Canadian Small Business Stats That May Surprise You

Karina Keith

Powerful small business tidbits to discover Small businesses are doing big things. And the stats about small business are impressive. It’s surprising how much small businesses …

Powerful small business tidbits to discover

small-business-statistics-CanadaSmall businesses are doing big things. And the stats about small business are impressive. It’s surprising how much small businesses impact the economy. To celebrate the Canadian Small Business week in October, we compiled some interesting stats on small business, which according to Industry Canada, are businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Key Small Business Statistics – June 2016

In this Industry Canada key highlights report, we learn:

  • In 2015, 70% (or 8.2 million) of the labour force was employed by small businesses, mid-sized businesses accounted for 20% (or 2.3 million), large businesses accounted for 9.7 percent (1.1 million).
  • In 2014, most small business owners were in the 50–64 years of age group (47% for small businesses and 51% for medium-sized businesses).
  • In 2014, small businesses contributed 30% to the GDP of their province.
  • The highest concentration of high growth firms between 2011-2013 was: construction, admin support, and transportation/warehousing.
  • More than 60% of medium-sized business owners have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, while 38% for small businesses do.

More stats are available on Industry Canada Key Small Business Report

Small business is big business in Canada

According to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), there are 1.2 million businesses in Canada. Of those, 97.9% have fewer than 100 employees which makes them a small business.

In their infographic (also according to Industry Canada), business size is defined as:

  • Micro: 1-4 employees
  • Small: 5-99 employees
  • Medium: 100-499 employees
  • Large: 500+  employees

Women lead one third of the small to medium-sized businesses, while men are 2.3% more likely to start a business. British Columbia is the most popular province to start a small business, while Ontario has the highest number of small business owners nationwide.

More stats are available in this BDC infographic.

10 Canadian entrepreneur facts

From the, we have the following Canadian stats:

  • An average of 130,000 new small businesses are created yearly – but only 35% survive 5 years.
  • 98% of Canadian businesses have fewer than 100 employees, 55% have fewer than four, and 75% of all businesses in the country have fewer than 10.
  • Small businesses account for between 60-80% of all jobs created in Canada.
  • On average, small businesses with fewer than 100 employees contribute about 51% to Canada’s GDP.
  • Studies show that entrepreneurs with education in entrepreneurship, or previous entrepreneurship experience, have an 80–90% chance of success 
with a new business.

There are lots more stats on this blog, click here to check it out.

21 Facts about Small Business That Will Help You Grow Your Small Business

While the following facts from are U.S. based, they are unique, and mighty interesting:

  • Approximately 60% of small businesses don’t put their phone number on their website.
  • Since 1996, small businesses have generated more than 65 percent of the new jobs in the U.S.
  • Facebook is the most common social medium, with 82 percent of small businesses registered.
  • Tuesday is the most productive work day.
  • Looking for that next big hit product? Study the Rubik’s Cube – it’s the best selling product of all time.
  • Immigrants make up 12.5% of small business owners.

There are over 20 stats worth checking out on this blog, some of them are unexpected!

Small businesses play an important role in the Canadian economy. There are some big numbers behind small businesses.

For more stats that may surprise you:

If you run a small business, what’s the biggest challenge you face? Thanks for reading don’t forget to share/tweet/like our blog just underneath this paragraph. And don’t forget, we’re always here to help with your change management needs.

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Karina Keith is a consultant with CornerStone Dynamics Inc. 'Katching up with Karina' blogs focus on the top web finds for the month. Aligning project goals along with truly understanding what motivates people to get their jobs done is what Karina does best.

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