This is a guest post by Anya Lomako from Ownr.
Immigrant entrepreneurship is an active contributor to the Canadian economy. In recent years, the population of business owners has gotten more diverse, with individuals that are immigrants and racial minorities representing a larger percentage of businesses than in previous decades. The Canadian government has responded to this trend by investing in a variety of resources for newcomers and immigrant-led businesses.
Running a business involves intricate decision-making on a variety of subjects, and Canadian entrepreneurs can benefit from resources dedicated specifically to their unique needs. Some of the areas where entrepreneurs can get support include support prior to arriving in Canada, starting a business, financial support and mentorship opportunities.
Entrepreneur support prior to arrival
Entrepreneurs that are looking to start a business in Canada have vast provincial resources available to them to help them get informed about business practices and application processes from start to finish. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, for example, has compiled an online resource that answers these questions.
Similarly, the province of British Columbia has announced a focus on connecting with entrepreneurs prior to their arrival in Canada with the Regional Pilot program, which supports prospective entrepreneurs who want to open a business with regional communities of less than 75,000 people prior to their arrival.
Starting your business
One of the hardest things about starting a business is getting enough capital to get it off the ground, but Canadian entrepreneurs don’t have to do it alone. They can explore getting private and investor loans, or apply for financial assistance through government programs like the Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP), which offers loans of up to a maximum of $1 million to operating a business in Canada and have annual revenues of $10 million or less.
To help you get started, you can learn more about your options for funding your new business.
Grants and loans for existing businesses
Growth is key to the success of a business venture across its life stages. This is why provinces like Ontario have invested in a variety of industry-specific grants to help offset the financial investment that business decisions can involve. Grants are available to business owners for specialized needs and business goals, such as research and development, business expansion, employee training and capital investment funding. Business loans are also available to qualifying business owners across specialized business goals. For example, the FedDev Ontario Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) program offsets upfront project costs and helps businesses grow more quickly.
Amplification for part-time business owners
Newcomers to Canada face a lot of transitions and “firsts” as they get integrated into their new lives. This is why many new entrepreneurs choose to lead businesses part-time while focusing on upgrading their language and education skills. A unique Canadian resource for entrepreneurs who want to turn the passion into a full-time business is the Futurpreneur Side Hustle program, which offers financial loans up to $15,000, mentorship, and access to business resources.
Newcomers to Canada looking to start a business can also join the Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub, which is a free 10-week training program that combines an instructor-led in-class curriculum on a variety of business topics with off-site trips, speakers and workshops to turn ideas into businesses. This is a free 10-week program that is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and is a pre-incubator for newcomers who want to learn about start-ups, hear from startup-up experts, and who need guidance to develop their vision and business plan. You can hear more about the program and how the project continues remotely from Vijay James here.
The Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub focuses on the entrepreneurial spirit of newcomers and assists in breaking down barriers by helping them to successfully establish a business and/or obtain employment. Additionally, the Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub (eHub) is available to all participants as a free co-working space for start-ups that require the space to establish and/or work on their businesses.
Business registering and incorporation
Entrepreneurs that are ready to take the next step to register or incorporate their business quickly and affordably can do so with the help of Ownr. Unlike other companies, it simplifies the process and saves you money while keeping you connected to in-person support by phone and email. You can learn more about whether registration or incorporation is the right option for your individual business here.
Running your own business is an exciting undertaking. Canadian entrepreneurs don’t have to do it alone thanks to the vast number of programs and resources available to them for starting, funding, and scaling their business.