Kelowna metro favourably reviewed in entrepreneur report

Kelowna area now ranked as the second best entrepreneurial area in Canada, having jumped from fifth place in 2014.

The 8th Annual Canadian Federation of Independent Business Entrepreneurial Communities report offered some great news this week for the Central Okanagan.

The Central Okanagan (Kelowna Census Metropolitan Area) is now ranked as the second best entrepreneurial CMA in Canada, having jumped from fifth place in 2014.

The region’s overall score has improved by 10.2 per cent, the largest increase for any CMA in Canada over 150,000 people.

The review is based on high concentration of entrepreneurs, high business start-up rate, optimism and success of business owners, good public policy including supportive local government tax and regulatory policies.

This report offers insight  at what entrepreneurial characteristics Canada’s largest cities possess.

The CFIB collects a wide range of data to try to capture the level of dynamism of each community and then places it on a measurable scale.

Although the report generates city rankings, the CFIB says it’s not trying to define a singular concept of entrepreneurship.

Instead, the report wants to identify the relative entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses of cities across the full range of measures.

No city is strong across the board, but all cities have at least one relative set of strengths.

It may seem obvious, but one of the surest signs of an entrepreneurial hot spot is the presence of a high concentration of entrepreneurs and a high business start-up rate.

It is also important that business owners have high levels of optimism and success in their operations. Good public policy is also critical, so we look at the presence of Canadian economic fundamentals which have seen some powerful shifts lately, with rapid reductions in commodity prices filtering widely throughout businesses, and hence, communities as well.

Some have been negatively affected by lower prices or weaker demand, while others have benefited from lower costs and increased potential.

For the entrepreneurship scores that rely on business optimism, and rates of change, the results are starting to pass through to the city scores.

However, the process is slow, because many of the other entrepreneurial characteristics we track are rooted deeply and move only slowly over time.

Although still scoring higher than average, we have noted a relative easing of the entrepreneurship indexes among cities in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

In contrast, there has been a relative rise in the scores for communities in British Columbia and parts of Central Ontario.

For the fourth straight year, the top-ranking large community remains the grouping of municipalities that surround Calgary.

The region, whch includes Airdrie, Rocky View, Cochrane and Chestermere, scored 73.0 out of a possible 100.

That it is a suburban area is no surprise—the outer rings of major cities are usually better incubators of new businesses because of lower relative costs but still reasonably good access to large markets.

The report showcases the same for other periphery areas for Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver (Lower Mainland).

Among the other major cities in the top-10, the report findings indicated that Kelowna (2), Guelph (6), Barrie (7) and Moncton (10) were climbing in the rankings from previous reports, while Saskatoon (4) and Regina (9) have fallen back slightly.


Top 10 overall scores :

score (/100)      2014 rank

1. Calgary periphery 73.0 1

2.  Kelowna 71.4    5

3. Edmonton periphery 69.5  2

4. Saskatoon 67.7  3

5. Toronto periphery 67.3 7

6. Guelph  63.8 8

7. Barrie 61.8 12

8. Vancouver periphery 61.2  18 9. Regina 60.9  4

10. Moncton 60.5   21


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