Tuesday, 20 December 2016 20:26

Brockville, Look to GTA, not India

Commentary by Don Curry in North Bay

Municipal councils in Canada’s smaller centres do not appear to be at the forefront in analyzing demographic and diversity trends affecting their communities. They ought to be looking for immigrants closer to home, rather than overseas.

I see it in discussions with municipal politicians from my perch in Northern Ontario, and in a recent Brockville Recorder and Times news article about attracting immigrant entrepreneurs.  The municipality secured a provincial government grant to commission a study on the topic, one in which I am particularly interested.

The population of Canada is rising steadily and is more than 36 million people. Approximately 300,000 immigrants are now arriving annually.

Generally, newcomers to Canada do not emigrate to smaller centres, but to the larger ones, with Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver taking the majority. What is becoming more prevalent, however, is secondary migration to smaller centres.

Immigrant-owned businesses

In North Bay, population 54,000, where I live, there are more than 70 first generation immigrant-owned businesses. This is a relatively recent occurrence. Temiskaming Shores, population 10,500, is 90 minutes north of North Bay and it has more than 20 first generation immigrant-owned businesses. There, too, this is a recent occurrence.

The Brockville story that caught the attention of New Canadian Media noted the municipality of 22,000 people could attract immigrant entrepreneurs already in Canada. It was based on a study that contained a number of recommendations to make the municipality more receptive to immigrants.

I completed a study for the Far Northeast Training Board that will be released in January that covers some of the issues that Brockville council was discussing. I interviewed 36 immigrant business owners in 11 municipalities in Northeastern Ontario, the smallest with only 400 people and the largest the City of Timmins, population 43,000.

It supports the conclusion of the Brockville study that you don’t have to recruit internationally for immigrant entrepreneurs — they are already here. I expect to report on it in this space when it is officially released in January.

Moving within Canada

But for now, I can tell you that it shows two-thirds of the immigrant entrepreneurs in the study area were born in India, but did not come to Northern Ontario from there. They came from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Dissatisfied with the high cost of GTA home ownership, high cost to purchase a business, and the congestion of the big city, they looked for alternatives and found them in Northern Ontario. They are just as likely to find them in Brockville, just a few hours down Highway 401, and in other smaller Ontario centres.

For municipal councils and economic development organizations, this is terrific news.  Many smaller centre business owners want to sell their business and retire. Demographers have seen this coming for years, as more baby boomers retire.

In many cases their children have moved to a larger centre, or they are not interested in continuing the family business. In our region, we are seeing immigrant entrepreneurs moving north to fill the void.

Caught up in detail

The municipal council in Brockville, according to the newspaper report, was receptive to the study but reluctant to allocate funds in its budget to make Brockville a more welcoming community for immigrants. That is typical of what I hear in Northern Ontario as well.

Municipal councils, in my experience, spend far too much time on the mundane day-to-day issues that should be the purview of municipal staff members, and far too little time looking at the long-term future of their communities. The large cities in Canada, however, understand the value of putting policies, procedures, and people in place to ensure they are doing all they can to attract and retain immigrants.

Many of the smaller ones still haven’t figured it out. Studies such as the one presented this month in Brockville and next month in the Far Northeast Training Board catchment area of a large chunk of Northeastern Ontario should serve as a wakeup call.

While municipal councils in smaller centres spend months poring over budgets, their population may be in decline and they are doing little to reverse the trend. They are preoccupied with minutiae.

Now they know it is far easier to recruit people from the GTA than from India. But it will take municipal will to make things happen on a larger scale.

Don Curry is the president of Curry Consulting (www.curryconsulting.ca). He was the founding executive director the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre and the Timmins & District Multicultural Centre and is now the chair of the board of directors.

Published in Policy

by Maria Ikonen in Gatineau, Quebec

Growing up in a small village in Iran near the Caspian Sea, Maria Rasouli felt the rush of freedom as she explored her surroundings riding her bicycle.

Despite being able to provide her with great joy, the activity was seen as inappropriate for an 11-year-old girl.

Things changed when she moved to Canada at age 24. Here, she was finally able to make her dreams of exploring the world on two wheels a reality.

Today, she is the founder and operator of Escape Bicycle Tours, a company that gives tourists and adventure seekers bike tours around Ottawa.

Her company was one of three winners of an Immigrant Entrepreneur Award this year from the City of Ottawa.

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]“A true source of inspiration [for my business] was my life in Iran as a woman where I was not allowed to bicycle.”[/quote]

“A true source of inspiration [for my business] was my life in Iran as a woman where I was not allowed to bicycle,” she says.

She adds that Escape Bicycle Tours was the result of two years of self-reflection that finally gave her the courage to pursue her dreams of riding a bicycle. Her passion for the sport is what she aims to provide for her clients.

“I have had guests who said they did not remember the last time they were on a bicycle or they had not bicycled for over 30 years,” she shares. “They were so happy that they took a bicycle tour with Escape.” 

Challenges of an immigrant entrepreneur 

Despite the motivation to take an entrepreneurial path, new Canadians may find obstacles in things like time-consuming bureaucracy and a lack of local networks.

According to David Crick, an international entrepreneurship and marketing professor from the University of Ottawa, a newcomer’s existing skill set or business model from overseas is not guaranteed to work well in Canada – there may be more competition already here. 

“They may have to look towards something that offers value [to Canadians like] lower costs,” he says.  

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]“[There] are still many people who put immigrants into a box, and this is not something that will be changed quickly.”[/quote]

Another issue may rise from having no local banking history. 

“Even getting lines of credit from banks may be hard,” Crick explains. “[It is] a high risk to banks. This makes starting a business problematic.” 

Moe Abbas, founder of Ottawa General Contractors and another winner of the Immigrant Entrepreneur Award this year, points out other difficulties such as prejudice. 

“[There] are still many people who put immigrants into a box, and this is not something that will be changed quickly,” he says. 

“We must all understand how we are viewed in the eyes of the clients we serve. That judgement may not be a bad thing if we know what it is, and can work with it.” 

Rasouli also mentions the challenge of being in unfamiliar territory when new to Canada. She had to take some time to establish herself and gain a better understanding of how business is conducted in Canada. 

“I actually think it is a good idea for immigrants to work in Canada for a few years before starting their own business. There are lots of things that an immigrant can learn from co-workers and how organizations are run in Canada by being in a workplace,” she says. 

“That knowledge could later on be used for starting a business, building partnerships, marketing, sales and customer service.” 

She adds that the absence of family members in Canada can result in the lack of a support net, but may create a platform to improve as an entrepreneur. 

“I do not have the emotional, psychological, and sometimes financial support that family members could provide. This has led me to build strong professional and support networks and work harder to succeed.”   

Tips for immigrant entrepreneurs

Despite the challenges many newcomer entrepreneurs face, networking with similar ethnic groups could be something beneficial to try, Crick says.

“They may have networks overseas that can help in self-employment practices,” he explains. “For example, depending on the nature of the business model employed, some may have access to import or export linkages that domestic Canadian firms may not have.”

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]"[S]ome may have access to import or export linkages that domestic Canadian firms may not have.”[/quote]

Abbas, who is in the process of working on a social media start-up, Bumpn Inc., highlights the importance in understanding the consumer’s mindset. 

“If you are an entrepreneur selling to a demographic, you must look and behave, or at least understand deeply, the demographic you are serving,” he says. 

“People buy from people they trust. They usually trust people like them.” 

Rasouli emphasizes the value of making connections. 

“Network, network and network: people are often very kind and try to help if you ask them,” she says. “So, make sure that you have a diverse, solid network of professionals and friends who could help you with various aspects of your business and life.” 

Success is mostly in an entrepreneur’s hands, Rasouli adds. 

“Your success is … dependent on the amount of work you put into your business. You don’t have to wait for a performance appraisal or a manager to acknowledge or approve your work. The harder and smarter you work, the more success you bring to your business.”

Journalist Samantha Lui mentored the author of this article through the New Canadian Media Mentorship Program.

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Published in Economy

by Tazeen Inam in Mississauga, Ontario

Forty-two-year-old Hoda Yasir is considered one of the most trusted and punctual house-cleaning ladies in the west part of Mississauga. Still, the Syrian-born refugee doesn’t get much work because she has no personal transportation to commute to jobs, needing to be picked up and dropped off often. This adds to her woes managing a family of four kids and a husband.

Hoda, whose named has been changed to protect her identity, is a biologist by profession but, unlike most refugees, has no proof of her qualifications.

“They got burned,” Hoda shares. “They were in a wooden box, and later I couldn’t find it in the ashes of my bombarded house.”

Resettlement isn’t easy

During the ongoing civil war in Syria, Hoda and her family managed to leave the western town of Qusair near the Lebanese border and enter Lebanon. In early 2013, this town became the latest site of urban warfare when clashes erupted between regime and rebels.

She and her family stayed there for more than a year and, later in 2014 under the first privately sponsored refugee program, managed to reach Canada. 

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Many Syrians who have come to Canada, both as refugees and immigrants, have become entrepreneurs." - Alexandra Kotyk, Lifeline Syria[/quote]

“My brother and uncle, with the help of Syrian community, deposited $75,000 for our immigration,” recalls Hoda.

“We came with nothing except for our passports, the only document, along with misery, wounds and agony of the home town. I didn’t know where to re-start, so I gathered all the courage and started a cleaning job, which does not need any expertise, documents or accreditation.”

It’s been two years in Canada for Hoda and her family. Her kids are going to school and are well versed in English now, but for Hoda and her husband – a computer specialist – the language barrier was another challenge. 

“Once a lady called and misunderstood per-hour charges [between] one-five [and] five-zero,” explains Hoda. “It was a big house and unfortunately I ended up with a meager amount.”

Although Hoda and her husband are experienced in their respective professions, resettlement hasn’t been easy.

“I understand that nobody finds a job without getting Canadian accreditation or some certification and for that too, I need to have proof of my degrees and experience from back home,” Hoda says, pausing before she adds, “I’ll probably re-start from kindergarten.”

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]A 2007 study from the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that migrants have contributed to government revenues through entrepreneurship.[/quote]

From refugees to entrepreneurs

Resettling Syrian refugees in countries like Canada can prove to have positive economic impact, as they arrive with some education, says Alexandra Kotyk, project manager of Lifeline Syria, a citizen-led initiative working to bring 1,000 Syrians to the Greater Toronto Area through Ryerson University.

Many Syrians who have come to Canada, both as refugees and immigrants, have become entrepreneurs and have arrived with post-secondary education,” she says. “While the reason for resettling a refugee should be based on humanitarian principles and not economic [principles], we do expect that most will integrate quickly and contribute to the economy.”

The economic contribution Kotyk is referring to has proven true in some of the countries neighbouring Syria, where a 2007 study from the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that migrants have contributed to government revenues through entrepreneurship.

According to a 2014 media report, the urban refugees started more than a thousand businesses in Turkey, including new bakeries, food businesses, travel agencies and restaurants run by Syrians.

Hoda’s husband has entrepreneurial goals in Canada himself. “I plan to set up a computer repair shop soon, and my sons can play a great help and support as they are learning new things here in schools and colleges,” he shares.

A need to boost efforts

Despite the Canadian government’s claims that it takes in roughly one out of 10 refugees every year from the estimated 16.7 million refugees in the world today, it still faces criticism on various grounds.

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Although the citizen-sponsored initiatives to welcome and support refugee families during their first year started off in the Greater Toronto Area, other major cities – Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary — are encouraged to step up and organize sponsorship initiatives.[/quote]

Firstly, the Canadian authority’s process has been said to be time consuming and it is not working out as the originally proposed 60/40 split between private and government sponsors.

Secondly, the Canadian government is urged to contribute to an $8.4-billion international aid appeal for Syria this year by the United Nations, which is twice the combined effort of previous two years. A report by Oxfam suggests Canada’s contribution should be $178.4 million for 2015, after contributing about $50 million in the first quarter of this year, as it failed to fulfill expectations of the UN’s humanitarian aid response in May 2015 in Kuwait.

In March 2015, Canada managed to meet its 2013 commitment of settling 1,300 refugees from Syria and pledged to resettle 10,000 more in another three years. However, where would this be done and who is responsible for bringing and settling the refugees to Canada are unclear.

And recently, in a campaign visit to Markham, Prime Minister Harper promised that, if elected, a Conservative government would accept 10,000 refugees from Iraq and Syria over the next four years, and pledged to spend $9 million in three years to support persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East. 

Although the citizen-sponsored initiatives to welcome and support refugee families during their first year started off in the Greater Toronto Area, other major cities – Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary — are encouraged to step up and organize sponsorship initiatives like Lifeline Syria, Kotyk says.

“If other parts of Canada are able to also start a version of Lifeline Syria, it will mean more Syrian refugees are helped and, particularly, more children, many of whom are not able to attend school and are forced to work jobs to help support their families.”

This is something Hoda would also like to see happen.

“I have more family displaced in the camps in neighbouring countries of Syria,” she explains. “I wish they can join us too, as I don’t see that we can go back to Syria in near future.” 

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Published in Economy
Thursday, 13 November 2014 17:20

Imagining the Agency of the Future

In light of major changes in the way immigrants receive "settlement services" in the country, New Canadian Media invited Meyer Burstein and Carl Nicholson to write for us about the "Agency of the Future" project. This project seeks to position the settlement sector for the challenges ahead and will be an important topic of discussion at the Pathways to Prosperity national conference happening in Montreal on Nov. 24-25. All Canadians should have an interest in enabling the sector to aid future immigrants; so, please weigh in.

by Meyer Burstein and Carl Nicholson

Agency of the Future is a national project started in 2013 by Canada’s settlement sector and the Pathways to Prosperity research partnership (P2P). Its goal is to help settlement organizations capitalize on the market opportunities resulting from recent, and anticipated, policy changes and the use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs). Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has participated in the development of the Agency of the Future project because of its interest in strengthening the settlement delivery system. 

Key Premises

Several important premises underpin the project design:

  • That the changing settlement ‘ecosystem’ offers settlement organizations new opportunities to market expertise and services to commercial and non-profit institutions, as well as to newcomers willing to pay for customized services. Key changes include: an enlarged role for employers and educational institutions in facilitating newcomer admissions; an increase in migration to new destination communities; greater emphasis on pre-arrival services; and a growing use of ICT. Selling services to new clients will reduce the sector’s dependence on existing financial sources and allow settlement organizations to address independent priorities. These might include enhanced refugee services, better facilities, better professional training, and new technology.
  • That the settlement sector enjoys a strategic advantage over other organizations in delivering services to newcomers. This advantage resides in the sector’s ability to combine independent federal, provincial and other programs into comprehensive, creative solutions to the challenges that confront new arrivals. Settlement agencies are also able to mobilize ethnocultural and religious networks to assist them in their work.  Both the specialized program expertise and the ability to mobilize networks result from the way that settlement organizations work.  This gives them a strategic advantage over other organizations that do not operate in the same way.
  • That the size and reach of the national settlement sector results in a deep pool of ‘experimental’ projects and ideas, often using new technologies, for addressing the challenges that face newcomers and the institutions that serve them. Individual settlement agencies across the country have evolved numerous, creative and effective ‘solutions’ to problems that span employment, health, justice and civic inclusion. These innovations are not, however, widely known and are not systematically shared.  As a result, the sector’s ability to access new markets and identify new revenue sources is stunted. Interest by governments and other organizations in identifying and sharing promising practices suggests that this is a widespread problem.

Project Design

The Agency of the Future project is designed to do three things: to help the settlement sector identify strategic business opportunities involving new markets, new clients and new technologies; to identify promising practices that would allow the business opportunities to be exploited; and to establish mechanisms for disseminating information about the promising practices to settlement agencies across the country. The integration of these processes into a recurrent cycle would power innovation within the national settlement sector. The components of the cycle are elaborated below:

On a cyclical basis, the settlement sector would initiate a planning exercise to establish priorities for expanding or strengthening its ‘business lines’. This exercise would be driven by national, provincial and regional settlement umbrella associations. Input would be sought from government and from researchers using existing consultative forums. Business priorities might target particular groups or institutions, particular services, technology, or functions, such as market analysis or planning.  

Once priorities had been determined, a national search would begin for promising practices in the chosen areas. These practices would be analyzed using a proven methodology that combines documentary analysis with on-site, face-to-face interviews with agency experts.  The aim is to uncover the internal (to the organization) and external (environmental) factors responsible for the exceptional practice outcomes, so they can be replicated elsewhere and scaled.  Services based on the promising practices would be used to enter new markets and create new business lines.

National, provincial and regional umbrella associations would manage a process for identifying agencies or agency coalitions interested in extending into priority business areas. These agencies would be offered instruction in the promising practices. The training would follow a case study approach, combining presentations by experts from the promising practice agencies with analyses by researchers who had examined the practices. This would be supplemented by guides elaborating on key features and important steps in the business development process. Training could be delivered in-person or using on-line, distance education techniques.

The integration of the three elements into a coordinated and recurrent ‘Innovation Cycle’ would allow the settlement sector to leverage the ingenuity of its members and to expand along vectors that exploit their comparative advantages. CIC has a shared interest in helping to foster the Innovation Cycle.

Next Steps

Several working groups made up of settlement agency volunteers and P2P researchers have been pushing ahead on important aspects of the Agency of the Future project. Two key initiatives are under development: A pan-Canadian survey of settlement agencies and a set of pilot studies to investigate potential business lines.

(1) Pan-Canadian survey of settlement agencies  

The pan-Canadian survey of settlement agencies has four objectives:

a. To assess the business opportunity landscape available to settlement agencies by comprehensively mapping the  commercial and non-commercial (unfunded) activities undertaken, or planned, by settlement agencies; 

b. To record the depth of the ‘innovation pool’ across the sector in respect of potential business lines and business activities;

c. To create rosters of agencies with experience in various business areas, so the expertise can be readily located and accessed to advance the sector’s business interests;

d. To map the current and projected uses by the sector of information and communication technology, along with barriers and interfaces with CIC policy and analytic systems.

The survey would be directed to all settlement service provider organizations in Canada that belong to a provincial or regional umbrella association.  The help of these associations would be sought in order to encourage member agencies to complete the questionnaires. 

Work on the survey is already underway and will be discussed at the P2P’s annual national conference in November 2014.  Advice from workshop participants will be used to shape and refine the survey.

(2) Suite of market studies investigating potential business lines

Six potential business areas have been identified for the pilot studies. These include:

  • Concierge service for employers, helping them to navigate the Express Entry system for processing skilled immigrants;
  • Pre-arrival services for prospective immigrants helping them to facilitate their labour market insertion and settlement in Canada.
  • Services aimed at public and private institutions implicated in refugee resettlement but lacking specialized knowledge, and assistance to private sponsorship groups to help with organization, fund raising and preparation;
  • Support for immigrant entrepreneurs and agencies interested in economic development as well as succession planning for SME’s in smaller centres and remote areas;
  • Services for international students and educational institutions to boost recruitment and student retention, especially in smaller centres;
  • Services directed to businesses that recruit highly skilled temporary workers.

Three pilot studies will be conducted, in each case assessing the needs of potential clients, delineating possible services, assessing the size and location of potential markets, analyzing the existing service environment, and assessing the comparative advantage of settlement agencies relative to competitors.     

Sponsors are currently being sought for both the pan-Canadian survey and the market studies. Using the insights derived from these analytic platforms, it is hoped that an initial version of the Innovation Cycle can be launched in late 2015 or early 2016.

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Published in Policy

by Samantha Lui (@samanthalui_) in Toronto

Studying business techniques used by some Canadian immigrants can be useful for entrepreneurs looking to expand their companies into the international market.

That was the theme of Tuesday’s The Power of Diaspora Networks Conference held at the Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, where entrepreneurs and business advisors opened up about their experiences and offered advice for those wanting to learn how to export their goods and services globally. 

According to entrepreneur Yan Martindale, networking and making connections in the early stages of her business played a major role in her success. 

Martindale, who emigrated from China to Canada 15 years ago, worked in information technology in New York and as an insurance broker before launching Panacea Aftermarket Company, an international industrial parts supplier that specializes in the forklifting industry, with her husband in 2009.

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]“It’s about who you know. Networks are the most important things for any business.”[/quote]

Martindale faced many challenges while getting the company off the ground. For example, a large competitor who had tried to stop Martindale’s business warned vendors in Asia that it would stop doing business with them if they dealt with Panacea.

Challenges like this ultimately led Martindale to cold call a director of a forklifting parts company in China and introduce him to her business. She told him that she could make his site look better by explaining that Panacea could help Chinese vendors and manufacturers break into the forklifting industry in North America. He ended up giving her free advertising on his website for seven days. 

Martindale continued to contact vendors in China. She has since been able to establish cooperative partnerships with forklift parts manufacturers in mainland China and Taiwan. 

“It’s not about what you know,” Martindale says. “It’s about who you know. Networks are the most important things for any business.”

Victor J. Garcia, another conference speaker and a member of the Board of Directors for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, agrees. 

Having moved to Canada from Argentina 35 years ago, Garcia has helped non-profit organizations and educational and research institutions with programs focused on job creation, innovation, education and community integration. He is also the Vice President of the Canadian Hispanic Congress and an adjunct professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University.

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]“It is a pro to understand how people think, how people do business, how conversations happen, how relationships happen.”[/quote]  

He says that entrepreneurs should find someone to help them achieve their goals if they can’t do it themselves, noting that researching provincial and federal government resources can often provide companies with a lot of information on how they can export their goods and services internationally. 

“Always connect with someone that knows more than you did,” he shares.

“It is a pro to understand how people think, how people do business, how conversations happen, how relationships happen.” 

But according to DATAWIND CEO, Suneet Singh Tuli, perseverance and understanding the culture of international markets are also ingredients for achieving success. 

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]"Coming from Canada, and coming from a Canadian environment, we saw opportunities and problems easier."[/quote]

Since founding his computer hardware company with his brother Raja in 2001, Tuli says the pair has had to learn how to persevere in a new environment. When he and his brother decided to place their focus on helping improve the educational system in India – as DATAWIND’s inexpensive devices allow access to the Internet at lower data costs and faster speeds across congested mobile wireless networks – they soon learned that they did not understand how the country’s market worked.

“The misconception that because we spoke the local language [and the fact that] we looked liked locals didn’t mean we knew how to do business in India,” he shares. 

Having moved from Iran to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Tuli credits his Canadian upbringing with eventually helping him and his brother understand how they could bring their products into India’s marketplace.

Since then, they’ve become the largest supplier of tablets in India and have been able to expand their business to countries like Nicaragua, Mexico and Uruguay. As well, one of DATAWIND’s products, the Aakash tablet, has since been dubbed the cheapest at $35 (U.S.) a unit by India’s Economic Times.

“The advantage of being from Canada is that we saw the opportunities easier than the locals did because I think there was a level of acceptance to the problems of [their] environment,” he explains. “Coming from Canada, and coming from a Canadian environment, we saw opportunities and problems easier.”

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Published in Economy
Monday, 01 April 2013 23:06

Canada launches unique start-up visa

By Our Correspondent

As of April 1, entrepreneurs from around the world with ideas for new business ventures and financial backing from Canadian investors can apply to the brand new Start-Up Visa Program.

Making the announcement, Jason Kenney, Canada’s citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism minister, said Canada is open to do business with the world’s start-up entrepreneurs. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are essential drivers of the Canadian economy. That is why we are actively recruiting foreign entrepreneurs -- those who can build companies here in Canada that will create new jobs, spur economic growth and compete on a global scale -- with our new start-up visa.”

Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program is said to be the first of its kind in the world. By providing sought-after entrepreneurs with permanent residency and access to a wide range of business partners, Canada hopes to become a destination of choice for start-up innovators which will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy.

“My dream Canada is someone who has maybe studied at the Indian Institute of Technology and they have a brilliant start-up concept, they’ve attracted Canadian investment,” Kenney was quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying.

“Rather than starting that business in Bangalore, we are saying, ‘Come to Canada and come quickly. Start the business here, create the jobs in this country and you’ll have the venture capitalists here not just providing you with capital but mentorship, which is also important.’”

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has worked with two umbrella organizations, Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO), to identify and designate the venture capital funds and angel investor groups that are keen to participate in the program. A full list of designated venture capital funds and angel investor groups is now available on the CIC website.

"The CVCA and our individual members look forward to the launch of the Start-Up Visa Program,” said Peter van der Velden, President of the CVCA. “Our participating funds welcome the opportunity to take part in this first-of-its-kind program, which has the potential to help them attract best-in-class entrepreneurial talent to their Canadian-based investee companies.”

Michelle Scarborough, Chair of NACO, said, "There has been significant interest from both angels and entrepreneurs since the announcement of this program … Our angel group members across Canada are eager to participate, and we look forward to supporting the growth of new businesses and helping them to make their mark in Canada, further expanding our economy."

According to Kenney, “This is part of our government’s transformational changes to Canada’s immigration system that will make it fast, flexible, and focused on Canada’s economic needs.”

The Start-Up Visa Program is a pilot program that will run for five years. It is expected that due to the narrow focus of the program, initially, the number of applications will be limited. -- New Canadian Media

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Published in Policy

New Canadian Media provides nonpartisan news and views representing all Canadian immigrant communities. As part of this endeavour, we re-publish aggregated content from various ethnic media publishers in Canada in an effort to raise the profile of news and commentary from an immigrant perspective. New Canadian Media, however, does not guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views and opinions contained in content from such other sites. The views expressed on this site are those of the individual writers and commentators, and not necessarily those of New Canadian Media. Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved