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This Is How You Start Your Own Business In Canada, According To An Entrepreneur

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This Is How You Start Your Own Business In Canada, According To An Entrepreneur

If you've been toying with the idea of starting your own business, you're not alone. In fact, a quarter of Canadians are interested in becoming entrepreneurs. Among students, it jumps to almost half.

But even with all that enthusiasm, many would-be business owners struggle to transform their passions into sustainable businesses.

For Worksimply founder, Jaime Aoyagi, having access to tools, resources and mentorship while growing his business was critical to its success.

"Being able to get that baseline of knowledge before jumping in is very valuable," said Aoyagi — who left a career as an electrical engineer to become a tech entrepreneur.

"One of my goals as an entrepreneur has been to create a scalable company that, one day, can be used by millions of people."

Enter the pandemic, which had a huge impact on how Canadians all across the country got their work done. Recognizing that organizations and employees alike needed flexibility above all when it came to office space, Aoyagi came up with Worksimply.

"Worksimply is a hybrid workplace platform that reduces office-based costs and increases employees’ workplace freedom," he said.

"Specifically, we help employees book desk space at central offices or at coworking spaces close to their homes."

Courtesy of Worksimply

To help him get his project rolling, Aoyagi applied to the DMZ. A world-leading tech incubator in Toronto, the DMZ is helping him grow Worksimply over 18 months by providing co-working space for his team, one-on-one mentorship and support, peer-to-peer sessions and customer introductions.

"It’s an extremely valuable program for early stage start-ups," he said.

"At the DMZ you’re surrounded by like-minded people who are also trying to figure things out. It’s hard to articulate how valuable it is to be next to other start-up founders who are going through the same things as you."

Whether you're already bringing in revenue or you're still at the drawing board, you can get help navigating the early stages of starting a business with Launchpad for Entrepreneurs powered by Desjardins.

Developed by the DMZ in partnership with Desjardins, Launchpad is an on-demand learning platform that aims to break down the barriers between aspiring entrepreneurs and the knowledge they need to get started.

"There’s a lot of things along the way that entrepreneurs obviously need support on. That’s what the DMZ is really good at," Aoyagi told Narcity.

"Launchpad itself will teach you how to build a solid business foundation, and give you insights into what you need to focus on."

Launchpad does this by making expert-curated content available in English and French to aspiring entrepreneurs across Canada.

Members get unlimited access to video courses that can be completed at their own pace, covering topics like start-up idea formation, leadership development, market research, leveraging SMART goals, pitching to investors and more.

The best part? It’s free and can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

Getting support from the DMZ and expert platforms, like Launchpad, isn’t the only piece of advice Aoyagi has to share with aspiring business owners.

A hurdle that he sees trip up a lot of would-be founders, particularly in tech, is getting excited about creative ideas — without knowing if they solve a need that potential customers actually have.

"What I would suggest is to mainly focus on solving problems and not just coming up with cool ideas," he said.

"We should think about what the problem is we’re trying to solve, and if tech can solve that problem — we’re onto something."

Aoyagi’s final piece of wisdom is to just start.

"The most important advice is to just get your hands dirty [...] There’s nothing more valuable than experience itself, right?"

Launchpad For Entrepreneurs Powered By Desjardins

Price: Free

Where: Online

Details: Launchpad for Entrepreneurs powered by Desjardins is an on-demand learning platform that provides new and aspiring Canadian entrepreneurs with expert-curated courses in both French and English to help them start and grow their businesses.

To learn more about the DMZ and Launchpad powered by Desjardins, visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.