TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2023 — Today Visa released its latest Small Business Pulse report which explores the ongoing sentiment, concerns, priorities, strategies, and business activities among small to medium businesses (SMB) in Canada. The report found that almost half of Canadian SMBs (47%) claim they do not have full funding to do what they want with their business and 54% are seeking new funding sources1. This issue is particularly pronounced among women-owned businesses, who cite bigger barriers in access to funding from both traditional sources (28%) and non-traditional sources (24%)2.
“Small businesses are the foundation of the Canadian economy, playing a vital role in helping local communities thrive,” says Sarah Steele, head of small business product, Visa Canada. “Empowering women entrepreneurs is a business imperative that continues to inform our advocacy for women entrepreneurs as they build, sustain, and advance their businesses.”
In the face of challenging economic conditions, rising prices, and increasing interest rates, Canadian SMBs remain optimistic about the future. Sixty-seven per cent expect to see revenue growth in 2023, up 58% from January3. Larger SMBs and those with flexible business models such as those that sell both products and services, sell business to business and business to consumer or sell online and in-person are most likely to be projecting growth4.
How Visa Supports Small Business
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)
According to the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Indigenous women entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment among Indigenous businesses. To directly address the challenges faced by this growing segment, Visa Canada granted the CCAB’s Indigenous Women Entrepreneurship Fund with $25,000 USD to directly support Indigenous women-owned businesses.
Visa’s Small Business Grant Program
Visa recently completed the fifth round of its Grant Program that aims to support women entrepreneurs in Canada through funding and mentorship. To date, the program has dispersed 50 grants to women-owned small businesses, totaling $500,000 CAD, provided national media exposure, and access to an accelerated mentorship program in collaboration with York University.
Visa Small Business Hub
As part of Visa Canada’s long-standing commitment to Canadian SMBs, Visa offers several tools and resources like the Visa Canada Small Business Hub which hosts resources and solutions to support small businesses in driving efficiency, fraud mitigation and sales through the expansion of e-commerce, digital payments, marketing and more.
The Visa SavingsEdge program provides enrolled eligible Visa Business cardholders with automatic discounts on qualifying purchases at participating merchants. Canadian Small Business cardholders can also take advantage of 35+ Instant Savings offers across multiple categories with no enrollment required. From professional services to marketing, Instant Savings include offers from Indeed, Yellow Pages, and more.
Visit Visa SavingsEdge for more information on the Instant Savings offers.
Read the full Small Business Pulse report.
Visa’s Small Business Report is a quarterly study run by the Maru Group in partnership with Visa. Data in the report is taken from 780 Canadian Small Business Leaders who were surveyed in June and July 2023. “Small Business” is defined as those with fewer than 100 employees and less than $25 Million in Revenue. “Business Leaders” are defined as at least senior decision makers with the business, including eight-in-ten who are the business’ primary owner. Responses come from across Canada and represent a mix of revenue bands, business tenure, industry, etc.