Facebook tools help Canadian small businesses compete: study

Facebook's tools are especially handy for new and young Canadians, as well as businesses owned by women

Facebook app

New research from global market research and consulting firm Ipsos reveals that technology tools are crucial in helping entrepreneurs start, scale and grow their businesses.

The research, commissioned by Facebook Canada, shows how these tools can level the playing field for businesses owned by women, new Canadians or young Canadians, who often face systemic barriers when it comes to building businesses.

For example, the Ipsos research revealed that 33 percent of Facebook app users — specifically Messenger, Instagram and Facebook — say technology tools helped them start their companies. The numbers increase significantly for businesses owned by young Canadians (57 percent), women (47 percent) and new Canadians (37 percent).

Further, 46 percent say their business is stronger today because of Facebook’s suite of apps. Again, young Canadians are the most at 66 percent, followed by women-owned businesses (54 percent) and businesses owned by new Canadians (45 percent).

Ipsos reports exporters say Facebook’s tools lead to an increase in net sales over the last 12 months. Specifically, 36 percent of exporters say using Instagram helped increase sales while 35 percent say Facebook helped.

Finally, the research shows how Facebook’s apps help meet critical business needs. For example, 77 percent of respondents use Messenger to communicate directly with their customers, 71 percent use Instagram for marketing and promotion while 69 percent use Facebook to connect with current and existing customers.

Ipsos conducted the Canadian Small Business survey among owners and employees of micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses across Canada. Ipsos conducted to survey from September 23 to October 2, 2019. It used a random sample of 1,200 respondents, 213 of which owned a for-profit business with less than 500 employees (SMEs as defined by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce). There were also 981 SME employees of SMEs, 591 of which were male and 609 were females.