10 facts you didn’t know about the BDC Small Business Week

Dorothy Chong | October 17, 2017
Every October for the past 38 years, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has been hosting the annual Small Business Week (SBW), a nationwide event celebrating entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship and their contributions to Canadian society and economy. “Future-proof Your Business” is this year’s theme, focussing on emerging trends that will shape and grow Canadian companies in the future. The organizers are expecting participation from 10,000 entrepreneurs and more than 300 events are planned across the country.

“We are at a turning point. New digital technologies and an evolving talent marketplace are reshaping the reality of Canadian entrepreneurs. Those who spot the next wave of disruption and take advantage of it will be tomorrow’s leaders.”

-Michael Denham, President and CEO, BDC

As our ode to all the entrepreneurs in the Great White North, here are 10 interesting and impressive facts you need to know about small businesses in Canada.  

1. O Canada!

According to the 2016 country profile created by World Bank, Canada ranks as the third best place to start a business in the world. On average, it takes just one procedure and five days to register a firm.

2. It’s a “$5,000 question”

According to an Intuit Canada study on entrepreneurship, more than half of all small business in Canada managed to get off the ground with less than $5,000! Fact No. 1, proven.

3. Small businesses are the nation’s backbone

Making up almost 98% of Canada’s employer businesses, small businesses also contribute an average of 30% to the gross domestic product (GDP) of their province and responsible for over 25% of the nation’s overall export value, with 130,000 new businesses opening their doors every year!

4. Ontario and Quebec for the win!

Over half of Canada’s small employer businesses are based in Ontario and Quebec. The Atlantic Provinces account for 7% of all Canadian enterprises, while the western provinces account for 36%, with the Northwest territories, Yukon and Nunavut making up the rest.
  [caption id="attachment_27352" align="alignleft" width="300"] Learn how it saved one company $6,000 with accurate data[/caption]

5. Businesses heart technology

“Canada ranks eighth out of 15 peer countries for information and communication technology (ICT) investments, as a percentage of non-residential gross fixed capital formation,” according to a 2014 report by the Conference Board of Canada. In the same year, it was found 50% of Canadian SMEs were using cloud technology.

6. Immigrant entrepreneurship thrives in Canada

According to a joint study by the University of British Columbia, Statistics Canada, and the Institute for Research in Public Policy and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, immigrants are more likely to own a business than Canadian-born citizens. Think the Aquilini, Saputo and Azrieli families, whose empires total a neat $11 billion.

7. Women entrepreneurs and workers are celebrated and promoted

Canada is a great country for women to run their own businesses, with almost 50% of small businesses under some degree of female ownership. According to a study by the CIBC, while more start-ups are initiated by men (70%), female-led companies tend to stay in business longer.

8. Business owners are working hard

In a survey by the Alternative Board, respondents were asked to track their weekly hours. The data showed:
  • 19% work over 60 hours per week
  • 30% work 50-59 hours per week
  • 33% work 40-49 hours per week
  • 14% work 30-39 hours per week
  • 5% work less than 30 hours per week
That means more than 80% of the respondents were clocking in at least 40 hours per week, nearly 120 minutes more than the average workweek.

9. Business owners are educated

More than 60% of midsize business owners have a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

10. It’s all in the family

Family-owned businesses make up 80% of all businesses in Canada. And they tend to have a better sense of culture, values and longevity.
  • Family-owned businesses account for 67% of Canada’s GDP per year.
  • 88% of Canadian family businesses have a conflict-resolution strategy in place.
  • 95% of Canadian family businesses have a succession plan in place.

Will your business be part of the BDC Small Business Week? Tell us your experience! One thing is for sure, great things happen when great minds come together! You can also check out the interactive map on BDC’s site for the latest in your community.

Not sure how you’re spending the hours at work? Track your time with TSheets, free for 14 days.

A little about Dorothy Chong

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