Templates for Start-Up Success

The federal government officially announced Start-up visa program, a new approach to immigration that hopes to motivate entrepreneurs from around the globe to start their businesses in Canada. The program replaces the current Entrepreneur category, an old and ineffective program that in 2011 brought 184 newcomers to Canada, a mere 0.1% of all immigrants. If successful, the Federal government could bring up to 2,750 new entrepreneurs to the country per year.

According to Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, the program is a first among developed nations. In an interview with CBC Canada, he stated that the idea is “to get people that only can fill one job, but they can also create jobs.”

Canada has a tradition of immigrant entrepreneurship. In most cases, newcomers that are already in the country, like foreign students or skilled workers are the ones opening new businesses. According to a 2011 study from the Maytree Foundation, immigrant entrepreneurs face the same challenges as any other entrepreneur. But in some cases, there are additional barriers such as language, “including lack of business, technical, and legal vocabulary”, Non-verbal communication skills that “may need to be relearned within the Canadian context”, lack of familiarity with business culture, lack of social networks, difficulty accessing financing, and discrimination.

Even so, they try. And some of them succeed. Canadian Newcomer is pleased to present the stories of five immigrant entrepreneurs and their four businesses, all of them working with MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.

Eco-friendly Underwater Solutions Nikhil Gunari – Sylleta Inc.

Speeding Up the Discovery of Safe, Effective Medicines Malik Slassi, Ph.D. – Fluorinov Pharma

Improving Access to Health Services: Nikolai Bratkovski - HealthAware

Tracking and Optimizing Energy Usage: Blake Royer and Sean Lafferty - Emmit Labs

Let Canadian Newcomer know when your start-up is launched so we can spread the word about your project as the Start-Up Visa program makes waves and creates jobs across the country.

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