Share of Canadian small business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs motivated to start a side business due to rising cost of living at 74%, up to 84% among Gen Z; accessibility to new technologies, digital solutions leading micro-entrepreneurship trend: RBC

Sample article from our Housing & Economy

TORONTO , September 21, 2022 (press release) –

Three-in-four current and aspiring entrepreneurs motivated to start a small business or side-hustle to adapt to evolving economic environment

Led by the younger millennial and Gen Z generations, a 'micro-entrepreneur' economy is emerging across the country, as Canadians look to adapt to a changing landscape dominated by rising inflation and digitization.

A recent RBC Small Business survey reveals that 74 per cent of Canadian small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are motivated to start a small business or side-hustle due to the increasing cost of living, with this number rising to 84 per cent among Gen Z respondents. In fact, a strong majority (77 per cent) of current and aspiring entrepreneurs report that their chief aim is to create a source of income to support themselves – and millennials (86 per cent) are even more likely to cite this as their main reason for starting a business.

"This year's survey revealed that the desire for entrepreneurship in Canada remains strong, especially among younger generations, and not surprisingly, it's being driven by the challenging current economic conditions," says Don Ludlow, Vice-President of Small Business, Partnerships & Strategy, RBC. "In particular, many Canadians are motivated to start micro-businesses – very small-scale businesses or side hustles – to nimbly meet emerging consumer needs in a rapidly evolving marketplace, and to take control of their financial future in these uncertain times."

Key factors supporting the emergence of the micro-entrepreneurship economy
Several factors are fueling the growing trend toward micro-entrepreneurship, including the accessibility of new technologies and digital solutions to lower barriers to entry which are allowing Canadians to quickly and easily start small businesses. Among those polled current and aspiring entrepreneurs reported that:

  • Emerging technologies allow them to reach new markets and explore new ways of doing business (47%)
  • Being able to conduct their business or 'side-hustle' online remotely lowers the overhead costs associated with starting and running a business (47%)
  • Digital solutions reduce the efforts for administration and back-office aspects of running a business (42%)

At the same time, a shift in customer preferences is also creating fertile ground for small and micro-businesses. Canadians are increasingly craving authentic, localized and customized goods and services, and they believe that small businesses are uniquely positioned to provide this experience.

Eighty-six per cent of those surveyed agree that small businesses are able to provide products and services tailored to local needs, and another 73 per cent stated that they believe small businesses have the ability to innovate at a more rapid rate than larger organizations. Moreover, 71 per cent were more likely to support businesses with an active presence in their local community.

For current and aspiring business owners, the rising preference and increased willingness of Canadians to shop local has contributed to their overall desire to become an entrepreneur, with 39 per cent of those surveyed stating that this shift has motivated and made it easier for them to start a business.

Helping entrepreneurs start, manage and grow their business
RBC has made it easier for Canadian entrepreneurs to start, manage and grow their business by offering valuable business solutions that help owners save time and money as they manage their day-to-day operations and adapt to the current environment. Solutions offered by RBC and its collaborative partners include:

  • Ownr – A digital platform that enables Canadian entrepreneurs to simplify and automate business formation and everyday legal and administrative work. Ownr has announced that they've lowered the price of their Sole Proprietorship registration fee to just $49 (including government filing fees) – making it one of the most affordable ways to register your business. As an added benefit, new entrepreneurs are eligible to receive up to $100 back when they register their business using Ownr and then open any RBC Business Account.  
  • Moneris Online – An integrated bundle of e-Commerce, online payment and shipping solutions to help entrepreneurs quickly and effectively build and manage their online business. 
  • – A leading cybersecurity services provider enabling small and mid-sized businesses to access cybersecurity expertise and solutions to protect their business and customers in an increasingly digitally-enabled world. RBC clients receive preferred pricing when enrolling for cybersecurity services.
  • Sherweb – A leader in cloud solutions and the latest partner to join RBC's Go Digital™ program. Sherweb offers RBC business clients exclusive advice and solutions to support their adoption of cloud-based innovations and technologies to improve productivity, security and digital transformation.

Entrepreneurs can access these solutions and business advice online through the RBC Start A Business Hub at

About the Survey
The RBC Small Business Poll was conducted by Ipsos Canada from August 12-15, 2022. A total of 1,501 surveys were self-completed online by Canadian adults (Age 18+), represented in six different regions (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada). Representative sample results are weighted to reflect the Canadian population. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3 percentage points had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population represented. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error, and measurement error.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 92,000+ employees who leverage their imaginations and insights to bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada's biggest bank and one of the largest in the world, based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 27 other countries. Learn more at

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at


Lauren Ng, RBC Corporate Communications

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Jason Irving
Jason Irving
- SVP Enterprise Solutions -

We offer built-to-order housing & economy coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.