Skip to main content
small business briefing


The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz . Download our app here .

Gamblers, on the cutting edge, motivated by money: not this crowd

Mavericks, cutting-edge innovators, risk-taking gamblers, in it for the money: These are some of the stereotypes of entrepreneurs that a new study puts the kibbosh to, at least among the British entrepreneurial set.

The study of nearly 1,000 British entrepreneurs by think tank Demos found that just a quarter said they enjoy taking risks to get ahead, and more than half – 55 per cent – take risks only if they see significant rewards. As well, a fifth would avoid risks altogether, even if they'd lead to great reward.

As well, money ranked only fourth as a motivation for becoming an entrepreneur, behind wanting to work for themselves, feeling passionate about what they do, and turning ideas into reality.

The study, supported by Shell, also found that 73 per cent of respondents said their business replicates or improves upon existing business models, rather than producing a "cutting-edge" innovation. And 40 per cent previously worked in the sector in which they created a startup.

And half started a business while at another job or in school; 10 per cent had a "forced" push into entrepreneurship because they'd lost a job or dropped out of school.

More than 80 per cent also said they didn't blame the economy for business failure, but said other factors play into success.

"This reveals a picture of entrepreneurship that is far more realistic than the stereotype of mad-cap inventor appearing on Dragons' Den," said Duncan O'Leary, deputy-director of Demos and co-author of the report, in the release. "The message from our polling is not all about revolutionary ideas and light bulb moments."

For a look at the full report, click here.

Food fight in Chicago

Three food truck operators, backed by a public-interest law firm, have filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago to get it to loosen up recently enacted regulations, according to reports such as this one and this one.

The suit is aimed at reversing some rules put into place that include prohibiting food trucks from operating any closer than 200 feet to a bricks and mortar restaurant, and having GPS devices on board so their whereabouts can be tracked.

Did you always dream of being an entrepreneur?

Were your childhood dreams filled with life as a future entrepreneur? If so, you are among nearly a third of people who are either in the job of their childhood dreams or a related one, finds a survey by LinkedIn.

What makes for a dream job? More than 70 per cent of the social networking site's 8,000 members globally surveyed said that the top characteristic was taking pleasure in their work, followed by helping others, for 8 per cent, and a high salary, for 6 per cent.

Top dream jobs in Canada for men were engineer, at 7.3 per cent; doctor or nurse or emergency medical technician for 6.6 per cent; professional or Olympic athlete, astronaut or airplane or helicopter pilot, each at 6.3 per cent, according to a separate release.

Among Canadian women, 17.3 per cent dreamed of being a teacher; 10.2 per cent a doctor, nurse or EMT; 9 per cent a writer, journalist or novelist; 6.3 per cent a lawyer; and 5.5 per cent a veterinarian.

No figure on how many had dreams of entrepreneurship specifically.


SociaLight conference

Billing itself Canada's ultimate entrepreneurship and leadership event, the SociaLight conference takes place in Toronto tomorrow. For more information, click here.

Small Business Summit Toronto

There's less than a week to go to The Globe and Mail's Small Business Summit. The day-long event, being held Nov. 22, will be packed with goodies for entrepreneurs. For more information, click here.


In an online world, why face-to-face marketing still matters

In a world of blogs and social networks, webinars and podcasts, it is easy to forget about the "old school" methods of reaching out to your market, writes marketing pro Ryan Caligiuri in his latest column. While something can be said for the efficiency of online marketing, in-person events still have an important place in your marketing plans, he says. Read why, and join an online discussion at noon.


Selling out to an employee: insider experience

The McLaren brothers sold their majority ownership in Vancouver's Allied Shipbuilders to the company's vice-president of operations. A look at how and why, and what can be learned from their experience was recounted in this piece.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at

Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues:

Our free weekly newsletter is now available. Every Friday a team of editors selects the top picks from our blog posts, features, multimedia and columnists, and delivers them to your inbox. If you have registered for The Globe's website, you can sign up here . Click on the Small Business Briefing checkbox and hit 'save changes.' If you need to register for the site, click here .