BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

October 31, 2016 06:00 ET

Female Entrepreneurs Find Navigating Challenges of Running a Start-Up Easier Than Male Counterparts: BMO Small Business Report

When given a list of common hurdles, including achieving work-life balance and obtaining capital, women running start-ups expressed less difficultly dealing with challenges than men

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 31, 2016) - Despite optimistic feedback for anticipated growth this year by Canadian entrepreneurs, start-ups in the early stages of growing their businesses undoubtedly face unique challenges. BMO asked small businesses from across the country about initial common obstacles, and those led by females expressed having a less difficult experience on all accounts.

The report, conducted by Pollara, found:

Male respondents who found it a challenge Female respondents who found it a challenge
Balancing work and family life 87 % 83 %
Obtaining enough money/access to capital to get your business going 81 % 53 %
Getting advice on how to start your business 68 % 49 %
Earning enough money until your business was profitable 83 % 67 %
Making your own decisions 55 % 33 %
Building a customer network 79 % 61 %

It also found female-led start-ups experience more frequent cash flow problems throughout their businesses' life cycle. In addition, they consult their banks for financial advice often, outpaced only by advisors unaffiliated with institutions.

Susan Brown, SVP, Alberta & NWT and Executive Sponsor, BMO for Women, explained how banks can build relationships with female entrepreneur clients to help remedy this trend.

"We see the confidence of the women we work with, and rightfully so given the rate of their growth," said Ms. Brown. "We can help ensure they continue to feel confident when making financial decisions and managing their cash flow through BMO's dedicated services like our in-branch specialists, mentorship and learning programs, key strategic partnerships, and credit options - all tailored specifically to our female commercial clients."

Business owners can find out more information about BMO services by visiting, and

Survey results cited in this report are from phone interviews with a random sample of 304 Canadian small business owners or managers conducted between September 7th and 23rd, 2016. The margin of error for this survey is ± 5.6%, 19 times out of 20. Data has been weighted using the latest census information to be representative of Canadians business as a whole.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $692 billion as of July 31, 2016, and over 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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