Communities in Boom: Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities

Communities in Boom: Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities

Established in 1971, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is national network of more than 100,000 small and medium-sized businesses across Canada.  One of its key roles is to lobby all levels of government for business-friendly change, and to conduct research activities in support of that lobbying effort.  In October, the CFIB issued a new report entitled “Communities in Boom: Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities” that ranks 96 Canadian communities on their entrepreneurial environment.

Essentially, the CFIB studied 10 indicators in these broad categories: data related to the presence of entrepreneurial businesses in a community, data related to entrepreneurs’ perspectives on potential success, and data related to local government policy as it relates to entrepreneurs.  The results are revealing: Saskatoon ranks #1 in the country, followed closely by Grande Prairie, Alberta, at #2 and Joliette, Quebec, at #3.  What’s most revealing, however, is who doesn’t make the top of the list.  British Columbia doesn’t make the rankings until #15 (Vernon), while Atlantic Canada is closed out until #17 (Kentville, NS).  And Ontario?  The top-ranked community in that province is Belleville at #44.  The report is pretty thin on insights into how communities can improve their performance, but understanding the 10 ranking criteria and how a community scores in them could provide some tangible starting points for communities seeking to improve their support for entrepreneurs.  And for provincial officials, the report should be an eye opener.  It can’t be a coincidence that 5 of the top 10 communities on the list are in Saskatchewan, while another 4 are in Quebec.