2019 Canadian Export Challenge Cohort Insights

Entrepreneur Profile

  • The cohort is composed of CEOs, Co-Founders, Executive Directors and COOs of their companies
  • 58 Percent are women,  27 percent are newcomers, 9 percent are Youth (under 24), 8 percent have disabilities, 6 percent are LGBTQ, 4 percent are Indigenous, Inuit or Métis

Company Profile

Annual Sales:

  •  38 percent have no current sales
  • 51 percent have less than $1M
  • 9 percent have between $1M – $10M
  •  1 percent have more than $10M

Top industries:

  • Medical Technology and Devices
  • Financial Services
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Consulting Services
  • Knowledge-Based Industry
  • Food and Beverage
  • Clothing and Textiles
  • Construction and Infrastructure
  • Consumer Goods
  • Education
  • Biotechnology
  • Services – Non-Industrial*55 percent are B2B and 32% are B2C

Export Status:

  • 36 percent sell goods, services, or make investments outside of Canada
  • 35 percent plan to sell goods, services, or make investments outside of Canada
  • 15 percent have an interest in selling goods or services outside of Canada, but do not yet have a timeframe

Employees:

  • 13 percent have no employees (211 companies)
  • 76 percent have 1 to 9 employees  (1,209 companies)
  • 10 percent have 10 to 49 employees (161 companies)
  • 2 percent have 50 and more employees (26 companies)

Global Ambitions

Top Export Destinations:

  • US (60 percent)
  • China (6 percent)
  • UK (6 percent)
  • India (2 percent)
  • Australia (2 percent)
  • France (2 percent)
  • Germany (2 percent)

Top Challenges in going global (in order of priority):

  • Accessing growth financing
  • Creating an international strategy
  • Finding customers
  • Setting up international operations
  • Accessing R&D Capital
  • Creating contracts
  • Maintaining cash flow
  • Assessing customs requirements
  • Protecting IP

Topics of Interest

  • Access to capital
  • Accessing domestic and overseas resources
  • Commercialization
  • Creating international partnerships
  • Creating value and managing risk through international partnerships and exports
  • Export 101
  • Finding customers
  • Funding
  • Fundraising
  • Global Expansion
  • Government support to engage export market
  • Investment
  • Marketing
  • Networking and Funding
  • Protecting IP
  • Scaling up
  • Setting up international distribution channels
  • Trade agreements, tax implications