According to Statistics Canada, in 2018 only 15% of all workers were self-employed; that is not even a quarter! So, most people in Canada are not self-employed regardless of the fact that the general sentiment is in favor of self-employment and entrepreneurship. This, however, is not the only interesting fact. According to the same source, way back in 1976 self-employment was at 12%; this means the last four decades have seen only a three percent increase! Now, I know that this percentage probably does not include side gigs, but a side gig is not an income replacement solution for the main thing most people do for a living- working a job. Nevertheless, it is certainly a reality check for many Canadians- it sure was for me.
Now, dearest readers, you might ask why increasing the percentage of self-employed people even matters in a country, and why it matters that it keeps going up. Well, it matters a lot for many reasons; let us have a look at a few major ones. People with solid business ideas and plans who have the ability to execute a business successfully in a real life situation are unbelievably valuable to every country on this planet. In Canada, every such person that becomes self-employed can potentially grow their business to employ other people and they also free up job positions because they are not looking for work. This helps lower unemployment in Canada. Next, self-employed people create products and services that larger companies are unable or unwilling to create, yet the market wants them. Finally, self-employed people help diversify Canadian economy by making it less dependent on single-minded, large corporations. Most of us know that business carries risk with it; a diversified business landscape in Canada lowers that risk. So, the more self-employed people with their own businesses in Canada there are, the safer our economy gets.
Currently, Canada is not friendly towards self-employed entrepreneurs. Before you gasp at this, consider the following. Business education in elementary and high schools is outdated, limited and therefore completely inadequate. Self-employed people have to jump through crazy hoops in order to buy property in Canada when compared to people who are working for companies. Next, there is no Shark-Tank style government program available to every single potential entrepreneur- there are only business grants to limited niche groups. Finally, new entrepreneurs should not be pushed towards sub-prime lenders for startup money at a crazy cost; banks needs to crunch data and offer competitive lending models to competent entrepreneurs who are just getting started.
This is my personal take. What's yours?