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.