Millennials and Gen Z work more hustling: survey

According to a recent survey by RBC, younger generations are leading the “micro-entrepreneurial economy”.

Published last month, the Small Business survey found that 74% of Canadian small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are motivated to set up a subsidiary or another company due to the cost of living. activity increases. RBC says this has risen to 84% among Generation Z respondents.

Ipsos Canada conducted the poll from August 12 to 15 with a total of 1,501 respondents.

The idea of ​​owning a home is a distant dream for many young generations in Canada. Young Canadians face a large wealth gap in contrast to older generations. As of August 2022, the average monthly rent for all property types in Canada is $1,959. The most expensive cities are Vancouver and Toronto, with average rents at $2,574 and $2,329 per month respectively.

The majority (77%) of current and aspiring entrepreneurs say their goal is to create a source of income to support themselves, including 86% of millennials.

Maha Fatima, a third-year student at the University of Waterloo, started her small business during the COVID-19 pandemic after she was laid off.

“I was struggling a lot financially,” Fatima told “It is very difficult to find a job. I always wanted to start something and so I used YouTube. And I’ve been looking for all these entrepreneur videos about teenagers my age and older who are starting small businesses with lip gloss and small jewelry or phone cases. “

That’s when Mahajabeen was created.

The Arabic name, meaning quintessence of the moon, encapsulates Fatima’s heart and soul rushing to the side. Using inspiration from her own poetry, TV shows and emotions, Fatima creates jewelry pieces inspired by Greek mythology, from necklaces to rings.

“I have a focus group with my Instagram audience where I come up with a lot of ideas, whether it’s materials, colors and marketing ideas, and the size we should come up with,” she says.

Without the extra income her small business brought in, Fatima couldn’t envision a life without it. She and a roommate currently pay $2,200 a month for a two-bedroom apartment in Waterloo, Ont.

“If I hadn’t started this business, I don’t think I would have been able to afford food and schooling.”

To pay for school, young Canadians are paying off debt. Figures from 2019 released by the Government of Canada show that nearly two million students owe money to the federal government with an average debt balance of more than $13,000 upon graduation.

The RBC survey found that the tendency to own and run a business is driven by the accessibility of new technology and digital solutions. Social media in particular allows anyone to see and advertise a business.

47% of respondents say that emerging technologies allow them to access new markets and explore new opportunities. Just under half (47%) believe that running their business from afar reduces the cost of starting a business.

RBC also said there was a shift in customer preferences, allowing more local Canadian businesses to start. According to RBC, Canadians are “craving” for authentic, local and customizable products.

Fatima believes the younger generation is trying to connect more closely with customers. It’s also important that her business has sustainable practices and uses ethically sourced materials.

“I think that’s what makes the other small businesses on Tik Tok and Gen Z stand out, compared to Amazon and all the other popular brands,” she said.

Eighty-six percent of RBC survey respondents agree small businesses can deliver products tailored to local needs, and another 73% believe small businesses can innovate faster than organizations bigger.

According to an RBC survey, Canadians’ willingness to shop locally inspired 39% of respondents to start their own company.

Fatima is motivated by her love of Greek mythology.

“It’s something that I resonated with as a kid, reading Percy Jackson and learning about it in 4th grade social class, where I first encountered it,” she said. “So the emotional connection is very important to me.”


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