June 27, 2022

Strong and successful small businesses make resilient and sustainable communities (SDGs 8 & 9)

Did you know that small businesses make up more than 98% of employer businesses in Canada and employ more than 10 million individuals? That’s a huge footprint and represents almost two thirds (64%) of the total labour force! Chances are, when you go shopping, dine-out, or visit a local coffee shop, you’re interacting with a small or medium-sized business.  

Strong small businesses ensure resilient and sustainable communities, and SMEs are vital players in our collective sustainability agenda – particularly SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure).  

For colleges and institutes, supporting SMEs means equipping students (especially diverse and underrepresented innovators) with skills to launch their own ideas confidently to help make our economy greener and fairer! 

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Yukon University supports Yukoners starting businesses and developing new products and services with funding, resources, expertise, and incubation from beginning to end.  
  • The university is also a Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and works to identify additional barriers and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and provide support to overcome them. 

SMEs are also partners of choice for college and institute applied research and innovation. In fact, the latest data shows that of 8,000 total college and institute applied research partnerships (67% were with SMEs who often do not have the capacity or resources to conduct cutting-edge research on their own)! 

  • Each year, more and more Canadian businesses of all sizes benefit from real solutions to real problems. And each year, more Canadians as a whole benefit from innovation that contributes to the long-term sustainability of Canadian industry. 

June 27 is Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Day! Today (and everyday), be sure to support local MSMEs and think about how your own entrepreneurial skills, ideas and aspirations could help make Canada futureproof.