Ottawa-based Shopify finds Canadians don’t think Ottawa is entrepreneurial

Awkward.
Ottawa

A new survey conducted by Shopify purports a booming entrepreneurial spirit across Canada, though it seems few eyes are on the e-commerce giant’s own backyard.

Just three per cent of Canadians surveyed consider Ottawa as the most entrepreneurial city in Canada, a failing grade for the nation’s capital.

Perception is not necessarily reality, proponents of the Capital may argue. While Toronto ranked highest in Canadians’ entrepreneurial esteems, the survey actually showed that there are more self-employed individuals in British Columbia (39 per cent) and Alberta (38 per cent) than in Ontario (33 per cent).

Shopify’s survey results may point towards a brand issue for Ottawa, which was named Canada’s best tech hub in a separate survey. It’s a problem Invest Ottawa has sought to solve in recent months through its “Work in Ottawa” campaign to attract fresh talent to the Capital.

The numbers look good across the country, but aspiring entrepreneurs could still use a hand. Shopify says three in 10 Canadians have started their own businesses, and 53 per cent think entrepreneurship could be in their future but don’t believe they have the resources to take the leap.

As an e-commerce firm with a direct interest in inspiring more merchants, Shopify is taking the matter into its own hands with “Shop Classes,” a country-wide workshop tour to help teach Canadians about starting up their own small businesses.

Starting later this month in Toronto, making its way around Canada and ending up in Ottawa on Sept. 19 and 20, Shop Classes will feature tips on getting started and marketing your business, all with guidance from mentors in the industry.

In an attempt to reconcile the booming success of homegrown Shopify with Ottawa’s poor entrepreneurial perception, stay tuned for Techopia’s own forthcoming survey, “How many Canadians think Shopify is actually based in Toronto?”

As part of its findings, Shopify surveyed 1,735 Canadians online between April 24 and 29, with a margin of error of +/-2.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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