Immigrants more likely to start a business & create jobs

 Immigrants more likely to start a business & create jobs

So far this year we’ve worked with 33 newcomer founders. Twenty of those entrepreneurs have been women.


So far this year we’ve worked with 33 newcomer founders.  Twenty of those entrepreneurs have been women. That’s interesting and positive on several levels but I underrated just how exciting that is. 


I later posted an infographic on LinkedIn that got a lot of response.  One from a friend and mentor of mine, Chris Weir, a Client Executive at Ernst & Young.  Chris commented that these trends are directly in proportion to national (and even international) trends: the face of the future of entrepreneurship is largely newcomers and women.


As a Director of an incubator dedicated exclusively to newcomer founders, I wanted to know more.


The Business Development Bank of Canada recently concluded that “Newcomers to Canada are more likely to start a business that grows more quickly and creates more net jobs per enterprise than the Canadian-born population.”  


In fact, the rate of entrepreneurship amongst our newcomer brothers & sisters is actually double that of Canadian born entrepreneurs.  


I have some theories as to why this is and it has to do with something I both love and hate; the culture of a place.  


On the one hand, I love this subject because I believe it’s absolutely true.  You are what you repeatedly do and that is also true for groups of people. On the other hand it is not based on data.  It is not tangible. It doesn’t look good on a graph and so the empirically minded will ignore it.  


We don’t have a culture of making things.  This includes companies. Now, I should say, entrepreneurship is not for everyone.  Our economy largely relies on SME’s and we need some of our brightest minds to join our largest and most productive companies.  Key word some.  We also need folks willing to take risks and build great things. 


When you’re young in New Brunswick you’re taught to graduate high school, get a four year degree and then go to work at one of our prosperous HQs.  This was the model passed down from our parents because it gave our parents a two car garage and an annual vacation. Because salaries have not matched inflation, this is no longer true.  The timeline for homeownership and life in the burbs (for those who want it) is much longer than our parents.


Now is the time for a rebirth of entrepreneurship in this province.  There is evidence to suggest we are in an era of non-innovation based on start-up funding data in North America and the market share of monopolies like Amazon, Apple, Google & Facebook.   We need builders, makers and doers now more than ever. Especially in an economy that is lagging behind.


In many global markets, entrepreneurship is the default.  I think about my Nigerian clients and the hustle that goes in to their enthusiasm for entrepreneurship.  Selling is in their blood. Nobody is coming to save you so you best be making something for yourself. Your future is in your hands.  Working with this community has been a pleasure and they will give our economy much more than we will give them if our retention numbers continue to increase. 


“In 2018 the number of newcomer entrepreneurs grew to 251,600, a 22 per cent increase since 2006. With immigrants expected to account for up to 80 per cent of Canada’s population growth by 2032, BDC projects this trend will continue to fuel entrepreneurship in Canada over the next decades.”

For many across the globe, starting a business is much more exciting than working a day-job.  As our diversity continues to increase, perhaps what we should be doing is learning from our incredible newcomer entrepreneurs.


“As Canada becomes increasingly diverse, its entrepreneur class will follow suit.”


Read the article posted on CIC News here

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