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Infographic: Canadians Are Highly Entrepreneurial

Canadians are highly entrepreneurial, indeed! The infographic we created for your viewing pleasure highlights some pretty impressive findings.

Statistics collected from numerous sources in the most recent studies available show that Canadians are enterprising at a rapid pace. Over 90 percent of all businesses in Canada are classified as small to medium sized employing half of the total labour force in the private sector.

This trend is expected to continue as cost cutting remains a top priority for big business, technology empowers small business owners to reach customers more easily, and Canadians in general desire greater freedom in their daily work lives.

We are thrilled to share this information and hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we did learning about it!

Please share this information with others if you found it helpful and interesting!

Statistics and sources in writing:

Industry Canada Classification of Business Size:

1 to 4 employees: Micro-enterprise
5 to 100: Small business
101 to 499: Medium-sized business
500–plus: Large business

80% of startup owners in Canada left the cubicle in 2012 for self employment, a much higher figure than those seen during the jobless recoveries of the 1990s and 2000s. As of 2012, more than 500,000 Canadians were in the process of setting up their own companies.

In 2008, six in ten (60%) of all self-employed Canadians reported that they work from home.

Small Business Owners Online

Only 46% of small businesses in Canada have websites vs. 72% globally.


The rise of the “Seniorpreneurs’: Canadians over the age of 50 are the fastest growing segment of the startup population, owning nearly 30% of new businesses, more than double their share of startup activity at points in the 1990s.

Canadians in their twenties (GenY’s) have increased their startup ownership by nearly 10 per cent with modern business icons like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Steve Jobs of Apple inspiring this generation to pursue entrepreneurship.

In 2010, self-employment among women grew by 23% between 2001 and 2011, versus 14% for men. But, as of 2011, women still accounted for only about one-third of the self-employed workforce in Canada.

Business Survival Rates

Industry Canada says that only 51 percent of businesses will make it to their fifth birthday.

Rising Education

The  newly  self-employed  tend  to  be  more  educated. Almost 1 in 3 of those who opened up shop in the past  two  years  have  a  university  degree. That is  double the rate seen in 1990 and a full five points above the rate seen for the working population as a whole. At the same time,  the  share  of  start-ups  with  less  than  high  school education fell from 33% in 1990 to close to 10% currently in 2012.

Succession Planning

According to TD Waterhouse’s October 2011 Business Succession Poll of 609 small business owners, just 24% of those surveyed said they had a succession plan worked out for retirement. Of those polled, whether they had a formal plan or not, 23% said they would simply close their business when it came time to retire; 20 per cent planned to sell their business to a third party; 18 per cent expected to transfer it to a family member; 12 per cent said they’d sell to a partner or employee; and 27 per cent said they were not yet sure what they’d do with their business.


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