Institution: The Centre for Innovation Studies (THECIS)
Survey Vendor: Elemental Data Collection Inc.
Funders: Listed alphabetically:Futurpreneur Canada; Government of Alberta; Government of Ontario; International Development Research Centre (IDRC)


Government of Alberta

Government of Nova Scotia

Government of Ontario

Government of Quebec

International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Ryerson University

Simon Fraser University/CPROST
Key Indicators
TEA: 13.0%
Total early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity: percentage of 18-64 population who are either a nascent entrepreneur or owner-manager of a new business
Established Business Ownership: 9.5%
Percentage of 18-64 population who are currently an owner-manager of an established business, i.e., owning and managing a running business that has paid salaries, wages, or any other payments to the owners for more than 42 months
Perceived Opportunities: 42%
Percentage of 18-64 population (individuals involved in any stage of entrepreneurial activity excluded) who see good opportunities to start a firm in the area where they live
Perceived Capabilities: 47%
Percentage of 18-64 population (individuals involved in any stage of entrepreneurial activity excluded) who believe they have the required skills and knowledge to start a business
Entrepreneurial Intention: 16.7%
Percentage of 18-64 population (individuals involved in any stage of entrepreneurial activity excluded) who are latent entrepreneurs and who intend to start a business within three years
Fear of Failure: 36%
Percentage of 18-64 population (individuals involved in any stage of entrepreneurial activity excluded) who indicate that fear of failure would prevent them from setting up a business

Vibrant entrepreneurship, with the highest rate of early stage entrepreneurship among the innovation driven economies.

Most recent data: 2015

The Canadian population offers a highly supportive culture for entrepreneurship; it is regarded as a good career choice. Successful entrepreneurs enjoy high status and Canadian media are seen to report fully on entrepreneurship.  Conviction that there is opportunity and that the skills and knowledge required are widely distributed leads to a low rate of Canadians inhibited by fear of failure.

In this climate, the TEA rate has grown to its present leadership position, with opportunity-driven entrepreneurial activity (those pursuing an opportunity) leading necessity-driven activity (those with no other option for work) by a ratio of 5:1. The rate among women has risen from half that of men to two-thirds and is a major factor in growth.

The GEM Canada analysis is designed to identify innovative and productive entrepreneurship that can promote economic growth, job creation, sustainability, and quality of life. In common with most other GEM countries the largest amount of entrepreneurship occurs in consumer oriented services, just ahead of business oriented services.

Healthy fractions of entrepreneurs aspire to 50% growth and more than 10 jobs in five years (>20%). More than 30% plan to introduce new products, and nearly 20% expect more than 25% export customers, all suggesting ambitious innovators.

Enablers and Constraints

Expert appraisal rates physical infrastructure and the social image of entrepreneur as the most favourable framework conditions for entrepreneurship in Canada. Certainly the social image is a key source of the favourable culture.

Major weaknesses are identified in capacity to transfer knowledge from R&D to small and growing firms, and in the attention to entrepreneurship in the education systems.

Initiatives Supporting Entrepreneurship

There are indications that a new interest in entrepreneurship is emerging in the post-secondary education sector.

Trends Over Time

Challenges for the Future

Future challenges for entrepreneurship in Canada are to support the continuation of the increase in participation by women, and to support an innovation oriented promotion of entrepreneurial thinking in the education systems.

Canada Reports

Report information
GEM Canada 2015 Report - Quebec
Report information
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: National Reports
  • Language: English
  • Upload date: 2016-05-30

  • Canada is very supportive of entrepreneurs. More than 50% of the population believe there is a good opportunity for entrepreneurship in the next 6 months, and almost 50% believe they have the skills and knowledge to start a business. About 10% of startups plan to have 20 or more employees within 5 years. In terms of activity, Canada has the highest TEA rate among the innovation driven economies. Just over 50% of startup activity is in consumer services.
  • URL:
GEM Canada 2015 Report
Report information
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: National Reports
  • Language: English
  • Upload date: 2016-09-28

  • Ontario enjoys one of the highest levels of positive attitudes reported towards entrepreneurship among the innovation-driven economies surveyed. For the first time, Ontario, together with Canada, shows the highest rate of total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA), compared to developed countries in the reference group. In previous years, the US held first place. Ontario entrepreneurs show relatively modest job creation aspirations compared with reference countries. Most Ontario early-stage businesses are in consumer-oriented services, followed by business-oriented services, the transforming (manufacturing) sector and, with the lowest rate, the extractive sector (e.g. mining, agriculture). Ontario TEA ventures also use the very latest technologies at the highest rates (12%) and new technologies available in the last five years (21%), compared to the US and Australia. Canada (12.5%) is also comparable to Ontario. Ontario start-ups are also relatively export-oriented. They lead the reference group with 32.6% indicating having more than 25% of their revenues from outside the country.
  • URL:
GEM Canada 2015 - Ontario
Report information
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: National Reports
  • Language: English
  • Upload date: 2016-11-22

  • This if the first GEM report on the four Atlantic provinces in Canada - New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The report found many differences among the four provinces, in such areas as availability of funding, availability of government assistance, the role of business incubators, and the adequacy of education for entrepreneurship. It also found similarities, such as the perception that new and growing firms can't afford new technology, the peak age for entrepreneurship being 25-34, and the predominant mode of entrepreneurship being opportunity based.
  • URL:
GEM Atlantic Canada 2015 Report
Report information
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: National Reports
  • Language: English
  • Upload date: 2015-03-27

  • Results for 2013 (Canada and BC)
    The data indicates:
    • BC is in the middle for Canadian provinces in the perception of
    good business opportunities;
    • BC is at the high end for intentions to start a new business;
    • 1st generation immigrants to BC start a new business at about the
    same rate as 1st generation non-immigrants, which is higher that
    the BC Total early stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) rate;
    • BC has a higher percentage of its population owning businesses
    established for more than 42 months than the rest of Canada; and
    • Canada and BC rank high in comparison with most developed
    economies in terms of TEA. TEA is a measure of the degree of
    entrepreneurship in an economy. The indicator is derived from a
    number of variables collected through the APS.

  • URL:
GEM Canada 2013 Report - British Columbia