Small business statistics Canada showed that in 2018 there were 1,079,000 self-employed women in Canada, accounting for 37% of all self-employed people. Almost 60% of those were in unincorporated businesses with no employees. There were 1,781,600 self-employed men and a much smaller percentage of these (37%) were unincorporated and had no employees.
The number of Canadian women entrepreneurs keeps growing and an interesting collection of statistics shows some of the differences between men and women who run their own businesses.
- On average women business owners are younger and have fewer years of management or ownership experience when compared with male business owners.
- Women mostly choose to start and run small business in the retail and service sectors and they are more likely to be solo entrepreneurs.
- Women do not make as much money as men entrepreneurs but the gap is closing, they generally make 58% less than men operating their own businesses.
From the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Canada Report on Women's Entrepreneurship:
- In Canada nearly 85% of women surveyed said they were interested in starting a business. Most are highly educated with college diplomas or university degrees.
- 13.3% of women were involved with newer businesses and 10% in established businesses (operating for more than 3.5 years). For men the figures showed 20.3% and 7.1%.
- Canadian women rank 1st for involvement in newer businesses, ahead of the UK, USA and other innovation-based economies. They were 6th for established businesses.
- 54% of new female businesses were in the services sector followed by business services at 28.2%.
- Female business owners are less likely to engage in overseas trade than male owners. For businesses with 25% or more customers outside Canada 31.7% were run by women compared to 37% by men.
- For businesses engaged in innovation 35.9% were owned by women, 44% by men.
- The gap in expectations for job creation is now not as wide as it was in previous years and will be roughly the same for the next five years. However the expectations for job growth is higher for male owned companies 35.6% compared to 21.4% for female owned companies.
Reasons why women start their own businesses: (Paul Lima Globeandmail.com)
- A flexible work schedule is a great motivator but more so for women, 63% compared to 51% for men.
- 36% of men who start businesses do so to get wealthy compared to only 23% of women.
- Entrepreneurs who are driven to start a business doing something that they love is 69% for women and 64% for men.
- Women are less likely than men to start a business because they want to be their own boss, and are more likely to employ a spouse or child in their business.
- An almost equal number of male and female entrepreneurs listed their three main challenges to starting a business as finding clients, keeping a steady workload and working long hours.