Your Northern Entrepreneurs: 10 Canadian Startup Facts

Canada is home to many first-rate entrepreneurial ideas. Poutine, a treasured classic, is a culinary masterpiece of cheese curds, gravy and fries. The snowmobile, snowblower and ice hockey are clearly Canadian inventions born out of necessity. The most recent cult favourite is the Canada Goose jacket which helps you stay warm in below zero temperatures while simultaneously remaining in fashion. These ideas are all uniquely Canadian, but the majority of ideas are not so obviously Canadian. What then makes entrepreneurship in Canada distinctly, well… Canadian?

To help answer this question I am looking at Canadian Entrepreneurship, an article, which lists 10 stats about entrepreneurs in Canada that may help explain our northern entrepreneurial landscape.

1) Every year in Canada, an average of 130,000 new small businesses are created – but only 35% survive five years.

2) Small businesses account for between 60 and 80% of all jobs created in Canada.

3) Ninety-eight percent of Canadian businesses have fewer than 100 employees, 55% have fewer than four, and 75% of all businesses in the country have fewer than 10.

4) On average, small businesses with fewer than 100 employees contribute about 51% to Canada’s GDP.

5) There are over 900,000 female entrepreneurs in Canada, making up a larger share of the self-employed than in any other country.

6) Over 40% of Canadians say that starting a company or being self-employed would be the most rewarding career path for them.

7) Almost 60% of all small business owners in Canada consider themselves “lifestyle entrepreneurs” who use their business as a means of generating income to support other commitments or lifestyle choices.

8) The number of immigrants active in starting or running a company is some 60% higher compared to first- or second-generation Canadians.

9) Canadian small and medium enterprises invest in Research and Development (R&D) proportionally on a greater scale than big corporations.

10) Studies show that entrepreneurs with education in entrepreneurship, or previous entrepreneurship experience, have an 80–90% chance of success with a new business.

So now you have a better understanding of the entrepreneurial landscape in Canada. What does a Canadian entrepreneur look like to you? Because, let’s be honest, when I picture an entrepreneur, I see jeans and a plaid shirt. And if the founder started apologizing, you would definitely know that I was envisioning a Canadian entrepreneur.


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Allison Rhodes | Director of Creative Innovation at KahootsHQ

Allison is a graduate of the Entrepreneurship program at Ryerson University, is a Masters of Digital Media candidate and one of the co-founders of KahootsHQ.com.

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