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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.

More than half would launch a business to pursue something they love, BMO survey finds

More than one-third – 36 per cent – of Canadian women are interested in starting their own businesses within the next decade, finds a survey from Bank of Montreal.

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In advance of International Women's Day tomorrow, the survey of more than 1,000 Canadians 18 and over also found that 57 per cent said they would launch a business to pursue something they love. As well, 19 per cent of women under the age of 35 are likely to start a business in the next five years, the survey found.

The survey also found that 42 per cent of those polled felt access to capital would be their biggest challenge in becoming business owners.

As for what sectors they'd pursue, 19 per cent said they would create a business in food and hospitality; 15 per cent would go for arts,, entertainment or recreation; and 11 per cent would move into health and social assistance while 5 per cent would move into information technology and just 4 per cent would build a business in a skilled trade.

A recent survey among U.S. female business owners found 85 per cent predicting that more women would become entrepreneurs this year than in previous ones.

And they were feeling pretty good about their own businesses: 81 per cent of the more than 550 members of the National Association of Women Business Owners surveyed felt optimistic about their enterprise's performance in  the year ahead, and 38 per cent planned to invest more while 54 per cent planned to invest the same in hiring this year as in 2012.

As for what motivated them to start a business, 28 per cent said they were following their vision, followed by 21 per cent who said they'd found an idea that allowed them to become an entrepreneur.

In other news connected to women and small business, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is launching a line of more than 200 products, ranging from jewellery to clothing, on a section of its website that all come from small, female-owned businesses in nine countries, according to this Reuters story. It's part of an effort to "position itself as a leader in women's economic empowerment," the story says.

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Best advice top business leaders ever got

Everyone can benefit from a little advice. To piggyback on wise words some of the top business leaders have paid heed to, have a look at this LinkedIn series . From parents to former bosses, it offers more than 70 bits of wisdom these leaders consider the best they ever received.

Ringing endorsement for innovation

Here's a ringing endorsement for being an innovator: On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented his invention: the telephone. We need not remind you where that has gone.


Startup Weekend Kitchener-Waterloo

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The 54-hour business-creation event known as Startup Weekend heads to Kitchener-Waterloo from April 5 to April 7.

Down in the Valley

Applications are now open for the next "48 Hours in the Valley" mentorship program run by The C100. Twice a year, it takes 20 promising Canadian startups to Silicon Valley for a couple of days packed with workshops, mentoring, meetings with investors and other networking. Applications for the next trip, taking place from June 10 to June 12, are open until March 28 at midnight. For more information, click here.


Lessons from a library and others on how to engage employees

Clever use of social media can help cultivate, nurture and communicate company culture. Read how The New York Public Library and Coca-Cola are among those getting it right in Mia Pearson's latest column.

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Do women make better employees? Survey says yes

They work longer hours and are more honest, found one study. But are we still on this kind of talk? Some say the argument serves only to reinforce gender stereotypes while others are happy to explore the divide, as this story examined when it was published in June, 2012.

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 .

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Click on the Small Business Briefing checkbox and hit 'save changes.' If you need to register for the site, click here .

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