A Career as a Self-employed Individual – How Toronto Reference Library can help

August 8, 2013 | Elle

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By Ra

A growing number of Canadians are starting their own businesses - currently, over two million Canadians are self employed.  Although most small business owners agree it requires extensive planning, determination and endless energy and passion, the self-employed and small business owners believe that the rewards are well worth it. In a recent national survey conducted for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, 92% of small business owners were satisfied with their work compared to 82% of Canadians in general.

Did you know (From GoForth Institute):

  • Every year in Canada, an average of 130,000 new small businesses are created – but only 35% survive the first five years.
  • Ninety-eight percent of Canadian businesses have fewer than 100 employees, 55% have fewer than four, and 75% of all businesses in the country have fewer than 10.
  • There are over 900,000 female entrepreneurs in Canada, making up a larger share of the self-employed than in any other country.
  • Over 40% of Canadians say that starting a company or being self-employed would be the most rewarding career path for them.
  • The number of immigrants active in starting or running a company is some 60% higher compared to first- or second-generation Canadians.
  • Small businesses account for between 60 and 80% of all jobs created in Canada.
  • Almost 60% of all small business owners in Canada consider themselves “lifestyle entrepreneurs” who use their business as a means of generating income to support other commitments or lifestyle choices.
  • Canadian small and medium enterprises invest in Research and Development (R&D) proportionally on a greater scale than big corporations.
  • On average, small businesses with fewer than 100 employees contribute about 51% to Canada’s GDP.
  • Studies show that entrepreneurs with education in entrepreneurship, or previous entrepreneurship experience, have an 80–90% chance of success 
with a new business.

Toronto Reference Library, Business, Science and Technology Department has been dedicating a lot of its resources, either in print or online, to small business endeavours.

Find your competitors in online business directories such as:

Scott’s Business Directories Online

Mergent Online - all at your fingertips from the www.torontopubliclibrary.ca

Use Toronto Public Library's catalogue or come in person to the 3rd floor of Toronto Reference Library to ask for a specific business directory.  We have current ones in print.


Come to the 3rd floor for monthly gatherings of would-be and existing entrepreneurs in a program called Small Business Network.  Come interact, exchange experiences and business cards with others similar to you. For schedules of the types of businesses covered in this popular event, check for the upcoming session by typing Small Business Network in the search box on Toronto Public Library's home page.