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StartCanada Blog

The StartCanada Blog provides insights about some of the work that we’re doing; including web design / development, design thinking, social media marketing, small business information, trends, tips, ideas and inspiration for start-ups, professionals, non-profits and small businesses.

So You Want To Move To Canada?

Lots of people are thinking about it these days. Here's an excerpt from the So You Want To Move To Canada article of Lloyd Alter that provides insights worth knowing...

Canada has been welcoming Americans for a long time, although the country loses more to its bigger, richer neighbour than it gains from it. Canada was popular during prohibition, and again during the Vietnam War, when thousands of Americans came along with writers, architects, educators and others who added so much to the richness and economic vitality of the country. No doubt the welcome mat will be put out again.

There is a buzz out there that some Americans are thinking that it might be a time to consider moving to Canada; Even starchitect Frank Gehry is thinking of returning after 70 years away. Many American news sources have taken note of a website“Cape Breton if Trump Wins,” which is full of useful information. But most Canadians would say Cape Breton? Really?

Right now the country is a mix of good and bad news; economically it's not so hot, with its addiction to oil and commodity revenues. That’s caused the loonie (what Canadians call their dollar) to drop like a rock; this is hard on Canadians but just wonderful for Americans who find their dollar goes way farther up here. If you have a telecommuting job that you can do in Canada while getting paid in U.S. dollars, you have scored.

It's an excellent read. Love the old postcards, too. Go for it. Read the complete article.

Source: Mother Nature Network
Photo: Angelo Narciso, Canadian Pacific Railway, Banff National Park, Alberta

Canada's Best Places for Business 2015


The Top 10 Overall

  1. Milton, Ontario
  2. Calgary, Alberta
  3. Winnipeg, Manitoba
  4. Burlington, Ontario
  5. Whitby, Ontario
  6. Strathcona County, Alberta
  7. Oakville, Ontario
  8. Ajax, Ontario
  9. Brampton, Ontario
  10. Grand Prairie, Alberta

Most Lucrative Markets

  1. Milton, Ontario
  2. Strathcona County, Alberta
  3. Calgary, Alberta

Most Affordable Cities

  1. Montreal, Quebec
  2. Moncton, Alberta
  3. London, Ontario

Most Business Friendly Cities

  1. Winnipeg, Manitoba
  2. Delta, British Columbia
  3. Victoria, British Columbia

Source/s: Canadian Business Magazine, November 2015
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, Royal Canadian Mint, Winnipeg, Manitoba

25 Best Brands in Canada

... Ranked by the only metric that matters - the respect of average Canadians.

  1. MEC
  2. Cirque du Soleil
  3. WestJet
  4. Tim Hortons
  5. Roots
  6. Shoppers Drug Mart
  7. Videotron
  8. BRP
  9. Loblaws
  10. Canada Goose
  11. Gildan Activewear
  12. Home Hardware
  13. Canadian Tire
  14. Lululemon Athletica
  15. Saputo
  16. Metro
  17. TD Bank
  18. RONA
  19. McCain Foods
  20. Jean Coutu
  21. Telus
  22. Sun Life Financial
  23. RBC
  24. Molson Coors
  25. IMAX

MEC CEO David Labistour on the company's logo / company rebrand: "... the more complicated the logo was, the less power it had. The simpler and more utilitarian your logo is, the more it shows up on the screen of a mobile phone."

Source: Canadian Business Magazine, October 2015
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, Canoe on Lake Louise

A New Canada

Here's how some of the news spread...

"More than a hundred years ago a great prime minister, Wilfrid Laurier, talked about sunny ways, he knew that politics can be a positive force and that is the message Canadians sent today. Sunny ways, my friends, sunny ways, this is what positive politics can do.” - Justin Trudeau

Google Canada Logo Celebrates the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015

Google, unlike most organizations, enjoys the creativity involved in constantly reinventing their logo to celebrate the days of our lives. Today, Google Canada celebrates the FIFA Women's World Cup kicking off tomorrow at 4pm at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, with a match between Canada and China.

Catch the games and support our women. The schedule of the games are as follows:

Enlarge the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Schedule

Here's a tribute to the Canadian Women's Soccer Team in the recent 2012 London Olympic Games.

Go girls! Go Canada!

Source: Google, Logo Life, BCRV Park, Jocelyn Ngo

Canada Post Stamps Sinclair and Buchanan

Canada Post features Christine Sinclair, Canada's most accomplished women's soccer player and Kadeisha Buchanan, a rising star on Canada's Women's Soccer Team, to commemorate the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 to be played across the nation.

Source: Canada Post

Small Businesses in Canada Export Through Websites

Pierre Cleroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist of the Business Development Bank of Canada spoke to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce about What to Expect in 2015: An Economic Outlook for Small and Medium Businesses.

"So if you are an owner of a small business, you might think exporting is a good idea but mostly for large and mid-size firms. I want to give you a different perspective about this because more and more small businesses are able to export with new technology. Digital technology is changing the game for small business. You can access billions of consumers online with very low costs... something not possible 10 years ago."

Mr. Cleroux continues to explain the how websites enable small businesses to export their products to the world. His three examples were outfits in:

  • Calgary selling pipeline sealers,
  • Nova Scotia selling dog food, and
  • British Columbia selling spa uniforms.

HIs presentation starts at 21:30 of the Calgary Chamber video.

Source: Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, Delta Hotel, Calgary, AB

Top 20 Brands in Canada, Ranked by Reputation

The top 20 brands in Canada, ranked by reputation are as follows...

1. Google
2. Tim Hortons
3. Shoppers Drug Mart
4. Sony
5. Canadian Tire
6. Heinz
7. Kraft
8. Samsung
9. Fedex
10. Kellogg
11. Home Depot
12. Campbell
13. Purolator
14. Johnson & Johnson
15. Nestle
16, Subway
17. Costco Wholesale
18. Visa
19. McCain Foods
20. Chapters Indigo

Wondering where some other familiar brands stand? Here's more...

26. Westjet
38. Rona / Roots
40. Apple
43. Hudson's Bay Company
50. Loblaw
59. Molson Coors
72. Boston Pizza
88. London Drugs
98. Starbucks

Does last year's results interest you? Click this: Canada's Top Brands 2013.

Source: Marketing Magazine, May 2014

Our Mobile Planet: Canada

Google partnered with Ipsos OTX Media CT to understand smartphone usage in the Canada. We found that smartphones have become an indispensible part of daily life with a 56% household penetration and 79% of those users never leaving home without their device. These devices have also changed our buying behaviour with 77% of Canadian users having used their device to research a purchase and 1 in 2 users having done so after seeing a mobile ad.

  • Smartphone penetration has risen to 56% of the population and these smartphone owners are becoming increasingly reliant on their devices.
    • Businesses that make mobile a central part of their strategy will benefit from the opportunity to engage the new constantly connected consumer.
  • Smartphone users are multi-tasking their media with 80% using their phone while doing other things such as watching TV (47%).
    • Place of Use: 96% at home; 86% on the go; 86% in a store
    • Extending advertising strategies to include mobile and developing integrated cross-media campaigns can reach today’s consumers more effectively.
  • Appearing on smartphones is critical for local businesses. 89% of smartphone users look for local information on their phone and 88% take action as a result, such as making a purchase or contacting the business.
    • 55% search on their smartphones everyday
    • Smartphone owners search: 68% Product info; 59% Restaurants, Pubs & Bars; 44% Travel
    • 89% of smartphone users have looked for local information; 88% have taken action as a result
    • Ensuring that clickable phone numbers appear in local results and leveraging location based services on mobile make it easy for consumers to connect directly with businesses.
  • Smartphones are critical shopping tools with 77% of users having researched a product or service on their device. 27% of smartphone users have made a purchase on their phone.
    • Place of Search: 54% Home; 29% On the go; 29% In a store
    • Having a mobile-optimised site is critical and a cross-channel strategy is needed to engage consumers across the multiple paths to purchase.
  • Smartphones are also a critical component of traditional advertising as 51% have performed a search on their smartphone after seeing an offline ad.
    • Making mobile ads a part of an integrated marketing stately can drive greater consumer engagement

Source: Google

Canadians Increasingly Becoming Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

  • Following the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, an increasing number of Canadians have taken control of their earning potential and become their own bosses. But unlike past recoveries, more Canadians are choosing self-employment, rather than as a means of escaping unemployment.
  • Western Canada is home to the country’s hottest startup activity. British Columbia leads the country with 3.7% of its working population owning a startup, defined as a business under two years of age. Alberta and Saskatchewan follow in second and third positions, respectively.
  • Canadians over the age of 50 are the fastest growing segment of the startup population, owning nearly 30% of new businesses.
  • Canadians in their twenties have increased their startup ownership by nearly 10%.
  • StatsCan reports that nearly 20% of immigrants were self-employed by the end of the 2000s, compared with 15% for their Canadian-born counterparts.
  • StatsCan reports that self-employment among women grew by 23 per cent between 2001 and 2011, compared with only 14 per cent for men.

Source: Matt Lundy, Canadian Business
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, Wieners, Waterton, AB

Seven Stats About Small Business in Canada

1. What is the definition of a small business in Canada?

  • 1 to 4 employees: Micro-enterprise
  • 5 to 100: Small business
  • 101 to 499: Medium-sized business
  • 500-plus: Large business

2. How many small businesses are there in Canada?

  • As of December 2010, 98% of all employer businesses in Canada were small businesses

3. How many Canadians work for small businesses?

  • 5,137,147 (48.3 per cent of Canada's total workforce).

4. How many Canadians are self-employed?

  • In 2010, 2.7 million Canadians were self-employed
  • 35 hours: Average work week for employees
  • 40 hours: Average work week for the self-employed

5. Success vs. failure

  • Net average (Businesses established less Businesses disappeared) of small businesses established from 2002 to 2007: 15,000

6. How active are small business owners online?

  • 36 per cent of small businesses had their own websites (compared to 91 per cent of large businesses)
  • 7 per cent sold goods/services online (compared to 22 per cent of large businesses)

7. What do small businesses contribute to Canada’s total exports?

  • 86% of Canadian exporters were small businesses in 2009
  • In 2009, 28 per cent of the country's total GDP came from businesses with fewer than 50 employees

Source: CBC News
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, Calgary Chamber, Calgary, AB

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StartCanada Business Development Corporation

Big dreams. Start here.

StartCanada is a Canadian company that designs, develops and manages elegant and effective websites for start-ups, professionals, non-profits and small businesses. StartCanada also provides social media marketing services for its clients.

Angelo Narciso leads StartCanada and is involved with business development, the design thinking process of web design / development, website management and social media marketing.