Have you ever been told “hard work will get you where you want to be”?
Anyone who belongs to an equity seeking group knows this isn’t true.
Hard work is not enough to thrive in today’s society. Systems of power and oppression get in the way from equal prosperity. The stereotypical image of the “renegade entrepreneur” who sets up shop in their garage and becomes a multi-millionaire in short order is a myth.
Many entrepreneurs, especially women, BIPOC, and other marginalized individuals have a small pot of savings they stretch thin to make it work.
But there is a solution available. Universal basic income (UBI) aims to address this reality.
For entrepreneurs like you, UBI could make it possible to start the business you’ve always wanted to and dreamed of.
It could make it possible to start your business without draining your RRSP account.
It could make it possible to avoid bank loans and friends and family rounds.
It could make a lot more possible.
If Canada adopted a UBI, women would be better off.
“Universal basic income (UBI) is a government program in which every adult citizen receives a set amount of money on a regular basis. The goals of a basic income system are to alleviate poverty and replace other need-based social programs that potentially require greater bureaucratic involvement.”1
How much each person receives under a UBI plan depends on a number of factors such as GDP, inflation, and employment income. Beyond entrepreneurship, UBI can positively impact many individuals struggling with mental health, lack of access to funding, or hard economic times.
As expert Evelyn Forget points out, “[basic income] is a promise that no matter what happens in your life, no matter what happens to the economy or to society, everyone will have access with enough money to live a dignified life.2
It may sound like a lot of money up front – but the rewards from an economic and social perspective outweigh the costs.
A recent report by the Parliamentary Budget Office stated that UBI could cost Canada between $92B and $192B3. The $100B variance in the program cost would be determined on the type of universal income program. If everyone is given a standard income the cost of implementation would be closer to $192B whereas, if Canada implemented a needs based program, the cost figure would be closer to $92B.
While this may sound like a lot – a huge benefit of UBI is that it replaces a large number of existing social programs we currently fund4. Whereas the implementation of UBI in Canada could grow the economy, become a self-sustained program and generate revenues totalling $109B in just five years.5
UBI would give women the financial security to exercise their full potential.
This means women, who often are more fearful of leaving their jobs, who have more care responsibilities and are paid unequally, would be able to access a stable income without worry. It gives women entrepreneurs one less thing to worry about, and the support they need to build their businesses. A strong and thriving women’s entrepreneurship sector has the capability to radically change the world as we know it.
UBI is a revolutionary idea that could set the stage for change.
1 Investopedia. Universal Basic Income. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/basic-income.asp
2 Forget, E. (2020). The basics of basic income. Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network. Retrieved from: https://plan.ca/2020/10/26/the-basics-of-basic-income-dr-evelyn-forget/
3 MacQueen, A. (2020). Explainer: what is universal basic income?. Money Sense. Retrieved from: https://www.moneysense.ca/financial-literacy/explainer-what-is-universal-basic-income/
4 Forget, E. (2021). Evelyn Forget: It’s time to transform our society with a basic income. Straight. Retrieved from: https://www.straight.com/news/evelyn-forget-its-time-to-transform-our-society-with-a-basic-income
5 Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis. (2021). Basic income can speed up Canada’s recovery and grow the economy. Retrieved from: https://www.ubiworks.ca/groweconomy