Press release

January 25, 2017 – The Mindset Project released its survey results summary, Mindset: The Intersection of entrepreneurship and mental health today, revealing growing evidence that mental health issues may be the most significant risk to entrepreneurship in our region and beyond.

Mindset Project Founder, Michael DeVenney shared key results from the report, indicating that a cultural shift is critical to ensuring entrepreneurs are building healthy lives and businesses, and successfully contributing to our economy.

“We invest huge resources in new businesses and start-ups, yet the failure rate is incredibly high,” said DeVenney. “The environment we have created – one of extreme pressure to thrive under exacting circumstances – challenges the mental wellbeing of the entrepreneur and makes it almost impossible for them to succeed.”

The Mindset Project summary presents the findings of a privately funded survey designed to identify the variables associated with the working environment of entrepreneurs as they relate to both mental health and business success.

Entrepreneurship is a key driver of Atlantic Canada’s economy. More than 98 per cent of businesses in the region are small and medium sized enterprises, providing a significant contribution to job creation and overall prosperity.

Despite significant investment in entrepreneurship from both the public and private sectors, the growth rate for entrepreneurial companies is shrinking and new ventures face a failure rate of 50 per cent in the first five years.

The Mindset Project summary findings indicate that the stresses of starting and growing a company put an unsustainable strain on entrepreneurs, leading to poor decision making and compromised mental health.

Results from the survey paint a dire picture of the current entrepreneurial landscape. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, eight per cent of Canadians will experience major depression at some point in their lifetime. Mindset Project data shows that, 16.7 per cent of Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs are diagnosed with clinical depression in their lives.

The Mindset Project is focused on disrupting the current environment to encourage the development and health of the person at the centre of the business.

For more results and information, view

Media contact: Michael DeVenney

President, Bluteau DeVenney and Company; Founder, The Mindset Project

Phone: 912-425-0467



The Mindset Project is a Halifax-based thought initiative concerned with the ongoing risk of mental health among Canadian entrepreneurs. Through a self-funded survey, the Mindset Project presents seminal findings on the motivations and stresses of Canadian entrepreneurs and the implications for business growth.

Ongoing publication of insights and findings will come available on The Mindset Project over the coming months, including a full-report over the spring of 2017. Sign-up at The Mindset Project for important updates and insights and don’t forget to subscribe to The Headspace blog, where mindset meets entrepreneurship.