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High-Impact Firms: Accelerating Canadian competitiveness

A new study released by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) finds that high-impact firms punch above their weight by contributing disproportionately to the economy and have an opportunity to play an important role in helping to improve Canada’s competitiveness.

What are high-impact firms

High-impact firms are defined as being mostly mid-sized (100 to 500 employees), although smaller firms with particularly high growth are also included in this category. They are found across all sectors and reflect the composition of the Canadian economy.

Challenges high-impact firms face

BDC’s report looked at the particular challenges high-impact firms face in their efforts to become more competitive and to grow. The challenges highlighted are as follows:

1. Management capabilities

Entrepreneurs must strengthen their managerial skills if they are to grow their businesses.

2. New markets

The Canadian market is small. Increasingly small businesses are under pressure to expand abroad earlier.

3. Financing

Many have difficulty obtaining higher risk financing, such as obtaining capital on flexible terms for new projects or markets.

4. Labour

The Canadian labour force is not increasing quickly and will, in fact, remain flat in the next decade due to an aging population.

Supporting high-impact firms grow to the next level

As Canada’s development bank, BDC is uniquely positioned to be a catalyst in helping high impact firms grow to the next level. This is why we are creating a small team of highly experienced individuals within BDC Advisory Services that will be dedicated to increasing the competitiveness of high-impact firms.

They will do so by helping these firms assess their needs and find solutions to their challenges. In addition to its existing service offerings, new BDC offerings for high-impact firms could include formal management training, peer to peer networking, and other highly-tailored non-financial services.

The team will work in collaboration with third parties to facilitate access to other services that exist in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

We will continue to offer and develop financial solutions adapted for high-impact firms and their less traditional financing needs.

For more detailed research results, download the full BDC study.

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