Growth 500

Facts to know about the 2019 Growth 500 companies

Growth 500: Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies

1. Growth 500 firms mean big business. The average winner increased sales by 853% from 2013 to 2018 and pulled in $34 million last year.

2. For the first time ever, every single Growth 500 company exceeded 100% growth.

3. Just over half of the winners hail from Ontario, followed by Quebec (90 firms), B.C. (69 firms) and Alberta (36 firms). P.E.I. and New Brunswick each chipped in one company.

4. Even winners need a hand sometimes. Nearly half of Growth 500 execs have mentors, and a third of them mentor other entrepreneurs. Here’s their best advice: be willing to fail, let your product speak for itself and, importantly, get a lawyer.

5. Just 20 companies are publicly traded. 23% of winners on the list are family businesses.

6. Sisters are doing it for themselves: 10.6% of Growth 500 companies are run by women.

7. A quarter of Growth 500 execs have university degrees, while 15% have reached the post-grad level. 1 in 10 have graduated from college.

8. Growth 500 winners average 136 full-time and 54 part-time staffers on their payrolls. The smallest company has four. 

9. Let’s talk benefits: 80.8% of Growth 500 companies offer bonuses tied to individual performances. 35% offer formalized mentorship opportunities. 15.6% provide parental leave top-ups and child care subsidies. Fewer than 10% offer a pension plan.

10. Putting the “fun” in funding: 23 Growth 500 companies enlisted the help of angel investors. 37 firms have relied on venture capital. Just three have received a boost from crowdfunding.

11. Winning execs typically work about 56 hours a week, and just under half are satisfied with their work-life balance. 197 execs didn’t respond. Presumably, they were at the office.

12. The average percentage of ownership shares held by foreign investors was 4.4%. Roughly 29% of sales revenue was sourced from outside of Canada last year. Execs came from abroad, too: about half of the CEOs are Canadian-born, but others hail from India, China and the U.K.

14. A generous bunch: 28% of Growth 500 firms consider themselves “social enterprises”—that is, dedicated to financial and social initiatives in equal measure. 2% of their annual top-line sales go toward charitable causes.

15. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a whopping 88.6% of Growth 500 companies use social media to boost their biz. (SEO, influencer partnerships, LinkedIn campaigns and Shopify have helped, too.) 29% employ a chief innovation officer (or equivalent) to scout out new ideas.

16. 71.2% of Growth 500 firms have a direct sales force. The qualities they most want their salespeople to possess are persistence, work ethic, extroversion, helpfulness and charisma.

And what about Startup 50?

17. Our 2019 Startup 50 winners made bank, too. Their average revenue exceeded $12 million last year, and they had typical five-year growth rates of 1,254%.

18. As with the Growth 500, more than half of our New Growth Companies originated in Ontario, followed by Quebec. Alberta and B.C. tied for third.

19. The average age of a Startup 50 chief executive is 42. The youngest was born in 1994 (though we’ll reserve his name for privacy). Just 6% of Startup 50 firms are female-led.

20. 36% of Startup 50 execs would rate their company’s adaptability to disruption as “excellent.” One fifth would call themselves industry disrupters, thank you very much.