SMEs are the engine of Canada’s economy and it is from within their ranks that our next global champions will emerge. But they experience challenges that pose unique threats to companies of their size seeking to reach the next stage of growth. These risks include financing and skills gaps, global competition, talent shortages, lack of access to international markets, and more. With SMEs providing the majority of our jobs and generating important innovations, resolving these challenges for Canada’s SMEs is absolutely crucial to our success in the future economy.
This Spotlight digs into the challenges our SMEs face while seeking to grow and the possible solutions to overcome them.
Key Takeaways & Calls to Action
- The large majority of Canadian companies are small and medium-sized enterprises. They create good jobs – 7 out of 10 in the private sector – and help support communities and families right across this country. Canada’s next big success stories will emerge from within their ranks.
- Canada’s SMEs face both a funding and a skills gap in the growth stage, and they must be supported in overcoming both in order to scale and compete successfully, nationally and internationally.
- SMEs should transition from a build-and-sell mindset to a build-and-grow mindset. They must think global from the start, aim to export, and must pay particular attention to the high-growth markets of the future.
- While Canada does have a good support system for SMEs, more targeted and collaborative government and competitive support for Canadian exporters would help to level the playing field in global markets.