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SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Canada

image of SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Canada

SMEs and entrepreneurs make an important contribution to the Canadian economy. SMEs account for 60% of total employment, and Canada performs very well across many measures of small business generation, growth and innovation. However, further increases in productivity in medium-sized firms, an increase in SME exports, a greater business start-up rate and an increased number of high-growth firms could bring substantial benefits for the national economy.

This report identifies several areas where new policy approaches could help achieve these objectives. Framework conditions for small business could be improved in business taxation, public procurement, access to financing and the commercialisation of research. New and extended programmes could be introduced in domains including entrepreneurship education, management advice and consultancy, and workforce skills development. A major effort is recommended to prioritise women's entrepreneurship, including by supporting social enterprises, and federal support could be offered to support the exchange of information on best practice SME regulations and programmes among provinces and territories. All this could be brought together and co-ordinated through the umbrella of a national strategy and a lead agency for SME and entrepreneurship policy.

 

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Women's entrepreneurship in Canada

This chapter assesses policies to promote entrepreneurship and small business development by women in Canada. It presents evidence on gender differences in the scale and nature of business start-up and small business ownership and on differences in previous management experience, access to markets and access to finance. It also assesses existing policies aimed at overcoming barriers to women’s entrepreneurship. It covers the measures to improve the institutional context, enterprise financing, business internationalisation, supplier diversity, and management skills, to offer awareness-raising for entrepreneurship as an option for women and to offer mentoring for women entrepreneurs. It also examines the co-ordination of women’s enterprise support policies across different providers. The chapter points both to significant gender gaps in entrepreneurship activity in Canada and active federal government policies to reduce the gaps.

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