British Columbia proactively supports and encourages entrepreneurship, and figures from BC Stats, the central statistical agency for the province, show that, as of 2014, there were over 380,000 small businesses in British Columbia.

And the owners of these small businesses are not only the most confident in Canada, according to a new report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), they are also looking to hire.

A CFIB monthly report showed that, in June, 29 percent of small business owners in British Columbia said they have plans to increase the number of people they employ full-time within the next three months – a four percent increase from May.

“After a year lingering in second, third or fourth place, our province’s entrepreneurs have reclaimed the bragging rights as the most confident in Canada,” said CFIB BC Economist Aaron Aerts.

People hunting for jobs should keep an eye on the classified adverts over the next few weeks, he added.

Health and education services was first when it comes to individual sectors, followed by finance, insurance and real estate, then natural resources.

British Columbia edged out Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to take top spot in the CFIB business confidence index, where an index of above 50 means owners expecting the performance of their business to be stronger over the next year outnumber those expecting it to be weaker.

Alberta was bottom of the index, scoring 42.5 out of 100, with British Columbia scoring 69.3, ahead of Prince Edward Island with 68, New Brunswick with 64.9 and Nova Scotia with 61.5.

The biggest obstacles to confidence among entrepreneurs was weak demand in domestic markets and a shortage of skilled workers, according to the report. The government of British Columbia has looked to address the latter issue with the BC Jobs Plan, its plan to keep the province’s economy diverse, strong and growing by supporting its employers, which was launched in September 2011.

Small business owners who are looking to gain an edge can do so by enrolling in the University Canada West (UCW) master of business administration (MBA) program, which is designed to evolve student entrepreneurship into graduate employability.

UCW MBA students receive business education, corporate training and executive training, giving them the knowledge and skills required to build successful careers in Canada and make an effective contribution to the economy.