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SME Research and Statistics

SME in Canada

  • Definition
    Small:
    1-99 employees;
    Medium:
    100‑499 employees;
    Large:
    500 employees and more;
  • Number of businesses with employees in 2019
    Small:
    1,200,571 (97.9%)
    Medium:
    22,905 (1.9%)
    Large:
    2,978 (0.2%)
    Total:
    1,226,454


    Source: Statistics Canada, Business Register, December 2019
  • Number of private sector employees in 2019
    Small:
    8,459,593 (68.8%)
    Medium:
    2,428,356 (19.4%)
    Large:
    1,415,550 (11.5%)
    Total:
    12,303,499


    Sources: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey (LFS); and calculations by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Debt financing requests by SMEs in 2017
    Request rate:
    25.6%
    Approval rate:
    86.6%


    Source:Survey on Financing and Growth of SMEs, 2017
  • Contribution to gross domestic product (GDP)

    Between 2011 and 2015, small businesses accounted for 40.6% of GDP, while medium-sized businesses accounted for 12.7%.

    Source: KSBS, November 2019

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