Ontario Scale-Up Vouchers Program
Scale-up companies: Vast potential, unique challenges
In Canada, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — or businesses that employ less than 500 individuals — form a large part of the overall economy. In fact, over the past ten years, 71% of the jobs created in the private sector can be attributed to the activities of SMEs.
However, research reveals that most of these gains are due to a much smaller group of high-growth (scale-up) firms. From 2000 to 2009, scale-up firms made up only 18% of Canada’s growing firms, but created nearly 47% of new jobs.
This reinforces earlier research by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada that revealed Canada’s fastest-growing firms were responsible for 45% of net job creation, despite comprising only 4% of businesses.
Despite these impressive numbers, startups don’t often scale to become strong, sustainable mid-sized companies. Why?
New and emerging technology-driven firms often face unique challenges in accessing the expertise and assistance they need to grow and rapidly scale.
To help these companies scale into globally competitive firms, Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Growth and the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science created the Ontario Scale-Up Vouchers Program.