Entrepreneurship as a Newcomer: Challenges and Potential Solutions

Entrepreneurial aspirations among newcomers stand as a pivotal force for economic growth and innovation in Canada. From 2016 to 2021, a substantial influx of approximately 1,328,240 immigrants sought better opportunities and improved lifestyles (Statistics Canada, 2021a). Most of these newcomers bring unique skills, experiences, and entrepreneurial perspectives. However, their journey to becoming successful entrepreneurs is marked by specific challenges that demand a comprehensive approach involving government policies, community support, and targeted initiatives. Key challenges include:


  • Language Barriers & Cultural Differences: The 2021 Census reveals that over 8 million individuals (24.2% of the total population) in Canada speak languages other than English and French (Statistics Canada, 2021b). For newcomers lacking proficiency in these languages, effective communication with clients and navigating government regulations for business initiation becomes a complex endeavor.
  • Limited Access to Capital: Newcomers face hurdles in accessing financial resources, grants, loans, or venture capital due to limited credit history or unfamiliarity with Canada’s financial system.
  • Lack of Business Network: Building essential connections and networks proves challenging for newcomers, hindering their potential for business success.
  • Lack of Business Plan and Knowledge of Support Services: Crafting an effective business plan is hindered by a lack of knowledge about Canadian market demands, consumer behavior, and industry trends. Awareness of government programs and community organizations offering support for business planning is also lacking.

Potential Solutions:

  • Language Training and Cultural Integration Programs: Focused language training on business communication and terminology improves communication skills. Cultural integration programs provide opportunities for engagement in community activities, events, and support groups, fostering a sense of belonging during the entrepreneurial journey.
  • Access to Resources and Funding: Government and non-profit organizations organize training and workshops, guiding newcomers through Canada’s financial system. Institutions like BDC Financing offer loans between $25,000 to $50,000, along with expert advice, catering specifically to immigrant entrepreneurs (BDC, 2023). Additionally, the CBDC Immigrant Loan Program in the Atlantic region offers loans of up to $20,000 and access to business consulting services (CBDC, 2023).
  • Business Network Development: Actively seeking associations and attending networking events helps newcomers enhance their business connections. Engaging with potential clients and seeking feedback on ideas contributes to entrepreneurial success.
  • Identifying Support Services for Entrepreneurship: Government and non-profit organizations, such as Canadian Imperial Advantage and Newcomers Canada, offer training and workshops for business plan development. Newcomers can identify suitable support services through online research.

How the Canadian Imperial Advantage (CIA) Supports Newcomer Entrepreneurs

Canadian Imperial Advantage (CIA) is an organization specializing in aiding entrepreneurs, particularly newcomers. They offer comprehensive support and resources for those looking to establish and grow their businesses in Canada. CIA provides tailored mentorship and guidance, aiding newcomers in crafting effective business plans. Additionally, they offer financial expertise, helping newcomers understand and navigate Canada’s financial landscape.

By addressing these challenges and making use of the resources and support services offered by organizations like CIA, Canada can create a more conducive environment for newcomer entrepreneurs. Encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship among newcomers not only fosters economic growth but also enhances cultural diversity and fuels innovation within the Canadian business landscape. Canada continues to be a land of opportunity for all those who seek to contribute to its vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.



BDC (2023). Newcomer entrepreneur.

CBDC (2023). CBDC Programs.

Statistics Canada (2021a). Census program data viewer dashboard.

Statistics Canada (2021b). Mother tongue by geography.