Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises, 2014 - Methodology Report

Background information

The Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises is often considered to cover the "demand" side of financing for small and medium enterprise (SMEs). Statistics Canada surveys these enterprises across the country to determine the kind of debt, capital lease and equity financing that small and medium-sized businesses are relying on, and to collect information on attempts to get new funding. Statistics Canada also conducts a separate survey on the financing of businesses, from the "supply" point of view. This paper discusses the "demand" side survey only.

In 2000, a pilot survey of approximately 2,000 businesses was conducted for reference year 1999 to assess the relevance of the approach for collecting such information, and to produce a few national estimates for some of the key questions of interest. As a result of this pilot, many recommendations were made for the implementation of a large-scale production survey. First, significant changes were made to the questionnaire to make it simpler and shorter. Second, some changes were made as to how to define the population of SMEs. Finally, the results of the pilot were used to design the sample for the first survey for reference year 2000 and the 2001 supplementary survey.

For the 2004, 2007 and 2011 surveys, the questions were similar to those in 2000 and 2001. Some questions that were not relevant to the specific objectives of the survey were removed, while others were added. These changes were in line with the secondary, yet important objective of the survey, which is to make certain improvements and some additions to the survey content and wording.

The 2014 survey was redesigned by Statistics Canada, Industry Canada and their partners, keeping the core set of questions from previous iterations, adding some questions on new topics of interest and removing others. Before the survey was conducted, the revised questionnaire was tested in the field with potential respondents to identify any problems. This led to further revisions to improve the questionnaire.

This document outlines the methodology used to conduct the Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises in 2014.

Please see the PDF version for the full report.

Note to users

The 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises was conducted with businesses that were active during the survey period. The survey results did not take into account businesses that had ceased operations due to a lack of financing just before the survey was conducted. Entrepreneurs who tried to launch a business but failed to do so during the survey period were also out of scope.