Report says cities in Western Canada the best for starting businesses


While many Canadians might think our nation’s largest cities, Toronto or Montreal, are the top places to start a business, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, entrepreneurial hopefuls should look west.

Vancouver took the top spot in the major cities category for entrepreneurial presence. Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Calgary had the most startup-friendly government policy.

The eighth annual Entrepreneur Communities report determined “entrepreneurial hot spots” based upon concentration of entrepreneurs, entrepreneur optimism and success, a high business startup rate and whether the region has supportive or harmful local government tax or regulatory policies. Vancouver took the top spot in the major cities category for entrepreneurial presence, and while Toronto came second, municipalities around Calgary and Kelowna were not far behind as the number three and four spots, respectively.

“Western cities clearly do well here, as do suburban areas that ring a large urban core,” said the report on Western Canada’s high entrepreneurial presence. “These diverse economies have lots of business startups and show above-average growth in the number of business establishments.”

When it came to cities that had the most startup-friendly government policy, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Calgary took the top three spots. Overall, municipalities surrounding Calgary, Kelowna, and municipalities around Edmonton took the overall scores for major cities.

“Despite the millions of influences that affect community growth, nothing would happen if it weren’t for individuals making entrepreneurial decisions to hire, invest or innovate,” said the report. “The more of those people in a community, the stronger the growth that follows.”

Photo courtesy Brendan Bell.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.