian start-ups, that
number will increase as more women entrepreneurs decide it’s time for them to fulfill their
6. Thriving solo. Contrary to those economic pessimists, existing small businesses will not
close up shop in record numbers in 2009. Small, nimble, innovative and able to operate on
shoestring budgets, owners of Canadian micro-enterprises will act quickly to cut costs to
maintain profitability, while at the same time jumping on new revenue opportunities presented
by this worsening economy. They’ll actually enjoy an increase in revenues in the coming year
by simply picking up work from large corporations that seek to slash expenses by outsourcing
various functions and tasks.