An emerging survey reveals that many students are intent on entering into their own entrepreneurial ventures after graduation.

According the Bank of Montreal, Canada’s youth appears to have caught the entrepreneurial bug and more and more students say they plan on pursuing some sort of entrepreneurial endeavor after they graduate. In fact, nearly half of the Canadian post-secondary students involved in the survey—46 percent in all—responded that they see themselves starting their own business once they graduate, according to the Bank of Montreal.

The Bank of Montreal said that some of the students surveyed planned to make their future business their primary income source, other saw their entrepreneurial venture as a secondary source of income.

The findings were derived from a Pollara survey that asked post-secondary students about their intended career prospects and their hopes of owning their own business once they have completed their education. A little less than one-third of the students—29 percent—said they were confident that they would be able to find a job in their field.

The survey also revealed that men—by about 53 percent when compared to women at 40 percent, were likelier to start their own business. Also, 38 percent of the men surveyed were confident about future job prospects compared to 22 percent of the women surveyed.

“Our research tells us that a number of students are unsure if they will end up working in their field of study,” said Steve Murphy, senior vice-president, commercial banking, at the Bank of Montreal. “The good news is, this means they will look to other post-graduate opportunities as a form of income, which could include starting a business.” According to Mr. Murphy, it is “encouraging to see Canadian post-secondary students and recent graduates who are ambitious, innovative, and eager to contribute to Canada’s economy.”

Pollara conducted the survey online and questioned 602 post-secondary students between July 22 and July 25, 2013. According to the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association—the polling industry’s professional body—online surveys are not given a margin of error as these types of surveys do not conduct random population sampling. Statistics Canada indicated that some 130,000 new small businesses are created in Canada every year and these small businesses are critical to driving Canadian employment. In fact, more than 40 percent of all Canadian residents work for a firm that is comprised of fewer than 100 employees.

The largest percentage of respondents who indicated that they intended to start their own business was 50 percent and seen in British Columbia. Manitoba and Saskatchewan followed with 49 percent each, Ontario at 47 percent, Quebec at 46 percent, Atlantic Canada at 42 percent, and Alberta at 41 percent.


McKenna, Hugh. Nearly half of students plan to start own business: survey“; The Canadian Press; 9/6/2013.