Exporting and international activities

Cover of the SME Profile: Canadian Exporters
SME Profile: Canadian Exporters (January 2015)

This report highlights the distinguishing features of SME exporters compared to non-exporters by examining differences in business and owner characteristics, financing characteristics, international business activities, revenue growth and levels of innovation.

Cover of the SME Profile: Interprovincial Trade
SME Profile: Interprovincial Trade

This profile investigates the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that sell their goods and/or services to other provinces (internal traders) and examines their distinguishing characteristics compared with SMEs that do not sell to other provinces.

Cover of the Canadian Small Business Exporters publication
Canadian Small Business Exporters
(Special edition of Key Small Business Statistics)

This publication presents information on exports by firms size, by industry, destination, province and commodity exported. It includes a profile of SME exporters including their financing activities and perceived obstacles to growth. It also looks at SME Involvement in Global Value Chains.

Cover of the Canadian SME Exporters report
ARCHIVED - Canadian SME Exporters

This report was undertaken to document the profiles of Canadian SME exporters and to gain a better understanding of the processes of internationalization adopted by SMEs.

Cover of the Financing Canadian SME Exporters report
ARCHIVED - Financing Canadian SME Exporters

This report was conducted to examine the extent to which Canadian SME exporter firms face difficulty in accessing debt financing from commercial lenders compared to non-exporters.

Cover of the Financing Profile: Exporter SMEs report
ARCHIVED - Financing Profile: Exporters SMEs

This profile presents a profile of Canadian SMEs that exported in 2004. The profile examines the distinguishing features of SME exporters and their financing needs, and provides insight into the differences between exporters in the manufacturing and service sectors.

Cover of the Exporting Matters: Job Creation Performance of Exporters, 1993-2002 report
ARCHIVED - Exporting Matters: Job Creation Performance of Exporters, 1993-2002

As part of the multi-year Growth Firms Project, the Small Business Branch investigated the job creation performance of exporters in the most recent phase of work.

Cover of the Small Business Exporters: A Canadian Profile report
ARCHIVED - Small Business Exporters: A Canadian Profile

This paper uses the Exporter Registry data to construct a profile of small business exporters that establishes new baseline information and provides a basis for policy development to better foster small business exports.

Cover of the More Important than was Thought: A Profile of Canadian Small Business Exporters report
ARCHIVED - More Important Than Was Thought: A Profile of Canadian Small Business Exporters

This paper, which is a summary of a longer document, also provides information on exports by size of firm across provinces, industry and export destination, as well as a comparison with U.S. exporting firms.

Fast facts

There are 1.2 million SMEs in Canada that have employees.

Source: Key Small Business Statistics

98 percent of businesses in Canada have fewer than 100 employees.

Source: Key Small Business Statistics

Over 78,000 new SMEs were created in Canada in 2013.

Source: Key Small Business Statistics

Over 10 million people in Canada work for a SMEs.

Source: Key Small Business Statistics

22 percent of SMEs operate in goods-producing industries. 78 percent of SMEs operate in service industries.

Source: Key Small Business Statistics

11.8 percent of SMEs exported goods and services in 2014

Source: Key Small Business Statistics

SMEs were responsible for $106 billion (25 percent) of Canada's total value, of exports in 2013.

Source: Key Small Business Statistics

Export intensity (percentage of revenues derived from exporting) falls as firms get larger.

Source: Canadian Small Business Exporters, Special Edition: Key Small Business Statistics

SMEs contribute 39 percent to Canada's GDP in 2008.

Source: Statistics Canada

Since 2011, more SMEs are died than born every year.

Source: Statistics Canada, Entrepreneurship Indicators Database.

The likelihood of exporting increases with business size.

Source: 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

48 percent of all SME owners are between 50 and 64 years old.

Source: 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

15.7 percent of SMEs were majority-female owned in 2014.

Source: 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

24 percent of SME owners have a bachelor's degree and 14 percent have a master's or above.

Source: 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

42 percent of SMEs innovated between 2012 and 2014.

Source: 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

21 percent of SMEs held some type of intellectual property in 2014.

Source: 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

Only 51 percent of SMEs requested external financing in 2014.

Source: 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

About 86 percent of the amount of debt financing requested by SMEs was authorized.

Source: 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

26 percent of SMEs imported goods or services in 2011.

Source: 2011 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

3.2 percent of SMEs outsourced business activities from outside of Canada.

Source: 2011 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

3 hours per month is the average time spent by an SME complying with government regulations.

Source: SME Regulatory Compliance Cost Report–September 2013

The cost of regulatory compliance fell from 0.81 percent of SME GDP in 2005 to 0.75 percent in 2011.

Source: SME Regulatory Compliance Cost Report–September 2013

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