2019 Canadian Entrepreneur Report Underscores High-Growth SMEs as the Backbone of Canada’s National Economy

Inaugural study highlights 38 business leaders who collectively employ more than 6,000 Canadians

TORONTO (NOV. 27) – Entrepreneurs have always been driven to improve the status quo, but new research from Echelon Wealth Partners shows that Canada’s small and medium-size enterprise (SME) leaders are advancing more than their respective industries: they are shaping the entire economy.

The 2019 Canadian Entrepreneur Report highlights 38 CEOs and founders who have been in business an average of 12 years and represent a variety of backgrounds and business focuses. Together, these leaders employ more than 6,000 Canadians and experience an average annual growth rate of 32 percent — much higher than the national trend, which is 20%.

Despite their unique personal characteristics, the entrepreneurs featured in this report share a host of career commonalities. For example, nearly two-thirds of participants worked in a corporate or professional role prior to becoming an entrepreneur and more than 80 percent began working in their childhood or early teens.

Additionally, the entrepreneurs share consistent views on the importance of trust to their organizations’ culture and performance. An overwhelming majority (96%) believe their enterprise functions within a high trust culture while nearly three-quarters say client trust is an important part of their business model. Cybersecurity, privacy, product quality and open communication are seen as some of the qualities important to establishing and retaining client trust.

“Our firm is thrilled to share this fascinating report and bring to focus the vital contribution of Canada’s small and medium-size business leaders to the national economy,” said David Cusson, Chief Executive Officer at Echelon Wealth Partners. “This inaugural study highlights the very best of Canada’s entrepreneurial community as well as the courage and drive it takes to succeed in a competitive corporate landscape.”

Social consciousness is increasingly becoming a motivating factor for business leaders as 35 percent of participants “specifically mentioned being conscious of environment health and/or sustainability” and making it an intrinsic part of their overall business models.

My number one takeaway is that across all industries and throughout the country there are incredibly hard-working people who are striving to improve the way we do business,” said Barbara Stewart, global researcher and author of the report. “It’s no longer enough to turn a profit; entrepreneurs are increasingly demonstrating that qualitative factors, like credibility and sustainability, are intrinsic to their success.”

Echelon conducted 38 in-person interviews between April and September. To be eligible to be considered, companies must be registered and operating in Canada, operating for a minimum of 3 years, have a minimum of 20 employees and annual revenue of $10 million for the past two years (start-ups were excluded from this criterion). The CEOs and founders included in the report represent a cross-section of ages, genders, backgrounds and geographical locations whose companies are varied in size, industry and scope.

About Echelon Wealth Partners

Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. is a Canadian independent wealth management and capital markets firm known for its client-centred approach and innovative, entrepreneurial spirit. The company has approximately 60 Advisor and Portfolio Manager Teams with more than $6 billion in assets under administration and management. Echelon offers a wide range of financial services for individuals, households, institutions and corporate clients from its offices in Toronto, Oakville, Ottawa, London, Montreal, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. Echelon Wealth Partners is a member firm of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). For more information, please visit www.echelonpartners.com.

Media Contact:
Jill Lewis