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Business ownership by gender: Updates to data table on counts of private enterprises by ownership gender, age group, province or region, and enterprise size

Released: 2022-03-22

Statistics Canada has released updated data on business ownership by gender up to 2018. These data are based on the Canadian Employer-Employee Dynamics Database and include businesses for which gender of ownership, age of ownership, and province in which the enterprise is located can be defined. The tables are funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada.

The updated data show that the number of women-owned businesses from 2014 to 2018 grew by 1.5% per year, on average, compared with an average increase of 0.9% for equally-owned businesses and 0.6% for men-owned businesses. The more rapid increase in women-owned businesses relative to other ownership categories was widespread across provinces and in the territories. The increase of women-owned businesses was largest in British Columbia (+2.5% per year on average), followed by Saskatchewan (+1.6% per year on average) and Quebec (+1.5% per year on average). However, compared with the trends observed from 2005 to 2013, there was a slowdown in business growth across all ownership categories. Over that period, the number of women-owned businesses grew by 4.9% per year, on average, while the number of equal-owned businesses and men-owned businesses grew by 3.7% and 3.3% on average, respectively.

  Note to readers

The previous published data made use of the demographic information from the T1 historical personal master file (T1HPMF) while the new data are based on the T1 personal master file (T1PMF). The T1PMF contains more recent information for tax filers but includes fewer tax filers than the T1HPMF. This difference results in fewer business owners whose demographic information can be linked. Namely, when the counts in the same years are compared, the counts in the new tables tend to be lower than in the previous table. However, the percentages by gender of ownership are similar.

The counts are not directly comparable to those from the Survey of Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SFGSME) due to differences in industry coverage and business size coverage. However, past comparisons have shown that the estimates from the Canadian Employer-Employee Dynamics Database and the SFGSME are close when similar definitions are used (i.e. restricting the sample to those with less than 500 employees and to industries covered by the SFGSME). For more information, see "The Measurement of Business Ownership by Gender in the Canadian Employer–Employee Dynamics Database."

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

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