Nanaimo isn’t Canada’s most entrepreneurial city, but it put on a good showing in this year’s City Entrepreneurial Index rankings.
The rankings are published annually in the Canadian Federation of Independent Business Entrepreneurial Communities report, which lists Canada’s top places to start and grow businesses in 2015. Out of a field of 121 Canadian cities listed in the report released Monday, Nanaimo ranked 39th, taking a big jump from 77th place in 2014.
Cities are ranked according to 14 entrepreneurship indicators, grouped into three main categories: presence, a representation of scale and growth of business ownership; perspective, which includes optimism and growth plans; and policy, which covers the effects of business regulation and taxation by local governments.
The higher a city scores the more likely it is to have a high concentrate of entrepreneurs and a high business start-up rate.
“There’s a few categories that jumped out at me,” Andre Sullivan, Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation board chairman. “Life satisfaction – we all know it but this is a great place to live and that showed last year, but even better this year. Full-time hiring – that is an indication, fundamentally, that we have a low unemployment rate here. That’s not necessarily the perception of the community, but it’s the reality that we have low unemployment.”
Sullivan credits a good showing in the government awareness of small business category to the municipal government to for creating NEDC and Innovation Island which offer support to existing and startup businesses.
Favourable reports can always be used as endorsements to attract new businesses.
“So when talking to outside investors, it is helpful to have this third-party validation,” Sullivan said.