ntrepreneurship comes in many forms. Even the word itself means different things to different people. Some immediately think of tech start-ups in Silicon Valley, while others have fond memories of a local family restaurant. The reality is entrepreneurship is both of these things and more.

With more than a million small businesses in Canada, and almost half of the country’s total workforce being employed by small businesses, there’s no doubt entrepreneurs are not only the foundation of the Canadian economy but are shaping the future.

Taking control of your own future

When it comes to owning a business, the benefits and opportunities have a much broader range and appeal than many would expect. An entrepreneur can start a business offering products or services, or try to change their community through a social enterprise or non-profit organization. They can also choose to open a franchise, or buy an existing business and expand it. Some entrepreneurs have a full-time career in addition to their part-time business, while others jump into their business venture and go at it full throttle. But, there is one thing all entrepreneurs seem to have in common — a strong desire to take control of their future and make things happen for themselves.

Becoming an entrepreneur has its benefits, and these are becoming more and more appealing to the millennial generation in particular. This generation is said to be taking over the workforce, while simultaneously reshaping it. Millennials want to be in control of their destiny, to be their own boss , and to make a notable impact on the world we live in. They want opportunities to be creative, give back to their community, and change what may be seen as a dated working world. Entrepreneurs are movers and shakers, and are not content with settling for just something that will pay the bills.

Work hours versus entrepreneur hours

The growth in entrepreneurship is evident and in Canada, despite the fact we are constantly surrounded by entrepreneurial success stories, there are still many misconceptions when it comes to pursuing an entrepreneurial path.

Many people believe a great idea is all it takes to become successful, but behind every multi-million dollar success story you hear about, you don’t always hear about the years of hard work, long hours, and perseverance that went into that success. Likewise, the misconception that becoming an entrepreneur allows for a better work-life balance, when in reality many outsiders don’t realize entrepreneurship, especially in the early years, goes well beyond the typical 9–5 job. As Peter Derkacz, Owner of Kelowna Pete’s Edventures said, “Plan to love what you do, as you will be pushing for it 24/7.” We’re all guilty of wishing we had an idea first,  but not everyone is willing to put everything on the line and actually turn their idea into reality.

But, pursuing entrepreneurship isn’t completely out of reach for those that don’t have the next big idea. Take franchising, for example, where a business owner grants you the right to sell their product or service under their name in a specific area. The franchising industry holds several opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs with more than 1,300 franchise brands operating in Canada alone. The benefits are not needing a new business idea and starting independently with a name that already has a proven and successful track record.

Canada is ranked in the top five most entrepreneurial countries in the world, so there’s no doubt this country is a great place to start a business. Whether you feel stuck in your job, driven by a great idea, or inspired by a passion for entrepreneurship, becoming a business owner could be the best decision of your life.