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Fast facts

There are 1.23 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

Between 2013 and 2017, on average, 96,580 businesses were created every year and 90,600 disappeared.
Source: Key Small Business Statistics

Private sector SMEs employ over 10 million people in Canada.
Source: Key Small Business Statistics

21 percent of SMEs operate in goods-producing industries and 79 percent of SMEs operate in service industries.
Source: Key Small Business Statistics

SMEs were responsible for $216 billion (41 percent) of Canada's total value of goods exports in 2019.
Source: Key Small Business Statistics

3.2 percent of firms with 10 employees or more were high-growth firms in 2017.
Source: Key Small Business Statistics

SMEs contributed 55 percent of Canada's GDP in 2016.
Source: Key Small Business Statistics

11.7 percent of SMEs exported goods and services in 2017.
Source: 2017 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

The likelihood of exporting increases with business size.
Source: 2017 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

47 percent of all SME owners are between 50 and 64 years old.
Source: 2017 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

15.6 percent of SMEs were majority-female owned in 2017.
Source: 2017 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

26 percent of SMEs are operated by individuals with a bachelor's degree, while 15 percent are operated by individuals with a master's degree or above.
Source: 2017 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

31 percent of SMEs innovated between 2015 and 2017.
Source: 2017 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

27 percent of SMEs held intellectual property in 2017.
Source: 2017 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

47 percent of SMEs requested external financing in 2017.
Source: 2017 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

93 percent of the amount of debt financing requested by SMEs was authorized.
Source: 2017 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises

4 percent of SMEs Imported services from outside Canada.
Source: 2017 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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