What We Do

  • Connect Canadian SMEs with international business resources and expertise.
  • Improve the effectiveness of the support ecosystem for Canadian businesses involved in markets abroad.
  • Engage Schulich’s student, alumni, and faculty in support of Canadian SMEs with international ambitions.
  • Provide thought leadership on critical issues in international business.
  • Develop the next generation of Canadian global business champions through Schulich’s academic programs and initiatives.

Our Competitive Advantage

  • Connecting the resources of the entire business support ecosystem including but not limited to all levels of government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foreign governments and international agencies.
  • Agnostic with respect to industry sector and geography. We can connect to resources that will provide the user with the best results for the lowest opportunity cost in terms of finance, time, executive focus and effort.
  • Our connection with Canada’s Global Business School provides access to:
    • 80 partnerships with leading business schools
    • Over 300 corporate partners across the globe
    • An overseas campus in Hyderabad, India and satellite centers in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Korea
    • An alumni network exceeding 30,000 based in over 90 countries worldwide.

Canadian SMEs: Small but Mighty!

  • 99.8% of all Canadian businesses are SMEs.

  • 67.5% of net employment growth came from SMEs

  • 51% of SMEs survive their fifth year of operation.

The Importance of SMEs

SMEs are the engine of the Canadian economy!

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are business entities that have employees below a certain number (250 employees or less). Despite the apparent small-scale, SMEs are some of the most significant elements of growth in the world in terms of economic as well as social welfare. On June 27, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) day was celebrated where world bodies such as the United Nations, International Trade Centre and Sustainable Development Goals convened to identify and commit towards the growth of SMEs. 

There are almost 1.1M SMEs in Canada (BDC) and in 2019, SMEs employed 8.3M people, forming 69.7% of the total private labour force. Furthermore, SMEs contributed 41.9% of the total value of exported goods in 2017. Hence, SMEs are essential to the Canadian economy.

  • Enhanced Innovation: SMEs intrinsically foster a culture of innovation and increase value creation by adopting innovations created elsewhere. They modify the innovation to fit new contexts via incremental changes. 
  • More focus on environmental sustainability. A 2019 ITC analysis shows that investments in SMEs can directly lead to 60% of the targets for 169 Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Inclusive growth. SMEs have been more instrumental in the development of emerging and low-income economies. They have addressed the societal needs of employment for low-skilled workers, inclusion of marginalized groups in entrepreneurial initiatives and Corporate Social responsibility. 

While it is evident that SMEs have been central to the achievement of many social, economical, and environmental objectives, there is still a lot that can be done to increase this contribution manifold. Schulich’s  Centre for Global Enterprise aims to provide a wealth of resources to help SMEs engage and scale up into international markets.

RBCA platform dedicated to helping businesses go global

RBC Global Connect is owned by Royal Bank of Canada and operated by Export Enterprises S.A. It offers trade resources, financial resources, and an access-required trade club that connects you to a global network tailored to your needs.

Recognizing the best SMEs to work for

Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes SMEs that offers Canada’s best workplaces and forward-thinking human resources policies. Click here to see top companies.



Contact Us:

Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building
45 York Boulevard
Toronto, ON, Canada
M3J 1P3
Email: cge@schulich.yorku.ca
Phone: 416-736-2100, Ext. 55075