Small Business Stats: Ownership Based Upon Gender, Age, Experience and Education

By: Yasmin Ranade

July 17, 2016

Statistics Canada recently released findings+ from its 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises. The findings are interesting, particularly those related to business owner characteristics by gender, age, experience and education.

SME Ownership by Gender:7 percent are majority female owned; 19.7 percent are equal partnership, and 64.7 percent are majority male owned.

  • SME Female Ownership by Sector: SMEs owned by females are concentrated in the service sector, most commonly in information, administration, health care and recreation; and other services.
  • SME Ownership by Age: The highest percentage of SME owners is in the “50–64” years of age group (47.4 percent for small businesses and 51.0 percent for medium-sized businesses).
  • SME Ownership by Years of Experience Managing or Owning a Business:9 percent of small business owners have 10+ years of experience; 83.4 percent of medium-sized business owners have 10+ years of experience.
  • SME Ownership & Education: More than 60 percent of medium-sized business owners have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, compared with 38 percent of small business owners.

+Sources: Statistics Canada, Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises, 2014; and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada calculations.


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