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(Jupiterimages/(C) 2008 Jupiterimages)
(Jupiterimages/(C) 2008 Jupiterimages)

Small Business Briefing

Canadian businesses lead world in optimism Add to ...

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

Not only are Canadians polite as a general rule, but they're also optimistic, at least according to the Global Entrepreneur Indicator.

The WSJ blog In Charge reports that Canadians, Caribbean and Latin-American entrepreneurs have the most positive economic outlook out of 1,200 business owners from 38 countries polled in the survey. In fact, 90 per cent of Canadian entrepreneurs expect improvement in the economy in the coming six months, while the outlook for U.S. business owners is much more dismal, with fewer than 60 per cent expecting improvement.

The lead researcher of the Global Entrepreneur Indicator suggests Canada's rosier outlook is due to "the stability [it is]is experiencing relative to the financial crises in Europe, the political and social turmoil in the Middle East, and the continued unease in the U.S. markets."

But the report offers an interesting twist when it comes to profit. Although the U.S. has a dim view on the economy, 64 per cent of its business owners saw higher profit, which is close to those in Latin America and the Caribbean. Only 29 per cent of Canadian respondents said their profit had increased over the same time, the lowest improvement rate of all the regions.

Capitalistic mind, philanthropic heart

Profit-making businesses with philanthropic goals have moved into the mainstream and they are being taken more seriously by business leaders and investors alike. In this post from Businessweek, meet some of America's most promising social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship is also alive and well across Canadian colleges and universities. There are organizations like MaRS, YSEC and SOJO, among others, helping social entrepreneurs get off the ground. And just last month, Newfoundland's Memorial University was named SIFE Canada National Champs and will head to Malaysia for the World Cup in October.

'Think big' and other worn-out business tenets

"Passion and persistence are the keys to success" may look great on a fridge magnet or a motivational poster, but is being passionate and persistent really enough to succeed as a startup? In this blog from Forbes, the author offers a refreshing look at some old tenets that simply don't apply any more.


Trendy Gastown design duo celebrate small space

In this month's edition of The Amazing Space, the co-founder of Cutler Design & Construction discusses the conception behind the office's design and how he and Natalie, his wife-slash-business-partner, celebrate their small, stylish space, rather than hide it.

From the ROSB archives

Let yourself be bored

In a world satured by smartphones and tablets, finding a balance between work and life is a constant struggle, especially for entrepreneurs. In this column by Mark Evans, he underscores the importance of unplugging for a while and letting your mind wander, because that's when the ideas really start to flow. (The point was hammered home for me when just last week, a young entrepreneur in the smartphone app sector revealed the secret to his sanity: he disconnects all of his mobile devices over the weekend.)

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