Statistics Canada - Statistique Canada

The defining characteristics of entrants in science-based industries


New firms are seen to play a key role in the innovation process, especially in certain key sectors of the economy. This study therefore examines the differences in the profiles of successful new firms in science-based industries and other industries. The firms that are examined are entrants who survey into their early teen years. The study examines numerous factors that are seen to influence the success of new businesses. These include the competitive environment, business strategies and the financial structure of the businesses.

Successful new firms in science-based industries are found to differ in a number of dimensions from new firms in other industries. They are more likely to be exporters. They face greater technological change and intense competition with regards to the rate at which new products are being introduced. They tend to put more emphasis on quality, the frequent introduction of new products and the customization of products. They make greater use of information technology. They place more stress on new technology development, research and development facilities and the use of intellectual property. They are much more likely to innovate and they place more importance on recruiting skilled labour and on training. Finally, they are more likely to use non-traditional financial measures to evaluate performance and they are less likely to rely on secured credit for financing both their research and development activity and their machinery and equipment that are firms in other sectors.

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1999 (PDF - 1959K)