Enabling Small Business

Optimism among Canadian SMB exporters despite economic challenges

Press Release

eBay Canada releases data on technology enabling micro-multinationals

TORONTO, Feb. 3, 2016 – eBay Canada releases data showing a silver lining to challenging economic times: the strength of small and medium-businesses (SMBs) who export. This echoes the Bank of Canada’s recent optimism that exporters will benefit from the weak Canadian dollar.

According to eBay’s Small Online Business Growth Report, virtually every Canadian eBay SMB sells internationally (99.8%), compared to only 10.4 per cent of traditional SMBs. (1) Known as micro-multinationals, these eBay sellers export to an average of 20 countries, whereas traditional SMB exporters only reach 2.5 countries. (2)

“The Internet has played a huge part in levelling the playing field for SMBs, enabling them to become thriving micro-multinationals at the click of a mouse,” says Andrea Stairs, Managing Director, eBay Canada. “eBay is an incredibly powerful platform that connects businesses of any size to an active global marketplace of more than 160 million buyers.”

As the global online economy grows, exporting has become increasingly important to the success of Canadian SMBs. Sixty-four per cent of eBay micro-multinationals export to four or more continents, indicating that they truly are reaching a global audience. This is clearly paying off, with eBay micro-multinationals’ sales having grown five times faster than Canada’s GDP. (3)

The success of SMBs is vital to the Canadian economy. These companies generate 25 per cent of the country’s GDP and create 71 per cent of private sector jobs. (4) Further, SMBs that participate in the global economy, in particular, tend to hire more people, offer better salaries and experience greater sales. (5)

Canadian eBay micro-multinationals will continue to positively contribute to the Canadian economy in 2016: A recent poll of Canadian eBay SMBs revealed that more than half (52%) feel the low Canadian dollar will be advantageous for increasing their sales outside of the country. Further, nearly two-thirds (65%) are planning to expand their online offerings this year, and nearly one-third (30%) intend to increase the number of markets to which they sell. (6)

“Exporting helps SMBs grow while being less vulnerable to domestic economic fluctuations,” says Stairs. “The dismal Canadian dollar has made our domestic products very attractive internationally, and our eBay micro-multinationals are seizing this advantage.”

To learn more, click here to download an infographic of key Canadian findings.

About eBay

eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) is the world's most vibrant marketplace for discovering great value and unique selection. eBay connects millions of buyers and sellers around the globe, empowering people and creating opportunity through Connected Commerce™. Our vision for commerce is one that is enabled by people, powered by technology and open to everyone. We partner but never compete with our sellers and create stronger connections between buyers and sellers with product experiences that are fast, mobile and secure. eBay is visited by more than 8 million unique Canadians per month (comScore Media Metrix: December, 2015). For more information, visit ebay.ca.


1 Industry Canada, Small Business Branch, Key Small Business Statistics (August 2013)
2 Chen, S. & E. Yu, Export Dynamics in Canada: Market Diversification in a Changing International Economic Environment. Office of the Chief Economist, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (2010)
3 Comparison of 2010 - 2014 compound annual growth rates. GDP growth rate from: World Bank, World Development Indicators 
4 Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/home 
5 World Economic Forum, 2015, What Companies Want From the World Trading System. Available at http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC_Trade_II_2015.pdf 
6 2016 eBay Seller Survey: Using Google Consumer Surveys, eBay Canada surveyed Canadian eBay sellers with $10,000+ USD in sales in 2015. The survey had a margin of error of 4.33%.