An article featured in last Friday’s Financial Post makes the case for Canada being one of the best countries in the world for immigrants to start a business.
Among the factors that make Canada such a welcoming place for immigrant entrepreneurs are its business friendly environment and immigration program, says author Chris Riddell:
The World Bank labelled Canada the best place in the G-7 to start a business, and thanks to an open immigration policy, a comparatively easy one to enter. Add a strong banking system, growing job market, and high standard of living, and it’s no wonder it tops immigrant entrepreneurs’ list.
For many, the government’s Start-Up Visa launched in April is making Canada an even more appealing place.
For business people considering Canada as a destination for immigration, there are three points to consider:
- The per capita income of new immigrants is well below the Canadian average, with the gap growing since the early 1970s despite the average level of education of recent immigrants increasing in the intervening time. The longer an immigrant is in Canada, the closer their income tends to be to the Canadian average.
- Immigrants and first-generation Canadians make up a sizeable percentage of Canada’s millionaires, at 48 percent.
- The average income of immigrants who are admitted into Canada through the business class immigration programs is slightly below that of immigrants admitted through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), despite the former group having had to meet stringent capital and business experience requirements.
Taken together, it suggests that:
1) immigrants who arrive through economic class non-business immigration programs, like the FSWP, are likely not at a significant disadvantage compared to their business class counterparts in their chance of creating a successful business, that
2) immigrants are likely more entrepreneurial than the general population, and that
3) many immigrant business people fail for the few that succeed.
Matt Man, a successful immigrant businessman profiled for Riddell’s article, advises immigrants who are starting their business to try to get as much face-time as possible to improve their chance of success:
“Face to face can always make up for some of what I lost due to my accent or the way I’m communicating.”