October 24, 2014 12:00 am
Updated: October 24, 2014 12:03 am

Edmonton one of Canada’s hottest places to start and grow a business: report

Edmonton's River Valley.

Global News

EDMONTON — From coming up with a new, innovative idea, to getting the finances and employees in place, starting a new business can be extremely difficult. But as it turns out, more and more new businesses are choosing to get started in the Capital Region.

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The Edmonton periphery, which includes Strathcona County, St. Albert, Parkland, Spruce Grove and Leduc, has been ranked the second-highest entrepreneurial city in Canada this year by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“We have a community that’s growing, a city that’s booming quite well economically. I think that encourages people to take that risk because they see there’s lots of success going on,” said Tiffany Linke-Boyko, COO of Startup Edmonton, a local non-profit company that helps entrepreneurs transform ideas into companies.

“I also just think the more that people see people being entrepreneurial and building companies, it inspires others to think, ‘Oh, I can do that too.'”

READ MORE: 40% of all new jobs in Canada last year generated in Edmonton

James Neufeld launched his company, SAM, in Edmonton last October.

“We’ve built a tool that helps newsrooms and journalists search, curate and tell stories using social media and user-generated content,” Neufeld explained.

The company has since gone international, with some of its biggest clients in major hubs like New York and London. But much of the company’s success wouldn’t have been possible without the help Neufeld received in Edmonton when he was getting started.

“In the early days we actually spent a lot of time by ourselves in the basement in isolation and it was incredibly difficult. It’s very hard to make progress,” he said.

“The Edmonton entrepreneurial community really stepped up.”

From meeting investors, developers and designers, the networking opportunities provided by Startup Edmonton were a huge help in launching SAM. And even after exploring options in London, San Francisco and New York, Neufeld has chosen to keep his company based in Edmonton.

“The cost of the city, the infrastructure is lower. If you’re trying to build a tech team in New York or London, the salaries are astronomical. And they’re good talent, but that’s just very difficult for you as a start up to actually offer those kinds of wages right out of the gate,” Neufeld explained.

“And actually, and I don’t want to publicize this too much because more people will come poaching talent in Edmonton, but Edmonton has a fantastic developer scene.”

READ MORE: Alberta is hogging all the good new jobs

When it comes to the places where business owners are most upbeat, Edmonton comes in at number four, according to the CFIB.

More information on Canada’s top places to start and grow businesses can be read in the CFIB report below.

Canada’s top places to start and grow businesses in 2014

With files from Shallima Maharaj, Global News.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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