SMALL BUSINESSES OPTIMISTIC ABOUT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES BUT REQUIRE TALENT AND TRAINING SUPPORT TO REAP BENEFITS

New study examines the effects of advanced technologies on Canadian SBOs

November 16, 2017 | A report released today by Startup Canada, the national rallying community and voice for Canadian entrepreneurs, explores the current advantages, disadvantages and trends amongst small business owners (SBOs) when it comes to adopting advanced digital technologies. The report reveals that 83 per cent of SBOs are optimistic about the impact of advanced technologies on their company’s growth over the next 10 to 20 years. Forty-two per cent of SBOs plan to adopt artificial intelligence, 40 per cent plan to adopt cloud services, and 33 per cent plan to adopt the Internet of Things.

ACCESS TO TALENT AND TRAINING OUTLINED AS TOP CONCERN

Despite positive sentiments about advanced digital technologies, SBOs find the time, cost and skills required to keep up with the rapid rate of technological change are top barriers to adoption. Twenty-seven percent of SBOs don’t have the necessary tools, training, mentorship or access to talent needed to leverage this technology well. These concerns are amplified for those living in rural areas, where training and access to talent is more difficult to acquire.

SBOS CALL FOR INVESTMENT IN AND INCENTIVES FOR ADVANCED DIGITAL SKILLS TRAINING

Seventy-six per cent of SBOs believe industry and government can help companies to build a competitive advantage by investing in digital literacy training for the mature workforce; support digital skills building opportunities for young Canadians in elementary and high school (71 per cent); and, encourage students to pursue post secondary studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs (61 per cent).

QUOTES

“Advanced technologies such as AI and Machine Learning are redefining entrepreneurship in Canada,” said Victoria Lennox, CEO and Co-Founder of Startup Canada. “This report sheds light into opportunities for industry, government and the entrepreneurship community to come together to help small businesses build highly competitive companies that reap technological benefits and keep up with rapid technological changes.”

To learn more and read the full report, visit www.startupcan.ca/advanceddigitalsbos.

For more information, contact:

Kathryn Forrest

Media Contact, Startup Canada

[email protected]

613-859-5283

About the Research

To better understand the changing digital landscape present in Canada, Startup Canada, the national rallying community and voice for Canadian entrepreneurs engaged over 400 SBOs to conduct a study outlining the advantages and disadvantages of adopting new digital technologies. The final report in a four part series, this report explores the current technological trends in Canadian companies and outlines what advanced technologies SBOs will need to adopt to remain competitive in the global economy.     

About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is the leading national social enterprise supporting and giving a voice to entrepreneurs through online programs, national awards, flagship events, partnerships with private sector and government to foster a community for startup and small business success across the country. Learn more at www.startupcan.ca