Startup Canada releases 2018 Canadian Entrepreneurship Census Report

OTTAWA, CANADA – JUNE 25, 2019 – Today, Startup Canada released the 2018 Canadian Entrepreneurship Census Report which examines entrepreneur needs and wants as they start and scale; challenges that prevent entrepreneurs from reaching full growth potential; and, opportunities for the national support ecosystem to enhance initiatives that amplify entrepreneur-driven economic impact. 

There are 3.5 million entrepreneurs in Canada representing diverse entrepreneur profiles. A fulsome understanding of the state of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship is required to support the success and scalability of startups and small businesses across Canada. In January 2019, a survey was distributed to Startup Canada’s network of over 250,000 entrepreneurs and enterprise influencers in order to establish baseline data to measure the entrepreneurship community. 

Based on the results of the Census, Canada’s entrepreneurship community is being progressively shaped by women, Indigenous persons, new Canadians, and visible minorities, in addition to enterprises and entrepreneurs with export ambitions. As seen in reports from previous years, access to capital, sales, and cash flow remain top barriers for all entrepreneurs. Despite these challenges, entrepreneurs maintain high revenue and job creation projections and have rising intentions to pursue export markets.

“Canadian entrepreneurs are globally influential with one of the most active and healthiest ecosystems in the world. By analyzing the needs of Canada’s diverse entrepreneurship community, we can reduce barriers to starting and scaling up in Canada through high quality programming, collaboration, advocacy and recognition. The entire Canadian business ecosystem can leverage this timely report as a valuable and reliable market research tool to learn our findings on the latest trends and statistics affecting every entrepreneur  in Canada.” – Anastasia Valentine, Chief Executive Director, Startup Canada

“I started my career in startups over a decade ago, and have been part of the Startup Canada community since it launched. Now that I’m running my own company, Willful, I’ve experienced many of the challenges highlighted in this Census report, specifically access to capital. As entrepreneurs, we can all support each other by sharing resources and creative way to find funding – from local angel groups, to government grants, to seed-stage investment firms. Hopefully the next report shows that the barriers to funding have been lowered, especially for female founders and other underrepresented groups.” – Erin Bury, Co-founder & CEO, Willful

“Small businesses drive economic growth, contributing to a country’s exports, innovative advancements and domestic product. According to the Census report, 40 per cent of Canadian entrepreneurs sell globally and an additional 40 per cent plan to pursue export markets in the future. At UPS, we want to help that number grow and encourage Canadian small business owners to compete at the international level, by providing them with cross-border support and access to our global network.” – Paul Gaspar, Director of Small Business at UPS Canada

“Canada needs to broaden and diversify it’s export-base in order to enhance GDP production. Entrepreneurship requires both innovative products and innovative business models that when executed properly can create global impact with strong margins. The future of Canada’s economy is in digital industries and Startup Canada provides this emerging industry a voice. The majority of Canadian entrepreneurs aren’t thinking globally. As above, they need to. We need to help Canadian Entrepreneurs think about impact beyond our borders.” – Michael Litt, CEO, Vidyard

“Small business and entrepreneurship are integral to Canada’s economy, driving job creation, supporting innovation, and fueling healthy communities. As trusted advisors to business owners across Canada, Scotiabank understands the unique challenges and opportunities entrepreneurs face. That’s why we continue to invest in their growth and create programmes and new banking solutions to address funding barriers, increase diversity, and enable access to new markets that will help them prosper. It is a priority for us as a Bank and for the communities we serve every day.”  – Jason Charlebois, Senior Vice President, Small Business Banking, Scotiabank

“My role as a Community Leader is to create a place in the ecosystem for entrepreneurs to connect, learn, network, launch, and scale their business while gaining access to mentoring, funding opportunities, partner perks, and industry events. My vision is to see greater streams of funding in 2019 for all businesses. It’s not only about tech; I’ve seen a vast offering from products to services that all fill a need. Access to funding during the first five years of a business is a gap in the ecosystem we need to address.”  – Melloney Campbell, Startup Community Lead for Peel Region

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs are critical to Canada’s economy, contributing to job creation and helping to drive innovation. That’s why Mastercard continues to support these forward-thinkers. When you support small businesses and entrepreneurs, you support the economy as well as their ability to meet real needs and make a difference in their communities. – Sohil Tiwari, Senior Vice President, Market Development, Mastercard in Canada.


Startup Canada’s Census report offers vital information needed to help Canada’s entrepreneurial community continue to thrive – not only to provide insight in to the current operating environment, but also in identifying barriers and tension points that we – as the supporting ecosystem for entrepreneurs in Canada – need to work together to help overcome. Cash flow is a great example of this. Knowing this affects a majority of the sector, we must continue working with entrepreneurs to equip them with the tools and technologies needed to overcome this and operate with complete confidence. – Martin Fecko, Country Manager, Intuit Canada 

Startup Canada, alongside the federal and provincial governments, private sector partners, and the broader entrepreneur support ecosystem are continuously working to develop and enhance programming that supports entrepreneurs. The valuable insights extracted from the census report allow varying stakeholders to tailor programming and anticipate the needs of entrepreneurs into 2020. 

Download the report at today. Follow the online conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #EntrepreneurCensus, and by following @Startup_Canada on twitter.

For more information, to schedule interviews, please contact: 

Rachelle DeSorcy
Media Relations, Startup Canada
1-613-627-0787 ext 109

About Startup Canada
Startup Canada is Canada’s entrepreneurship organization. Startup Canada promotes and supports the success and growth of Canada’s 2.3 million entrepreneurs, with a mandate to foster economic growth, competitiveness, and prosperity through entrepreneurship. Since launching, Startup Canada’s programming has directly supported more than 200,000 entrepreneurs and 50 grassroots Startup Community organizations. Working with over 750 ecosystem partners, including accelerators, incubators, research parks, educational institutions, economic development agencies, associations, and government programs, Startup Canada serves entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, industries, and stages of development, with a network reflective of Canada’s diverse population. Learn more at