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Going it Alone: The mental health and wellbeing of Canada’s entrepreneurs

Canada is a country of small businesses. In December 2017, there were 1.2 million employer businesses across Canada, where almost 12 million people work. Of these, 7.9% were small businesses, while just 1.9% were medium-sized.

Across Canada, efforts to support entrepreneurs abound, including special financing products, entrepreneurship hubs, post-secondary programs and a growing number of government investments to encourage the development and scaling of small and medium-sized businesses. However, discussions about the mental health and well-being of entrepreneurs are markedly absent from all this activity. Consequently, not enough is known about the mental health impacts of running a business.

It is often said that small business is the backbone of the Canadian economy and that when entrepreneurs succeed, so does Canada. Considering the importance of small and medium-sized businesses to the Canadian economy, the health and well-being of entrepreneurs is a critical public health issue. This study aims to enhance our understanding of the mental health experiences of entrepreneurs in Canada.

The study sought to understand:
• What mental health issues entrepreneurs report.
• The impact of mental health concerns on business objectives and entrepreneurs’ personal lives.
• What strategies and/or support entrepreneurs use to manage these issues.
• What barriers they face in accessing services and support.

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