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March 7, 2003 Volume 6, Number 3


Introduction - Editor's Comments

* What's New at

* Statistics Canada releases

* Women lead the charge in self-employment

* Selling to Women

* Small Business Stats Facts

For data table spacing, this newsletter is best viewed in Courier 10



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Researching a Small Business FEB 2003 Update released!

The big news this month is the Feb 2003 update to Researching a Small
Business in Canada has been released. It includes more than 2500 new or
updated sources covering every sector in the original guide. That's more
than 302 pages of the latest Canadian statistical sources. The latest 2001
Census releases are also identified.

The electronic version of the guide has been adjusted so that you can easily
jump between the original source lists and the updates. When you now
purchase the online version of the guide you are given access to both the
original and the update. See:
Purchasers of the paper version of Researching a Small Business in Canada
2002 will receive their FREE update by mail over the next couple of weeks.
Anyone deciding to purchase a paper version of the guide as of March 7, 2003
will now receive the Feb 2003 update at no extra charge.


In other news, Statistics Canada has released a new CD-ROM which provides
retail sales data (revenue, expenses, inventory, gross margin and profit
margin) by store type (based on the North American Industry Classification
System). Even better than the basic financial data in this release is the
sales per square foot by type of store and operating revenue range. For some
store types, data is also available by province.

This new data is essential for retail sales benchmarking. It is provided in
EXCEL format and can be easily manipulated according to your needs.

Statistics Canada is offering the CD-ROM for $100. We are providing a 15%
discount. Through our site you can purchase this new data for $85. (Don't
give the government more than you have to!)

To order please see our web site:

For more information see the Statistics Canada description
( ) or contact me at

I hope you find this issue helpful.

John White




Site Summary:
Trends and Patterns in Avalanche Accidents

Site Summary:
National & provincial Report Cards on Canada's performance on child poverty.

Site Summary:
World wide statistics (including Canada) on foreign direct investment (FDI).




The following statistics were released by Statistics Canada over the last
four weeks. We have listed those releases we feel are of the most interest
to Canadian entrepreneurs.

Very few of these statistics are available on-line. The URL listed is a
direct link to the press release associated with the data. It provides
contact and ordering information.

If you want to purchase any publication related to these releases please see
our web site:
We offer a 20% discount on most Stats Can publications and a 10% discount on
Stats Can electronic products. For more information you can reach us at Put "StatsCan" in the
subject line of your e-mail.


Chicken production 2002 (preliminary)

Farm cash receipts 2002

Fruit and vegetable production 2002

Livestock estimates January 1, 2003


Film, video and audio-visual post-production 2001


Deposit-accepting intermediaries: Activities and economic performance 2001

Canada's retirement income programs 1990 to 2000


Residential construction investment
Fourth quarter 2002 and annual 2002

Building permits Annual 2002 (preliminary)

National Tenant Satisfaction Survey 2002

Private and public investment 2003 (intentions)


Financial statistics for enterprises
Fourth quarter 2002 and annual 2002 (preliminary)

Canadian economic accounts
Fourth quarter 2002


National Graduates Survey: A profile of young Canadian graduates 2000


Age at diagnosis of smoking-related disease


Annual Survey of Traveller Accommodation 2001


Networked businesses and information sharing 2001


Monthly Survey of Manufacturing
December 2002 and annual 2002

Energy consumption by manufacturing industries - lime manufacturing
2001 (revised estimates)


Gender balance of employment in rural and small town Canada 1987 to 1999

Marriages 1999

Census of Population: Labour force activity, occupation, industry, class of
worker, place of work, mode of transportation, language of work and unpaid

Postcensal population estimates by various characteristics
July 1, 1997 to 2002

The retirement wave 1999


Low-income cutoffs for 2002


Department store sales and stocks
December 2002 and annual 2002 (preliminary)

Monthly Survey of Large Retailers
Annual 2002 and December 2002

New motor vehicle sales
December 2002 and annual 2002

Annual retail store data 1999 and 2000

Retail trade
December 2002 and annual 2002 (preliminary)

Wholesale trade
December 2002 and annual 2002 (preliminary)

Household spending on food 2001


Road motor vehicle registrations 2002 (preliminary)

International travel account 2002 and fourth quarter 2002 (preliminary)

Travel arrangement services 2001

Small for-hire and owner operators of motor carriers of freight 2000




The following article is based on the latest 2001 Census release
Self-employment is classified under the topic heading "Class of Worker".

Solid economy growth of the late nineties and the dot com bust have taken
their toll on entrepreneurship in Canada. The dream of self-employment has
lost some of its appeal.

The growth rate in the number of self-employed Canadians between 1996 and
2001 was the lowest in 20 years. The 3.3% increase is dramatically less than
the 28.2% recorded between 1991 and 1996 and significantly below the 16.3%
and 10.4% growth rates recorded between 1981-1986 and 1986-1991

Moreover for the first time ever over the same 20-year period the overall
increase in the Canadian labour force between 1996 and 2001 out paced that
of self-employment. And it was not a marginal difference either. The
Canadian labour force grew by more than double the rate of self-employed
(7.2% vs. 3.3%). This is a complete turn around from the previous 5 years
when the self-employed labour force grew by more than 13 times the rate of
the labour force as a whole.

The figures look somewhat bleak but a closer look reveals a vibrant
entrepreneurial spirit within the sector as a whole. Between 1996 and 2001
the number of male entrepreneurs increased by a meager 0.6% while their
female counterparts flourished growing in numbers by 8.0%. Put another way:
for every additional self-employed man there were nearly 7 (6.9) additional
women setting up a business.

Many of these women not only generated a job for themselves but created
employment as well. More than one in four (26.9%) of new female-lead
self-employed businesses employed at least one person other than the owner.
The same vigor is not apparent among male entrepreneurs. In fact there was
an actual 2.3% decline in the number of male self-employed businesses with
paid help.

This thriving female entrepreneurial activity is not readily apparent on the
surface of the 2001 Census results because it is buried beneath years of
males dominating the self-employed sector. In 2001 there were 1,861,200
self-employed Canadians. Of those 1,230,750 (66.1%) were men while 630,440
(33.9) were women. This 2 to 1 dominance greatly influences the total
apparent growth rate of self-employment.

Overall, regardless of gender, the majority of self-employed Canadians fall
into the 35 to 54 year age group. The fastest growing demographic however is
women between the ages of 55 and 64. Over the 5-year period this group saw a
40.3% increase in self-employment (unincorporated). Part of this growth can
be attributed to the population aging. However given the fact that the
overall labour force growth rate for this group was 28.1% it is clear that
demographics are not the only issue at play. As a comparison, the growth
rate of self-employed males in the same age bracket was 17.9% with an
overall labour force growth of 19.4%.

Women are not only joining the ranks of self-employment more quickly, they
have a distinct approach.

Most self-employed businesses are unincorporated however this is more
prevalent among female entrepreneurs. Nearly three quarters (73.8%) remain
unincorporated as compared to 63.9% of males.

Another trait of women entrepreneurs is they recognize the benefits of
working from home. In 2001 there were 525,070 self-employed Canadians
working from home. Women headed 45.7% of these home-based businesses. Even
more telling is the fact that more than half (52.7%) of all self-employed
women work from the home as opposed to 32.3% of men.

Men and women establish their businesses in many of the same sectors however
there are some unique differences.

For men the top five sectors are:

1. Construction
2. Agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting
3. Professional, scientific and technical services
4. Retail trade
5. Other services

For women the top five sectors are:

1. Health care and social assistance
2. Professional, scientific and technical services
3. Other service
4. Retail trade
5. Agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting

For both sexes farms are the top self-employed business. After that,
building construction and building interior work lead for men while child
day-care services and personal care services are the leading businesses for

It is clear from the latest Census results that women represent the future
of self-employment in Canada. In the coming months we plan to conduct a much
more in depth study of the Census results to gain a better understanding of
women entrepreneurs. We want to go beyond broad gender strokes to examine
how age, ethnicity, income, education, business type and geography affect
female self-employment in Canada. We also want to explore the nature of
home-based businesses. Anyone interested in partnering with us in this
research can contact us at

For more information and data tables from the latest 2001 Census release

NB: The Census provides insight into the five-year period of 1996 to 2001.
It should be noted that two recent studies have indicated that within the
last two years overall self-employment and small business activity is back
on the upsurge. For more information see:

Think Small: Current Trends in Small Business Economic Activity (CIBC)

In Search of Canada's Small Business Hotbeds (BMO)




I am rarely told by a new entrepreneur that their target market is "men".
There is always a qualification (e.g. "men who are financial secure, who
enjoy adventure and are looking for a unique and exhilarating vacation

Yet quite frequently I am told that someone's target market is "women". They
come armed with "killer" stats such as women control roughly 80% of retail
purchases", women buy about 70% of all new cars, and 40% of home
improvements are done by women.

Often they have retrieved many of these figures from advertising magazines
such as Marketing Magazine and Strategy Magazine. Both regularly run
articles with headlines such as: "What Women Really Really Want", "Tell Me
What You Want: A Study In Marketing to Women", "Ads still not smart for

Certainly the stats are interesting and can and should make businesses sit
up and listen. If you are planning on selling a product/service to women
however you have to recognize that your market is NOT women. Biology alone
determines very few specific product/service sales and is even less a factor
in brand loyalty. By trying to sell to "women" you insult your market by
suggesting it is a homogeneous whole that thinks with one mind and purchases
one way.

One first hand blunder I have witnessed was when my mother sent a donation
to a non-profit female oriented organization only to be promptly solicited
for a contribution from a certain political party. In my mother eyes the
cause and the political party were not connected. She was offended and
immediately cancelled her membership.

You may have a product or service that only a woman would want, but you must
recognize not all women will want it and not all women will react to it in
the same way. Sometimes income is a factor, sometimes age, lifestyle, life
phase, psychographics, trends, location and yes, even personality!
A women's clothing store targets women but the type of clothing it sells
will have a specific target market of which being a women is only a single
feature. Selling to "women" is next to impossible. Selling to a target
market that is female isn't. Recognize the unique aspects of your market and
you will be rewarded with customer loyalty.

The best source for conducting an initial segmentation of the female market
is the Statistics Canada publication Women in Canada 2000. This report
focuses exclusively on women and examines demographic and cultural
characteristics, living arrangements, income, labour force activity, health
and criminal and victimization characteristics. It includes more than 65 key
colour charts and 190 tables. It presents a wealth of information in a clear
and concise form.

You can access it in most major libraries. We are happy to be able offer a
20% discount off the $45.00 cover price, if you wish to purchase it. (e-mail
us at

Free updates of the data presented in the labour force chapter of the
publication are available online at:

Women in Canada: Work Chapter Updates

Topics covered in this update report include trends in employment, shifts in
the occupational distribution of women, part-time work, self-employment and
unemployment rates.

Women in Canada 2000 should not be considered a description of your market
as a whole but rather a means of finding your niche within the female

Gender is also a common variable in census data. Use the free 2001 Census
tables to segment by location, age, ethnic origin, language, employment
characteristics, commuting behaviour etc. Again, do not just consider the
gender variable, where possible look at the differences by other

For example from table 97F0013XCB01001: Hours Spent Doing Unpaid Housework
it is immediately clear that women spend more time doing unpaid housework
than men. (Big surprise!). While this information is interesting it is more
instructive to find out that of the 797,360 women reporting doing more that
60 hours of housework a week, nearly a third (28.9%) are in the age group of
35 to 44 and that women in this age group in St John's Newfoundland are much
more likely to report 60 plus hours (10.5%) than women in Victoria B.C.

NB: You can access the above table at:

Ideally you want to locate data that not only takes into consideration the
female gender but other aspects of your market or product. Some examples
included in the Feb 2003 update to Researching a Small Business in Canada

Moving Forward 2002 - Barriers & Opportunities for Executive Women in Canada
Pollara, Women's Executive Network 25-Sep-02
Link to full report
Culture and values of the workplace which prevent women from advancement and
strategies used to overcome them.

Women Entrepreneurs: A Developing Presence in Canada
Industry Canada 1-Jan-03
Profile of female entrepreneurs

In praise of older women
Strategy Media Magazine Nov 18, 2002 p16
Demographic and purchasing highlights of women over 50. % that take 2 or
more trips outside of Canada a year, % that eat at high quality restaurants
at least once a month, % that purchase their own car, media usage,

(For more information on the Feb 2003 Update of Researching a Small Business
in Canada see editor's comments above.)

Whatever your product or service remember you are not selling to a gender,
you are selling to unique and loyal customers. Do not insult them with
generalities. Let them know you understand their specific needs.




Each Business Researcher Newsletter ends with a collection of five
statistics that every entrepreneur should be aware of.

1. What % of Canadian Small and Medium Sized Businesses are in a seed/start
up phase? In slow growth phase? In rapid growth phase?

Seed/Start up: 5%
Slow Growth: 52%
Rapid Growth: 13%

Source: Industry Canada, The Research Institute for SMEs, Université du
Québec à Trois-Rivières, (2002)

2. What % of Canadian SMEs are wholly owned by men? By women?

Men: 54.7%
Women: 14.9%

Source: Industry Canada (2002)

3. What % of female majority owners of Canadian SMEs have more than 9 years
experience in the industry they operate in? What % of males?

Females: 76%
Males: 87%

Source: Industry Canada(2002)

4. What % of Canadians who work at home are self-employed?


Source: Statistics Canada - 2001 Census

5. What % of small businesses (1 to 100 full-time employees) shared product
catalogues with their customers via electronic networks in 2001?


Source: Statistics Canada (Mar 3, 2003)


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