Canada’s Small and Medium-Sized Business Owners: Diverse Society in a Microcosm

By Sean Stanleigh, The Globe and Mail

TD Economics has released its annual report on Canada’s small and medium-sized business owners, Diverse Society in a Microcosm. Here’s a snapshot of some of the key findings:

  • In 2007, 45 per cent of owners were 50 to 64 years of age, and another 13 per cent were over 65. From 2007 to 2012, and given recent population trends, the estimation is 29 per cent of entrepreneurs will retire by 2020.
  • About 47 per cent of small businesses are owned or partly owned by women, though wholly owned is only 16 per cent. These figures, however, are on an upward swing.
  • Entrepreneurs under 30 tend to be more involved in knowledge-based industries. They are likely better able to exploit technology in a business setting.
  • Visible minorities with majority stakes represent about 10 per cent of small businesses, which is a small proportion relative to the overall population. But their share is expected to increase as aging demographics kick in and immigration numbers rise.
  • British Columbia has the highest startup activity in Canada, with Alberta a close second. The two provinces also have the greatest percentage of businesses with five employees or less.
  • Export-based economies and trade links dependent on the United States led to Ontario and Quebec getting hardest hit by the economic downturn.
  • That said, exporters are, on average, more innovative, spending a larger proportion of their their budgets on R&D. They also have longevity: 75 per cent have been in business for more than six years.

Read the Full Report: Canada’s Small and Medium-Sized Business Owners: Diverse Society in a Microcosm

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