By Desiree Timo in collaboration with Christiane Rigos
When you start researching entrepreneurship, rest assured that the first dozen articles will lay out the magic formula to getting a lot of money in the least amount of time.
If not that, you might stumble across some cliches: “Be your own boss” or “Just do what you love.”
You will also surely get mesmerized by highly skilled salespeople selling themselves as entrepreneurs – try not to be fooled by them!
What is an entrepreneur, though? What makes a person an entrepreneur?
National Entrepreneurs’ Day is likely the very best opportunity to meditate on what an entrepreneur is.
Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck – One way to start is not by what an entrepreneur is but rather by what an entrepreneur does. After all, if someone does what an entrepreneur does, they probably are one.
It is common sense that an entrepreneur: starts businesses (in a company feature or alone), seeks new opportunities, takes risks.
Those ventures are indeed divisive. According to a BDC study, “entrepreneurship remains a difficult, stressful career. One-third of all new businesses fail within five years, and only one in two companies are still open after 10 years. That may explain why entrepreneurship has attracted fewer and fewer Canadians over the past 20 years.”
That might also explain why Canadians see entrepreneurs as brave, hard-working, and courageous – as they should be to endure the difficulties of starting a business, seeking new opportunities, and taking risks.
Some would argue, though, that entrepreneurs are not (or likely should not be) risk-takers, as in people who can survive anything – this is allegedly a myth and the actual cause for 85% of entrepreneurs to fail. In that sense, entrepreneurs would be, in fact, risk managers. Hence, their job should be reducing risk, or at least working around them.
Secret sauce – Even with all the hardship, many Canadians would like to start their own business. Close to half of the students interviewed (47%) dreamt of starting their own business.
And Canada is certainly open for businesses, with opportunities like the Start-up Visa and immigration as a self-employed person. Ten years ago, a BDC study showed that Canadian immigrants have a higher tendency to launch new ventures than individuals born in Canada. In 2011, the BDC Index was 0.35% for immigrants compared to 0.20% for non-immigrants.
Those figures have likely grown with the immigration incentives for entrepreneurs the government has given recently.
And what could make immigrants so keen on entrepreneurial efforts?
The matter of fact is that an immigrant shares a vital trait with entrepreneurs: the constant search for new opportunities. Seeking new opportunities is the heart and soul of entrepreneurship, as it is of immigrating.
The pursuit of business – That is a distinct feature of immigrants. However, it is indeed an attribute any human being can and should pursue on behalf of humankind: to improve lives, to create jobs, to design solutions where needed, to give back to the community.
Therefore, in a sense, every human is potentially an entrepreneur. The catch is that you have to decide to be one every waking morning – and, of course, do it.
FCBB is here to help you become an entrepreneur and to start your business. And we are here to celebrate with you when National Entrepreneurs’ Day comes. Happy National Entrepreneurs’ Day to all entrepreneurs!
Join us later today on an Instagram live (@fcbbdigital) to present inspiring stories of Brazilian Women Entrepreneurs in Canada. One more step on the count towards entrepreneurship!