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As I prepared for our first-ever Report to the Community being held today, I sought to understand the impact that small business has here in Alberta.  I think we all understand how important small businesses are to Alberta but do we really understand the impact that they have on our communities, our jobs, and our overall economic prosperity?

The more I thought about this, the more I began digging into the statistics, and if you know me, you know I like my stats.  So, what about small business in Alberta?

According to Statistics Canada, Alberta small businesses (those between 1 and 99 employees) added $21,900 in GDP per capita to the provincial economy in 2017.  That’s an outstanding $88 billion, yes billion dollars, or 30% of the entire provincial GDP.

Additionally, small business is responsible for 91.2% of the total workforce, 87.7% of all job creation, and 36% of all private-sector employment. That means that in 2017, small business employed over 500,000 Albertans.

So the stats say it all, small business is important to Alberta.  So how does that apply to Business Link? Well, think about it this way: we know that 13% of our interactions last year were with established small business, which alone added an estimated $44M to the Alberta economy in 2018.

In our 2018-19 fiscal year, we interacted with over 30,000 people who were looking to enter entrepreneurship or were already in business and looking to grow and expand. Can you imagine if only 30% of the people we interacted with went into or were in business, what would that contribute back to the Alberta economy?  That would be about 9500 businesses or $211M in GDP contribution. Pretty amazing, right!?

I know I was blown away by the stats, and it excited me. The work we do here at Business Link makes a real difference.  By helping businesses and entrepreneurs learn, grow, build, and explore their ideas, we help create businesses, which in turn create real jobs for hardworking Albertans and adds to the economic prosperity of our great province. 

And the final stat that really got me: in Alberta small business creates over $5000 more GDP per capita than the national average. Yup, once again Alberta shines. We create more business, more jobs, and more wealth.

So as we host our first-ever Report to the Community, I want to thank the 11 entrepreneurs that are joining us to showcase their business, and the over 100 people who are attending our event: our committed board of directors, strong partners, and of course the people who make the big difference in what we do every day—the Business Link team—22 highly committed individuals across the province, many of whom are entrepreneurs themselves, making contributions back to our provincial economy.

Check out more about what Business Link accomplished in 2018-19 in our Annual Report and take a tour across the province with us.

Entrepreneurs showcasing their business at Report to the Community:


Ready to take your next step towards starting your business?

If you are looking for one-on-one support for your small business, give the Business Link Business Advisors a call at 1-800-272-9675 or email askus@businesslink.ca. You can also visit the events page for upcoming activities!

And don't forget to follow us on social media for business news, event invitations, great advice, and more!


Barbara McKenzie

Barbara is our executive director and brings over 30 years experience as an entrepreneur, innovator and leader to the team in non-profit, corporate and government environments. She has a background in marketing, communications, business development, fund development, and international business. At Business Link, her goal is to lead a team of professionals who provide client service excellence and support Alberta entrepreneurs in growing and diversifying our economy both locally and globally.

Barbara is passionate about work/life balance and uses her “life” time to enjoy her time with her husband, step-kids and furry children at their lake cabin, camping and time spent outdoors in summer and winter, as well as reading, photography and volunteering in her community to support organizations like the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton.