Grande Prairie, Alta.
Western Canada dominates this year's list of the top entrepreneurial cities in the country, compiled by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), and metropolitan areas of Alberta occupy five of the top 10 spots.
Small and mid-sized cities tend to outperform larger urban areas.
CFIB considers a dozen factors, including concentrations of entrepreneurs, business start-up rates, levels of optimism and operational success of owners, and the presence of supportive local government tax and regulatory policies. The index also draws on the perspectives of CFIB members across Canada, a group of more than 107,000 business owners.
The 12 indicators are weighted by a standardized index between 0 and 100. The city with the lowest score for each factor receives a 0, and the one with the highest gets 100. "To arrive at a final score, the 12 index components are placed into three major group categories," the authors of the study said in a release. "Presence, to indicate levels of entrepreneurial activity; perspective, to indicate their levels of optimism and business expectations; and policy, to indicate the influence of local governments on business decision making.
"The scores of the three major components are then combined to arrive at an overall score and ranking. Slightly more weight is applied on presence and policy indicators."