The Profit Guide has ranked Edmonton, Alberta number two in the list of Canada’s best places for business in 2016. We are proud to live in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and this has made Edmonton an attractive place for small business, entrepreneurs and start-ups.
In an article published by The Profit Guide, business owner Jeff Lawrence describes his experience launching his startup company called Granify in Edmonton. His company has raised $15 million in funding and grew from 19 employees to 42.
“The startup environment here is dramatically better now,” Lawrence says, comparing his situation to when he started his first company, Canada Backup, in 2001. “If you think back even five years ago, everyone graduating would look at having the security of a great-paying job with an oil company or within the government. Startups were a big risk. Now that startups are better known, and we’ve seen some high-profile ones in Edmonton, people coming out of school are considering it as an option.”
Though Edmonton has been traditionally viewed as an industrial city, the decline in industrial development along with the drop in global oil prices has opened up new opportunities for a more diverse economy. There has been an growing entrepreneurial-based business scene that has attracted both people and capital to the city.
Edmonton also has 10 post-secondary schools pumping out new graduates every semester, giving the city a well-educated and diverse talent pool that is attractive to new businesses.
Edmonton’s population went up 2 per cent last year, making it the second fastest growing metropolitan region in Canada. Edmonton is responsible for creating 20 per cent of the country’s new jobs and households in Alberta’s capital earned nearly $10,000 more than the national median.
Regardless of the economic downturn in Alberta, Edmonton has a strong market for starting new business.