Analysis in Brief
Analysis on businesses majority-owned by various sub-population groups and visible minorities, first quarter of 2022

Release date: March 10, 2022

Skip to text

Text begins

A variety of different factors impact the ability of Canadian businesses to operate.  Businesses in one part of the country may face different challenges than those in another part of the country.  Businesses that operate in one industry may face different obstacles than those in another.  Barriers faced by smaller businesses may be quite different than those faced by larger businesses.  These types of differences are also found when looking at business owners, as different segments of the population face different challenges as owners of businesses.

From the beginning of January to early February 2022, Statistics Canada conducted the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions to collect information on the environment businesses are currently operating in and their expectations moving forward. This article explores results from the survey by looking at the businesses majority-ownedNote  by women, First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons, immigrants to Canada and visible minorities. In the first quarter of 2022, differences were noted in various areas, such as long term optimism, sales, profitability, and operating income in addition to obstacles such as rising input costs, attracting new or returning customers, and insufficient demand for goods or services offered.

Across these four sub-population groups, there was a general decline in optimism compared with the last quarter and compared with all private sector businesses. Businesses majority-owned by women saw the most decline in optimistic future outlook from last quarter. Despite declining optimism compared to last quarter and to all private sector businesses, enterprises majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons performed better in several key indicators than all private sector businesses including sales, providing employment opportunities, and attracting new or returning customers. Businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada and visible minorities expected decreases in profitability over the next three months.

Businesses majority-owned by women are significantly less optimistic about future outlook

Businesses majority-owned by women accounted for 18.2% of all private sector businesses in Canada in the first quarter of 2022. Businesses majority-owned by women were more prevalent in service industries, such as retail trade, accommodation and food services, and tourism.Note 

Less than two-thirds (64.8%) of businesses majority-owned by women reported having an optimistic future outlook over the next 12 months, a significant decrease from the fourth quarter of 2021 (75.3%). These businesses were less likely than all private sector businesses (69.5%) to be optimistic over the next 12 months.

Businesses majority-owned by women were slightly less likely to be able to take on more debt than all private sector businesses (49.1% vs. 54.3%). Similarly, over seven-tenths (72.3%) of businesses majority-owned by women said they have the cash or liquid assets required to operate over the next three months, compared to over three-quarters (75.8%) of all private sector businesses.

Of businesses experiencing supply chain challenges, half (49.8%) of those majority-owned by women expected supply chain challenges to worsen over the next three months, compared to over two-fifths (43.4%) of all private sector businesses. Meanwhile, under half (45.4%) of businesses majority-owned by women expected rising cost of inputs to be an obstacle over the next three months, compared to over half (51.7%) of all private sector businesses.

Businesses majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons expect sales and number of employees to increase over the next three months

According to the 2016 census, First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons represented 4.9% of the Canadian population.Note  In the first quarter of 2022, 2.3% of all private sector businesses in Canada were majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons.

Over two-thirds (67.4%) of businesses majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons indicated having a positive future outlook over the next 12 months, a decrease from last quarter (72.0%), and slightly lower compared to all private sector businesses (69.5%).

Despite this, nearly one-quarter (24.7%) of businesses majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons expected their sales to increase over the next three months, compared to one-fifth (20.7%) of all private sector businesses. Also, nearly one-fifth (19.1%) of businesses majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit expected an increase in their number of employees over the next three months, compared to 14.2% of all private sector businesses.

Businesses majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons were less likely to expect obstacles related to recruiting skilled employees, retaining skilled employees, and attracting new or returning customers (34.3%, 26.5% and 16.6% respectively) than all private sector businesses (38.6%, 30.3% and 23.0% respectively).

Businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada expect decreases in profitability and operating income over the next three months

In 2016, immigrants to Canada constituted over one-fifth (21.9%) of the Canadian populationNote  and in the first quarter of 2022, were the owners of 22.2% of all private sector businesses in Canada. This section presents results on businesses majority-owned by individuals who were born outside of Canada.

Businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada were less likely (62.0%) to indicate having an optimistic future outlook over the next 12 months than all private sector businesses (69.5%). These levels of optimism have decreased somewhat from the fourth quarter of 2021, where two-thirds (66.5%) of businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada indicated having a positive future outlook.

Over two-fifths (44.8%) of businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada expected a decrease in profitability over the next three months, compared to less than two-fifths (36.0%) of all private sector businesses that said the same. Nearly three-tenths (29.2%) of businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada expected a decrease in operating income in the next three months, compared to less than one-quarter (23.1%) of all private sector businesses.

These businesses were more likely to expect to face certain obstacles than all private sector businesses. Over one-fifth (21.3%) of businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada expected insufficient demand for goods or services offered to be an obstacle over the next three months, compared to 16.5% of all private sector businesses. Also, close to three-tenths (28.4%) of businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada expected increasing competition to be an obstacle over the next three months, compared to over one-fifth (20.9%) of all private sector businesses.

Less than two-fifths (37.2%) of businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada reported that revenues were higher or the same in 2021 compared to 2019, whereas nearly half (48.2%) of all private sector businesses that said the same. Over the next three months, two-thirds (66.5%) of businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada said they have the cash or liquid assets required to operate, compared to over three-quarters (75.8%) of all private sector businesses that said the same.

Additionally, under half (45.6%) of businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada can take on more debt, compared to over half (54.3%) of all private sector businesses that said the same.

Businesses majority-owned by visible minorities expected decreases in sales, demand, and profitability

According to the 2016 census, visible minorities represented nearly one-quarter (22.3%) of the Canadian population.Note  In the first quarter of 2022, 15.7% of all private sector businesses in Canada were majority-owned by visible minorities. Visible minorities are defined as individuals, other than Indigenous persons, who self-identified as non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour, regardless of place of birth.

Three-fifths (60.9%) of businesses majority-owned by visible minorities indicated having an optimistic future outlook over the next 12 months, compared to over two-thirds (69.5%) of all private sector businesses. These feelings of optimism for businesses majority-owned by visible minorities have decreased somewhat from the fourth quarter of 2021 (64.0%).

Businesses majority-owned by visible minorities were more likely to expect a decrease in sales, demand for goods and services offered, profitability, and prices of goods and services offered (21.9%, 18.8%, 44.5% and 6.4% respectively) than all private sector businesses (17.9%, 14.1%, 36.0% and 5.3% respectively).

Businesses majority-owned by visible minorities faced obstacles such as insufficient demand for goods or services offered (18.4%), attracting new or returning customers (33.0%), and maintaining sufficient cash flow or managing debt (29.2%). These numbers remain relatively unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2021 (20.8%, 31.4%, and 28.3 % respectively).

Over one-third (36.7%) of businesses majority-owned by visible minorities said that compared to 2019, revenues were higher or the same in 2021. In contrast, close to half (48.2%) of all private sector businesses said the same. Meanwhile, two-thirds (66.4%) of businesses majority-owned by visible minorities said they have the cash or liquid assets required to operate over the next three months, compared to three-quarters (75.8%) of all private sector businesses that said the same.

Appendix


Table 1
Future outlook over the next 12 months, fourth quarter of 2021 and first quarter of 2022
Table summary
This table displays the results of Future outlook over the next 12 months Q4 2021, Q1 2022, Total optimistic, Total pessimistic and Unknown (appearing as column headers).
Q4 2021 Q1 2022
Total optimistic Total pessimistic Unknown Total optimistic Total pessimistic Unknown
% of businesses
All private sector businesses 71.8 14.5 13.7 69.5 16.9 13.5
Businesses majority-owned by women 75.3 13.2 11.6 64.8 17.5 17.8
Businesses majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons 72.0 6.9 21.1 67.4 20.2 12.4
Businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada 66.5 15.7 17.8 62.0 20.1 17.8
Businesses majority-owned by visible minorities 64.0 16.7 19.3 60.9 21.3 17.8

Data table for Chart 1 
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1 Increase, Stay about the same and Decrease , calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Increase Stay about the same Decrease
percent
All private sector businesses 20.7 61.4 17.9
Businesses majority-owned by women 18.5 63.1 18.4
Businesses majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons 24.7 58.3 17.0
Businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada 19.6 58.2 22.3
Businesses majority-owned by visible minorities 20.4 57.7 21.9

Data table for Chart 2 
Data table for Chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2 Increase, Stay about the same and Decrease , calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Increase Stay about the same Decrease
percent
All private sector businesses 13.6 50.4 36.0
Businesses majority-owned by women 12.5 51.9 35.6
Businesses majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons 13.7 48.1 38.1
Businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada 12.7 42.5 44.8
Businesses majority-owned by visible minorities 12.0 43.5 44.5

Data table for Chart 3 
Data table for Chart 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 3 Increase, Stay about the same and Decrease , calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Increase Stay about the same Decrease
percent
All private sector businesses 25.7 60.2 14.1
Businesses majority-owned by women 24.7 61.4 13.9
Businesses majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons 25.2 57.9 16.9
Businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada 23.2 55.8 21.0
Businesses majority-owned by visible minorities 23.0 58.2 18.8

Table 2
Selected obstacles for majority-owned businesses by various sub-population groups and visible minorities over the next three months, first quarter of 2022
Table summary
This table displays the results of Selected obstacles for majority-owned businesses by various sub-population groups and visible minorities over the next three months Rising cost of inputs, Recruiting skilled employees, Retaining skilled employees, Insufficient demand for goods or services offered, Increasing competition, Attracting new or returning customers and Maintaining sufficient cash flow or managing debt (appearing as column headers).
Rising cost of inputs Recruiting skilled employees Retaining skilled employees Insufficient demand for goods or services offered Increasing competition Attracting new or returning customers Maintaining sufficient cash flow or managing debt
% of businesses
All private sector businesses 51.7 38.6 30.3 16.5 20.9 23 22.9
Businesses majority-owned by women 45.4 33.4 30.3 18.6 19.8 29 25.3
Businesses majority-owned by First Nations, Métis or Inuit persons 54.8 34.3 26.5 23.6 25.8 16.6 37.3
Businesses majority-owned by immigrants to Canada 51.4 33.8 31.4 21.3 28.4 28.6 29.2
Businesses majority-owned by visible minorities 51.2 32.7 29.7 18.4 28.7 33 29.2

Methodology

From January 4 to February 7, 2022, representatives from businesses across Canada were invited to take part in an online questionnaire about business conditions and business expectations moving forward. The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions uses a stratified random sample of business establishments with employees classified by geography, industry sector, and size. An estimation of proportions is done using calibrated weights to calculate the population totals in the domains of interest. The total sample size for this iteration of the survey is 35,026 and results are based on responses from a total of 17,695 businesses.

References

Statistics Canada. (2022). Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, first quarter of 2022.

Statistics Canada. (2021). Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, fourth quarter of 2021.

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: