By Runda Dong | June 10, 2024

Hey there,

This is my first post and I’m so glad you’re here.

I’ve spent the year 2023 jumping from being a corporate employee to creating my own Space Hotel, a creative agency business designed to service, co-create, and invest in small to medium-sized companies.

During this time, I’ve dove deep into researching the local ecosystems that are currently in place and discovered a few nuggets as I met some genuine people and the sea of information along the way.

Here are some things I’ve noticed in the Canadian entrepreneurship & startup ecosystem that might not have been so apparent to me before 2023:

The Stats Are Against The Risk-Takers.

Only 13% of small business owners are Millennials ↗

About 90% of startups fail before they become a sustainable business, and 10% of startups fail within the first year ↗

42% of small businesses fail in Canada because they have not researched the market & did not achieve market fit ↗

The existing statistics may be shocking but every entrepreneur or startup founder should anticipate the numbers associated with taking their risk. Great entrepreneurs are risk-takers who are exceptional at mitigating risk, so even though it’s virtuous to be ambitious, please do the research to protect your ideas from going under early.

While market fit and funding may be costly, there are tactics to create cost-effective research and feasibility studies within our own time or invest in professionals to support you during this process to help you save tens of thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) down the road.

There Are Support Systems And Incubators.

The Federal Government distributes budgets every year to help spur growth within the startup sector of the economy ↗

The public & private sectors are funding incubators to create programs for startup founder support ↗

Many local support networks are low-cost and free for entrepreneurs to get educated & connected with like-minded people ↗

Yet, a large number of early startup and small business owners don’t realize these support ecosystems exist. Perhaps is information or knowledge gaps or they simply do not have the time to find them.

However, because of this knowledge gap, it presents the perfect opportunity for community connectors and knowledge workers to close the networking gap for the risk-takers and bring tremendous value gains and time to be saved.

Most Sustainable Businesses Are Social.

71% of small-to-mid-sized businesses use social media to market themselves, and 52% post once a day ↗

80% of startup founders reported that building a community of users was important to their business, with 28% describing it as their competitive moat and critical to their success ↗

The community includes customers aligned with the company, its brand promise and what it stands for ↗

If a successful business solves problems, then a great business builds communities. The dream of a SaaS model was based on the idea that the business could simply create a digital application, charge subscriptions, and call it a day.

However, some may not have realized that there were community-based business models prior to software subscriptions: Memberships. Private membership business models have existed for centuries and it’s also the reason why businesses like Costco and The Soho House continue to be so resilient as great successful case studies.

It’s Not Impossible To Beat The Odds.

You don't have to start from scratch and risk your money to start a business ↗

Great startups want to take in feedback ↗

Looking into grants & financing to extend your runway ↗

Business buyers are also entrepreneurs. For one to risk capital to create a startup net new into a new sustainable business is not the only path to operate a wholly owned business. Oftentimes, it’s much simpler to purchase a business in the open private market to acquire the property, IP, and an existing customer base.

Additionally, there are numerous support programs available from the public sector such as grants, free events & workshops to help entrepreneurs connect. I often attend these events & workshops and I see very few operating entrepreneurs who are taking advantage of these resources.

It’s Still Rare To Find Canadian Entrepreneurs.

Less than 10% of Canadians are entrepreneurs ↗

There are many businesses for sale on the local market ↗

The self-employed sector has not grown since 2014 compared to the rest of the private & public employment sector ↗

The Canadian self-employed sector have not grown since 2014. That’s over 10 years of stagnation while private enterprises and public administrations have grown substantially since. What’s inevitable is that this data may show the potential downfall of our Canadian economy because small businesses and SMEs still count as the majority of Canadian employers.

Small businesses are at the epicenter of the growth economy, so we risk-takers need to keep pursuing new ideas that generate excess value to help our respective communities prosper. During recessionary times, we’re needed more than ever to create this value in the real economy.


Canadian entrepreneurship is hard, and it’s next to impossible to do it alone. That’s why I’m committed to hearing out any Canadian founder’s ideas that are seeking support to build businesses dedicated to investing in its systems and people.

We have invested active & minority stakes in local startups in the forms of capital, skilled resources, and advisory services. It’s a small step for us but we intend to keep on doing it to support the growth of great people with ideas committed to fostering creation for the foreseeable future.