The SENIOR POPULATION IS ON THE RISE. WILL ENTREPRENEURSHIP BE AFFECTED?
• Saskatchewan is going to see fast growth in its senior population over the next 20 years.
• The senior population (65 and older) hit an all-time high of 170,425 in 2016, up 10.9% over 2011. Although this is a staggering growth rate, it is one of the lowest of all the provinces.
• Seniors make up 15.5% of the total population in the province, the second lowest in the country behind Alberta, at 12.3%.
• Over the next 20 years the senior population is forecast to grow by 63% under Statistics Canada’s “medium growth” assumptions and will make up 21.9% of the total population in 2036.
Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of a prosperous economy. The aging population in Saskatchewan will likely affect entrepreneurship because an older population means the percentage of people between ages 25 and 49, the sweet spot for entrepreneurship, will shrink. What’s special about people in this age group is that they are willing to take entrepreneurial risks and they possess key business skills and experience. Combined, these traits create a great chance of success – to start businesses, to innovate, to create jobs, and to help drive prosperity.
An aging population also means that many entrepreneurs will be selling their companies as they get older, and new entrepreneurs have to be ready to take over. Transferring entrepreneurial businesses is an issue that has been discussed in the Saskatoon business community for over a decade.
While governmental policy reform to improve the entrepreneurship environment (e.g., reducing red tape, lowering taxes, increasing incentives for startups, providing encouraging financing options) is vital to encourage entrepreneurship, business leaders also have a major role. By fostering a culture that supports entrepreneurs, Saskatoon business leaders can help mitigate the adverse effects of the aging population on entrepreneurship and economic growth. Business leaders can
• Be involved in improving business education programs to better develop the next generation of business people,
• Support new-entrepreneur programs,
• Invest in youth programs that encourage entrepreneurship, and
• Advocate for and support governmental and private policy reforms that will improve the entrepreneurial environment.
Sources: Statistics Canada. Information provided by PFM Capital.
Fraser Institute. Demographics and Entrepreneurship: Mitigating the Effects of an Aging Population, May 17, 2018. https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/demographics-and-entrepreneurship-mitigating-the-effects-of-an-aging-population
STATE OF SASKATCHEWAN EMPLOYED PERSONS
The January 2019 monthly statistical review by the Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics shows that in December 2018, of the 573,200 employed persons in Saskatchewan, 17% were self-employed, down 1% from December 2017. They comprise 64% males and 36% females, compared with 66% males and 34% females in 2017.
Of those who are not self-employed,
• 70.2% are employed by the private sector, up from 68.8% in 2017.
• 39% are employed by companies with 20 or fewer employees, the same percentage as in 2017.
Source: Ministry of Finance, Government of Saskatchewan. January 2019 Monthly Statistical Review.
First published in the March 2019 edition of The Business Advisor.