As of 2020, small businesses employed 7.7 million individuals in Canada, which is 67.7% of the total private labour force.
By comparison, medium-sized businesses employed 2.3 million individuals (20.6% of the private labour force) and large businesses employed 1.3 million individuals (11.7% of the private labour force).
How are businesses considered in Canada?
Requirements & Eligibilities(last updated September 19, 2022)
Province and program
Ontario Entrepreneur stream
No min edu.
Business owner or senior manager (business management) for at least 24 months of the last 60 months.
Entrepreneur Application - SINP
No min edu.
Business management or entrepreneurial experience
Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) stream of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)
200000 - 800000
business and/or management experience; if no business experience, must have the equivalent of a 2-year post-secondary diploma
The Manitoba Entrepreneur Pathway
3 years, business owner or senior manager
The Manitoba Farm Investor Pathway
No min edu
3 years, business management or farm ownership
Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream
No minimum edu
3 years business ownership or 5 years senior business management
Alberta rural entrepreneurship stream
Min high school
minimum 3 years of experience as an active business owner/manager or a minimum of 4 years of experience as a senior manager within the past 10 years.
New Brunswick Business Immigration Stream
two-year post-secondary education after high school
Newfoundland and Labrador International Entrepreneur category
21 to 59 years of age
High school edu
Have at least two years’ experience actively managing and owning a business in the last five years OR 5 or more years’ experience in a senior business management role in the last ten years
PEI Bus impact category
Business Stream in the Northwest Territories
Level of education and/or certification needed to fulfill the business plan
Yukon Business Nominee Program (YBNP)
Business ownership and/or management